by Taetske | 2:51 pm
(Last Updated On: June 18, 2019)

 

 

The Florida panther is losing its habitat

 

Why I love nature

I am a “nature” person and I was blessed to spend my childhood in a very beautiful area in Holland. There were lovely big forests in the area where my parents and I would go mushroom hunting all the while observing all the exciting things you can discover in nature.

My Father constructed a super tree house for me and I wondered at all I saw. I would often go on an expedition with our cat and dog in the garden. These were lovely times. Especially because my Father was interested in everything related to nature as well. My Mother preferred museums and churches so the holidays would always be a combination of the hobbies both of my parents had and I would love it.

I have always loved animals but my biggest love has been for cats. All of the cat family, from the smallest to big. They have fascinated me with their grace, beauty, elegance, and sometimes their funny antics. Since 1981 I live on my old organic farm and have the space to give cats a happy home.

 

Small black panther (cat)

Small Black Panther (Cat)

 

My concern about the environment

I am also concerned about what is happening in our world and when I come across something which catches my attention, I will probably write a post about it. Having 2 websites since January of 2017, my world view has changed considerably. I have become aware that we, humans, do not take good care of our environment. That we, with our actions (or inaction), have destroyed many species of fauna and flora.

They are forever lost and we cannot undo what has been done. That means that future generations will only know these examples of nature from books, films, and the internet. It could very well be that they will accuse us of having been careless, cruel and destructive of something all humans have a right to enjoy.

 

My sources of information

I subscribe to quite a few newsletters be it from many doctors, spiritual related organizations and protective organizations that send me news on environmental issues. I am happy to receive them as it inspires me to write a post. One of these newsletters came my way recently and caught my attention. Sierra Club is warning that the Florida panther is in danger. Definitely, something to write about and I hope it will catch your attention. I live in the south of Spain but you, my reader might live in the U.S.

 

Puma

Puma

 

The beautiful panther and its history

When I think of the panther, I envision the beautiful black panther. Most black panthers are either a black leopard or a black jaguar but the term panther includes other species besides the leopard or jaguar.  The Florida panther is the only exception and it is actually a subspecies of Cougar. All these beautiful creatures belong to the Big Cat family. You will find them in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

It seems that the word panther has not being used much by the scientific community since the 1960s. Most of the big cats are listed under the genus as panthers and there are 12 living species of panthers as of 2015. Cougars have different names like Puma and Mountain Lion and are not listed as panthers. This makes it all a bit confusing.

You probably remember the lovely story written by Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book. Bagheera, the black panther plays an important part in this story.

 

 

The Florida panther is in danger

There are only 120 Florida panthers living in the U.S. It is one of the most endangered animals in the United States. Why is the panther in danger? There are plans for a 45.000-acre mega housing development which threatens to take their habitat away. It is always us, the human race, wanting to expand and, without any respect or concern for other species, grabbing their habitat.

I also read that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would soon allow for the destruction of 20.000 acres of the Panther’s homeland. When you think this is the only place worldwide where this panther can breed and have its babies, one wonders why, again men, have to destroy instead of protect. Scientists are warning that if this mega building plan is approved it would mean the extinction of Florida’s official state animal. Do you want that to happen?

 

 

In Spain, we have the Iberian Lynx which is also on the endangered species list. These past years it has been made possible to increase the number in special breeding programs and when old enough the animals were set free with a GPS collar.

You might argue that this same type of program is used to save the Florida panther. It only will be effective if we can maintain its habitat and even increase it. But this will not happen until we all make the commitment to protect their home and hunting grounds.

 

Lynx drinking water

Lynx drinking water

 

Cars are panthers worse enemy

If the large housing development goes forward, it will mean a huge increase in traffic. From the estimated 174.000 new residents one can add some 180.000 more vehicles on the road. Currently, car collisions are the number one reason for panther deaths and you can imagine, with such a growth in traffic, Florida panther deaths will only increase. There are associations like the Florida Panther Protection Program who try to protect this beautiful animal from extinction. The question is which side will win?

 

 

This beautiful big cat

Let us have a closer look at this magnificent animal. It is a gorgeous big cat which can weigh up to 160 lbs (73 kg), which is what I weigh (that means I have to lose a couple of kgs). The Florida panther lives mainly in the south in pine-lands, the hardwood hammocks, and swamp forests. In the 1970s there were only an estimated 20 animals left but luckily its numbers rose to approx. 230 by 2017. In 1983 it was chosen as Florida’s state animal.

