This article is based on an article from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. From 2015, the commission evaluates the population of the wildlife in Florida and the potential reproduction of panthers in this region.
An alarming observation: reproduction of panthers’ crisis and extinction
In 2015 and 2016, we counted 84 deaths to the fawns, against twenty-nine births. As explained in our Wiki-Panther #3: Reproduction of Panthers’ Secrets, a female panther pregnant will give birth to two or three baby panthers after three months of gestation. It means that the births for 2015-2016 was the product of tens female panthers’ reproduction only. In the same time, nine time more members of the species didn’t finish the year.
However, the Florida Fish &Wildlife Conservation Commission get the protection of the panthers to avoid the extinction of the species during the 1970s. In 2017, we counted thirty deads of known panthers and only nineteen babies from the reproduction of adult panthers. After consecutive dark years, the Comission’s alerts and the protection facility don’t seem to be fruitful in numbers for the moment, but the organisation rejoices about the numbers of reproduction because we notice a 26,6% growth of the births between 2015 and 2017.
2018 Projection: less reproduction of leopards?
Nevertheless, even if the 2018’s numbers aren’t public yet and we don’t know how many adult panthers live in the State, the observers have noticed un alarming element: more than 33% of the dead leopards two years ago were female able to give birth. Waiting the last year’s numbers, we can expect a decreasing reproduction of Florida panthers’ rate. Did the females give birth before their disappearance? How old were its babies in this case? Another recap from our Wiki-Panther #3: “the female takes care of its little fawns alone because the male one takes its distance after fecundation.” The death of one female causes inexorable a natality’s crisis, but also indirect deaths of new born.
Why is there such a loss of fawns in Florida?
Lengthy classified in the family of puma, the Florida Panther belongs to the endangered species of the Florida’s State since 1973. The reason? The hunters and poachers who look for their fur and tooth. To fight against it, groups built in 1976 put in place different facilities for the protection of animals and spaces. But the organization cumulates difficulties: reproduction at half-staff, games harder to keep and the breeding areas are reducing year by year.
However, if we count less and less real killers of panthers, a new threat explains the diminution of the population and the reproduction of the animal: the motorized vehicles. In 2017, more than 80% of deaths were caused by an accident between a panther and a car. Three roads are known for their high rates of mortality: the roads 41, 29 and 75.
We finish this article about the reproduction of panthers with a roadmap of Florida. If you travel there, show the example, panthers-lovers!
The team “Reproduction des Panthères”