Florida

The Florida Panther is protected under the Endangered Species Act. Although the Florida panther has long been considered a unique subspecies of cougar, a genetic study of cougar mitochondrial DNA finds that many of the supposed subspecies are too similar to be recognized as distinct, which results in the classification of the Florida Panther as one species, the North American Cougar (Puma concolor).

Biologists estimate roughly 80-100 Florida panthers remain in the wild, and a majority of them live in the southwest portion of the state. Southern Florida is a fast-developing area, and declining habitat threatens this species.

The two highest causes of mortality for the Florida panther are automobile injuries and aggression between panthers for territory. The primary threats to the population as a whole include habitat loss, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation. There is no record of a Florida panther attacking a person.

The Florida Panther is protected under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be hunted under federal law.