When the cubs are born, they are spotted but growing up, these spots will fade away. These animals cannot roar but have the ability to make multiple sounds like whistles, chirps, growls, hisses, and purrs.  Just like my little black panther, Jasmin, who sits on the windowsill of my workroom. After waiting to be let in for breakfast, she tells me long stories about her hunting spree during the night.

 

Alligator

Alligator

 

No more legal hunting

This panther has been protected from legal hunting since 1958 and in 1967 it was listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1973 the panther was put on the state’s endangered species list. Now, someone wants to take its habitat away. These animals are large carnivores and they have a varied diet.

Hares, mice, and waterfowl are on the menu. They might also eat storks, some white-tailed deer, and even American alligators. That surprised me a lot, what a brave cat. What will happen when you take away their hunting grounds? I found out it also has some naughty hunting habits as it can present a danger to cattle, horses, and even dogs and cats.

Dogs and cats? oh no, that is awful you might say. Let’s face it, if we steal its habitat and leave too little hunting grounds then, of course, it will find different food sources which might include our dear dog or cat. It is our fault so we should not blame the panther, who only hunts to be able to survive and feed its offspring.

When we interfere with nature it has unforeseen consequences. A good example is Yellowstone Park. When the wolf was banned it caused a complete imbalance in ecology of the region, affecting the whole ecosystem. Luckily, in this case, the wolf has been introduced again and balance was restored.

 

Swamp Area

Swamp Area

 

Conclusion

I sincerely hope that this mega building project will not happen. If you are concerned about the disappearance of the Florida panther, please speak up, go and protest to the local authorities.

We do not have a right to destroy all fauna and flora. We have an obligation to take care of our environment. Future generations also want to enjoy living on this beautiful planet. Please help so this will be possible.

 

Source: Wikipedia and Sierra Club.org

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

The human race is guilty of the extinction of many more species. It is very sad but actually a must to be informed about what is happening in our world. You might care to read the following post.

Human Caused Extinction

Comments

MissusB

Like you, I also feel bad everytime I hear news about endangered species. It feels like the world is gradually taking away all its blessings and we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We, humans being the most intelligent of all creatures are given the task to pasteur over the lands, take care of other beings but what most people do is the opposite.

Can’t these problems be solved by actually making a plan to save endangered species? I believe that any part of the ecosystem should be given a priority. I understand that there are other problems in the society but the continuance of life is more important. The Government assigned people for each sector, for each problem and issue, so why steal their habitat if they know it’s going to give more harm? 

I admire you for this eye opening article. Even though I’m on a different side of the world, i sincerely hope that people will stand up against this project. My prayers are with you. 

Jun 17.2019 | 03:41 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Maureen,

    It is sad indeed that all these happening, animal species disappearing from our planet is mainly our fault. The human race is very destructive and greedy and I wonder what future generations will say looking back in history.

    The plan to build new houses is probably necessary and it keeps the industry booming. To take away part of the habitat of an endangered species like in this case the Florida panther is thoughtless and stupid. I am sure there are other ways to solve this problem but often the easiest way is chosen. Having 2 websites and writing posts have opened my eyes to a lot of things I was not aware of. My world view has changed considerably.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 18.2019 | 09:49 am

Xaric

Hey Taetske, 

I am a cat person as well. There’s just something about cats right? Maybe it’s that they are independent and don’t need anyone to survive.

Back to your article and your concerns, I truly believe that the only way for nature to restore itself is for human beings to disappear for a couple of thousands of years.

Your article actually reminds me of a very interesting animated video I had watched a few days back. It’s called “MAN” by Steve Cutts and you can find it on YouTube.

My best to you,

Xaric

Jun 17.2019 | 03:47 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Xaric,

    Mother Earth has her ways of showing her displeasure at our senseless and destructive actions. The video MAN needs no extra explanation. I have used it for one of my posts. I was very happy when he became a doormat.

    There really would be no problem if we disappear. Nature will take over, slowly but surely and in quite a short time future visitors will only find the remnants of our buildings. 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 18.2019 | 09:56 am

Paula

I love your topic. It’s interesting you chose an endangered species in the US since you are in Spain. I think a lot of people, especially me, didn’t know about the Florida panther. The topic is great but could almost be its own website. You could have one website on natural products and one to help endangered species. Hope this helps. Great job. Keep going!

