Endangered Florida panther deaths surpass 2023 total in 5 months

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Florida panther

It’s taken wildlife officials just over five and a half months to report finding more dead endangered Florida panthers than in all of 2023.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Panther Pulse, a 2-year-old female Florida panther was found on private land East of Dupree Grade in Collier County on Friday.

8 out of the 14 deaths in 2024 happened in Collier County. Coincidentally, In 2023, eight out of the 13 dead Florida panthers were found in Collier County.

It’s unknown what caused the Florida panther to die, marking the second panther with an unknown cause of death in 2024.

It’s noteworthy that the dead panther discovered on Friday was identified as FP265. That means the Florida panther had a collar.

In contrast, when an uncollared dead Florida panther is discovered, authorities identify the animal as UCFP.

Florida Panther
Florida panther standing outside of a wildlife crossing. CREDIT: florida-panther-east-collier.jpg, fStop Foundation, Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved – Used by Permission, https://www.fws.gov/banner/florida-panther-east-collierjpg

It’s unclear when FP 265 was collared.

Friday’s discovery marks the 14th dead panther found in 2024, surpassing the 13 deaths reported in 2023.

“Vehicle collisions are the primary cause of death for Florida panthers,” said FWC.

Dating back to the start of 2023, 24 of the last 27 dead Florida panthers reported by FWC died due to vehicle strikes.

injured florida panther
An injured Florida panther. CREDIT: WINK News

If you go back to the start of 2022, 49 of the last 54 reported deaths were from vehicle strikes. Four of the five other deaths were due to unknown causes, and one was from a train strike.

“The FWC encourages motorists to slow down and observe all posted speed limits, especially in panther zones, which are in place in several counties across South Florida and coincide with areas where panthers are known to cross. These panther speed zones help ensure the survival of the endangered Florida panther and protect motorists from personal injury,” said FWC.

Click here to learn more about Florida panthers from FWC.

Click here to learn how FWC says you can help the endangered Florida panther.

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