Historically Florida panthers once roamed the entire southeastern U.S. but now there are estimated to be only 150 - 200 remaining in the wild and all of those are located in South Florida. Conservationist are already pessimistic that these numbers can sustain a viable breeding population so each panther killed represents a significant loss.
Years ago Florida established Panther “corridors” to allow the big cats to roam throughout their entire range but the results have not been as expected since the critically endangered cats continue to suffer unsustainable losses crossing on open roads and highways.
“Despite the best efforts of many dedicated people to save our Panthers, the chances of them surviving in the wild in South Florida is very slim. Some conservationists are already privately saying they are already essentially lost and when the currently living breeding age females die, it is unlikely the next generation will sustain the population,” said Gene Mills a biologists who has been studying the Panther for three decades.