As the last big cat surviving in the eastern United States, and the state animal of Florida, the panther is an icon of Florida’s last wild places. Through impactful storytelling in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and a network of partners, Path of the Panther works to inspire the conservation of the land the Florida panther needs to survive — the Florida Wildlife Corridor — which serves both humans and wildlife.
What We’re Doing
Camera Trap Network
We are managing a network of custom photo and video camera trap systems across public and private land to reveal the Path of the Panther.
Documentary Films & Print
We are creating strategic communications to inspire conservation outcomes with partners including National Geographic, The Nature Conservancy and Grizzly Creek Films.
The Florida panther is a federally endangered species. It is the last big cat surviving in the eastern United States and the state animal of Florida. The panther once roamed the entire southeastern United States but now occupies less than 5% of its historic range due to habitat loss, prey declines, and attempts to eradicate panthers in the early 1900s.
The survival of the Florida panther depends on the protection of a network of statewide public and private lands, known as the Florida Wildlife Corridor. This network of land gives the panther hope for rebounding its population and recovering some of its historic range.
As the widest ranging Florida land animal, with a home range of 200 square miles, the Florida Panther is an umbrella species, which means protecting territory for panthers also protects habitat for dozens of other species that live in the panther’s domain.
AT A CROSSROADS
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of panther mortality. Nearly 30 individuals are killed per year. Wildlife underpasses can provide Florida panthers and other species safe crossings.
A RARE SIGHT
The Florida panther population has rebounded from as few as 30 adults to nearly 200 today. But to recover from its Endangered Species status, the panther must establish additional breeding populations. The habitat still exists. But can we protect it and keep it connected?
STOP THE SPRAWL
Florida’s population grows by 1,000 people per day. If we don’t protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor, suburban sprawl is projected to consume five million acres of wildlife habitat by 2070.
A NEW HOPE
In November 2016, a female Florida panther was documented north of the Caloosahatchee River for the first time since 1973, giving hope for the long-term recovery of the species and the future of wild Florida.
IT’S UP TO US
Panthers are excellent ambassadors for protecting the statewide network of public and private lands that makeup the Florida Wildlife Corridor. And if we don’t protect the Corridor, panthers will not have access to enough of their historic habitat to recover to sustainable numbers.