According to a new report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the public has reported hundreds of Florida panther sightings since the commission launched a panther sightings website last year.
The FWC said the public reported 790 panther sightings since last year but only 12 percent of the reports included photo evidence.
“The public’s willingness to share what they have seen or collected on game cameras is incredibly helpful and shows us where panthers presumably are roaming in Florida,” said Darrell Land, who heads the FWC’s panther team, in a news release.
If you spot a Florida panther, you can report it at MyFwc.com/PantherSightings.
“As the population of this endangered species grows, the FWC expects more Florida panthers to be seen in areas of the state where they have not lived for decades,” Land said in a news release. “To properly plan and manage for the expansion of the panther’s range in Florida, information about where the panthers are is vital.”
According to the FWC, the Florida panther population remains small. There are an estimated 100 - 160 adult panthers. That number does not include panther kitten, according to the FWC.
State officials said in the 1970s there were as few as 20 Florida panthers left in the wild.
Have you spotted a Florida panther recently? Tell us about it by commenting below!