Jun 17.2019 | 04:01 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Paula,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I started on my, having a website, adventure 2 and a half year ago. I immediately got a second one, not something I recommend but at that time I had no clue, as I realized all my hobbies/interest would not fit. To be honest all of it does not fit either on 2 sites. That is the reason I have categories. I do try to keep all things related to Mother Earth on her site and on Healthyantiagingalternatives more health and food things. It sometimes happens both sites overlap. Oh well, you see I write about things which catch my attention and I just like to get the news out there. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 18.2019 | 10:05 am

Matthew

This is very interesting news for me as I love all animals and always follow all the nature programs on TV but I never knew that the black panther was either a black leopard or a black jaguar! That really is an eyeopener for me.

It’s awful to hear that they are planning to build this huge housing estate in Florida. The area where the Florida
panther lives so why isn’t there a petition up to stop this or even rehome those beautiful creatures?

Jun 17.2019 | 04:13 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Matthew,

    I know it is a bit confusing when the Florida panther actually is a Cougar but is called a panther. Then the black panthers are leopards or jaguars and the name black panther is not used anymore. Still, they all belong to the big beautiful cat family. 

    Time will tell who wins this battle. Often, as so much money is involved human interest will win. The bill with nasty consequences will be presented sooner or later.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 18.2019 | 10:15 am

Georgio

Greetings Taetske!
First of all, thank you so much for sharing this important topic with all of us, “The Florida Panther is in danger!”
Day after day, humans build new houses, new roads, and destroy more forest and animal habitats. And since the arrival of men to earth, animal species have only decreased with time!  And I believe that humans should take care and be responsible for their actions, and start protecting all animals because once they are extinct, they can never come back!
And Florida Panthers are decreasing in numbers every day, and we should all help these animals instead of hurting them!
I hope we can make things better as soon as possible!
Thank you again for this amazing article!
Keep up the amazing work!

Georgio

Jun 17.2019 | 04:18 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Georgio,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Whenever I come across stories like this I feel sad. Having 2 websites since 2 and a half year has been an eyeopener on what happens in our world. I have changed my world view quite a bit.

    When you look back in history it becomes so clear that we do not learn and continuously repeat the same mistakes, perhaps I should use the word crimes. No respect for our environment which is our habitat. No respect for creation as a whole. The human race has still a long way to go.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 18.2019 | 10:23 am

Sylvia Mann

Hi, Taetske,
I am very thankful for your detailed article on the endangered species and, especially, the Florida panther, which of now I had no idea that it exists.
I am, like you, a total cat lover, don’t get me wrong I love many animals, but cats are my favorites.
From the big cats I personally felt an attraction, since I was a child, toward the Tiger.
However, I too, read a lot about the loss of animal habitat due to human development as well ignorance and climate change.
Horst and I keep our “little” paradise as natural as we can, therefore we had quite the wildlife to experience over the years like possums, wild turkeys, rabbits, coyote and even a black bear.
Still, I have discovered though the diminishing of songbirds in our area for the last 3 years, which really concerns me deeply. At least, we have quite some wild bees humming around and I am not afraid of it to sit near them. The other day a bee was sitting on one of my fingers for some time and I “communicated” with it, but this is for another time to be revealed.
Being active and also protest against this planned development in Florida is important. Is there already a petition going on? I have to research for it.
Thanks, Taetske as always I do enjoy your articles.

Namaste
Sylvia

Jun 18.2019 | 08:32 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Sylvia,

    Thank you for your visit. It is always a pleasure to see you on my website.

    How exciting to have a black bear in the garden. Here, in the south of Spain it does not get that exciting as I can only boast about a fox, many years ago, and snakes, turtles, and hedgehogs. As my farm is organic and my neighbor on 3 sides with his avocados is also organic I have seen an increase in birds, insects, butterflies, and bees.

    I do hope the people in Florida wake up on time. Just imagine they would erase their own State animal, what a scandal that would be.

    I would feel very ashamed if future generations accuse us of this destruction. We are not the owners of the environment with all its life included. We are the keepers and protectors of this beautiful planet.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jun 19.2019 | 03:12 pm

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