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Florida Panther Conservation Bank

Florida Panther Conservation Bank

The Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) is one of the most critically endangered animals in the state of Florida, which is why in 1982, it was chosen as Florida’s state animal.

The Florida panther lives in forests, pinelands, hardwood hammocks and mix swamp forests in Southwest Florida. This endangered animal has been protected from legal hunting since 1958, and in 1967 it was listed as a federally endangered species by the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it was added to the state’s endangered species list in 1973. The panther is threatened by destruction of their habitat, collisions with automobiles and genetic defects caused by extensive inbreeding.

A successful recovery program has increased the panther population by securing large-scale habitats which are essential for the species’ long-term survival.  In 1970, there was an estimated 20 panthers; in 2014, that number increased to 100-180. As reported in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 2017 report, there are now as many as 120-230 Florida panthers.

The Florida Panther Conservation Bank, which is the first conservation bank in Florida (2007), is a 1,930-acre bank in Hendry County, Florida. The bank provides and supports recovery of the panther population, by being perfectly located within the primary panther zone/core range for the species. The conservation bank restores, preserves and manages high-quality habitat and provides permanent conservation and protection for the federally-listed Florida panther.

Panther Habitat Units are available as conservation measures to offset and compensate for developmental impacts.