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Feds Looking At Florida Panther's Endangered Status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undertaking a periodic review of the Florida Panther's endangered status. Some activists worry the new Trump Administration will push for delisting.
Nature Conservancy of Southwest Florida
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The federal government is reviewing the status of the endangered Florida Panther, prompting some activists to worry the iconic species will lose protection.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undertaking a periodic review of the Florida Panther's endangered status. Some activists worry the new Trump Administration will push for delisting.
Credit Nature Conservancy of Southwest Florida
/
The Florida Channel
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undertaking a periodic review of the Florida Panther's endangered status. Some activists worry the new Trump Administration will push for delisting.

But the Florida Wildlife Federation says it’s too early to sound the alarm.

Veteran field representative Nancy Payton says she has faith in the federal biologist performing the study.

“There are people that are promoting de-listing the panther. I think in some cases they want to put the panther back into the 1950s and classify it as a varmit. That is not going to happen.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviews the status of endangered and threatened species every five years. Some biologists argue there is no Florida panther due to cross-breeding with Texas cougars. That helped boost the official Florida Panther population from between 20 and 30 to the current 200.

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Jim Ash is a reporter at WFSU-FM. A Miami native, he is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.