Panthers are most commonly found within America within the state of Florida, where they can be found, usually towards the South, near the Caloosahatchee River.
However, due to their proximity to heavily populated areas, panthers are often killed accidentally, as they roam about the land.
But how many panthers actually die as a result of traffic? And why do such accidents end up occurring?
If you’ve been pondering these questions, then you should make sure to read on down below, because we are going to find out exactly how many panthers die due to traffic!
How Many Panthers Die Due To Traffic?
Every year, the leading cause of panther deaths within the state of Florida proves to be traffic incidents. In 2020 alone, 19 out of 22 recorded panther deaths in Florida were linked to vehicle crashes.
In previous years, the percentage of panther deaths being linked to traffic was considerably high at around 80% of deaths or more for most years.
Why Do So Many Panthers Die In Traffic Accidents In Florida?
One of the leading reasons that panthers end up dying in traffic accidents is habitat loss.
As humans continue to expand outwards and continue to develop land and build new roads, buildings, or other structures, panthers naturally lose access to land that they once thrived in, and they also lose connections to other habitats.
In order to go from one habitat to another, panthers often have to cross busy and dangerous roads, which is why so many often end up being killed by vehicles on said roads.
Should We Be Worried About The Number Of Panthers Dying In Traffic Accidents?
Absolutely. The number of wild panthers in the state of Florida is already dangerously low and continues to decline steadily.
If current trends were to continue indefinitely, and if habitats were to continue to be developed, then panther numbers will continue to decline more and more.
Wild panthers in Florida run the risk of becoming extinct unless action is taken.
What Is Being Done To Prevent Panthers From Dying In Traffic Accidents?
The Florida Department of Transportation is making commitments to improve linkages between distinct habitats in Florida that can help panthers to avoid traveling across busy and dangerous roads.
Building habitat connectivity requires substantial work and can prove quite challenging, thus it could be some time before results are eventually shown.
However, improving these connections will help to ensure that panthers are able to freely roam without ever being at risk of harm.
Conservationists are also making efforts to monitor panthers in the wild to ensure that they are healthy and happy and that panthers in captivity are treated with adequate care.
When the species reaches a population of around 240 individuals, then the species is likely to be taken off of the endangered species list.
It is important to note that young panthers that are dependent on their parents are not considered among the independent population.
As well as this, in order to be taken off of the endangered species list, there needs to be proof that there is ample habitable space for the panthers to occupy.
Why Have Panthers Become Endangered?
Panthers have become endangered for a number of reasons across the history of the species. Around 1832, a bounty was actually placed on the species, which led to massive numbers being slaughtered, until they were nearly extinct by 1950.
Where panthers were once commonly found across the country, as far as Arkansas, there are now far fewer, around 120 panthers currently in the country, and most of them are located within the state of Florida.
As noted above, now one of the leading reasons why panthers continue to be endangered is that their habitats are continually being encroached on as humans develop new expansions.
The lack of available territory for wild panthers in Florida also means that panthers are more territorial, which can cause panthers to attack other panthers that they perceive as a threat.
There are also other modern causes, such as illnesses, and toxins in the environment that are released by modern industry. These can all be linked directly back to the reduction of natural habitats for panthers.
Panthers have also been pushed to endangerment by the fact that there were fewer options for reproduction, which led to inbreeding.
Inbreeding led to less varied panthers that were naturally more prone to specific illnesses or diseases. This meant that they were less able to survive intense conditions in the wild.
Unfortunately, a large number of panthers die every year in traffic-related incidents in Florida.
Though these deaths are entirely accidental, they point to a larger problem facing the panther population, being that of habitat destruction.
There is less habitable space for panthers to occupy, and this means that many panthers have to venture to dangerous areas to find places to call home.
As well as this, panthers are also threatened by modern problems such as illness and poisoning from fumes caused by modern industry.
Luckily, work is being done to help prevent the species from going extinct, such as building habitat links, and helping to conserve existing panther populations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Leading Cause Of Death For Florida Panthers?
The leading cause of death for panther populations in Florida is, unfortunately, vehicle collisions due to a lack of habitable space for the panthers to occupy, forcing them to traverse dangerous roads.
As well as this, panthers are most commonly killed by other panthers, often as a result of a dispute over what limited space they have.
Are Florida Panthers Going Extinct?
Though Florida panthers are yet to go extinct, they are at risk and have long been on a list of endangered species. However, efforts are being made to conserve them and help to increase their population.
Are Panthers Endangered 2022?
Though efforts are being made to protect the species from extinction, panthers are very much still at risk of extinction, especially within the state of Florida, where they are frequently victims of car accidents.