The Florida panther is an extremely endangered subspecies of the Puma concolor, which is commonly known by many names, including cougar, mountain lion, and puma. It is the only remaining Puma concolor subspecies left in the eastern United States. The Florida panther is only found in southern Florida and its population may number just 160 animals.
The Florida panther faces many threats, including alligators,pesticides, and automobiles, but the biggest issues facing theseanimals are habitat loss and a lack of genetic diversity.
These cats are very territorial animals and require lots ofspace to hunt. Thus, conserving their habitat of cypress swamp andpineland is key to their survival. Though their numbers haveimproved from just 20 in the 1970s to 160 in 2013, there still arenot enough panthers to form a genetically diverse population. Inthe 1990s, female cougars from Texas were introduced to help stemthis issue.