Florida panther deaths continue decline

Florida panther deaths continue to decline. Credit: George Gentry/USFWS

Last year’s death toll for Florida panthers appears to have decreased from previous years, to about 20, Florida wildlife officials report. Almost all the deaths were caused by people.

The numbers continue a decline in panther (Puma concolor coryi) deaths. In 2019, 27 panther deaths were recorded, down from 30 in 2018. These declining deaths may not be good news.

“We typically say the number of panther fatalities and roadkill are increased with the increase in panther population size,” Dave Onorato, a panther biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Tampa Bay Times.

Most of the panthers found dead last year were hit by cars. One was found intentionally mutilated. Another was hit by a train. One was killed by another panther.

Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.