Florida panthers are long-tailed cats that weigh between 70 and 160 pounds and measure up to six feet long. Males average up to 150 pounds, while females usually weigh less than 100 pounds.
These skilled hunters prefer to eat white-tailed deer and wild hogs. Instead of chasing their prey for long distances, Florida panthers single out and ambush their prey.
Before the 1800s, Florida panthers roamed throughout the southeastern U.S. from Arkansas to Florida. As more people settled in the Southeast, panther numbers decreased due to hunting and habitat fragmentation and loss.
Automobile collisions and territorial aggression between panthers are the leading causes of panther mortality. Habitat fragmentation and loss is also a concern, since these large cats require large home ranges to live and hunt.
On average, female panthers will start breeding when they are a little over two years old, while males mature at age 3. After mating, females give birth to a litter of up to four kittens. The kittens are born in simple, secluded dens, usually in dense vegetation to protect them from sun and rain. Mothers raise their kittens for up to two years, teaching them to hunt and survive on their own.
*Every year, $25 from the registration fees from every Florida panther license plate goes to the Florida Panther Research and Management