New study reveals sign of rebound for Florida panthers
Florida panthers are now the No. 1 cause of death for white-tailed deer in Southwest Florida, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.
🦌 Why it matters: That's bad news the for deer, but great news for the health of the endangered panther population, indicating a rebound.
- White-tailed deer are a key prey species for the Florida panther, and also the most popular game species in the state. