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Animal Rights Groups Growl At Panther Regulators

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undergoing a periodic review of the Florida Panther and some activists are concerned the iconic predator will lose it's "endangered" status.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commisison
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Animal rights and environmental groups are urging members to flood the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with pleas not to alter the Florida Panther’s “endangered” status.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undergoing a periodic review of the Florida Panther and some activists are concerned the iconic predator will lose it's "endangered" status.
Credit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commisison
/
The Florida Channel
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is undergoing a periodic review of the Florida Panther and some activists are concerned the iconic predator will lose it's "endangered" status.

Federal regulators are undergoing a periodic review of the iconic predator and August 14 th is the last day for public comment.

The Humane Society’s Laura Bevan says some developers believe the Florida Panther no longer exists because of cross-breeding with Texas cougars.

“We want the Florida Panther recognized by that federal agency and we want the protections to be maintained and even increased.”

Official estimates put the Florida Panther population at 230, mostly in Southwest Florida, where development pressure is high.

But activists say deaths by car strikes are outpacing the birth rate.

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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.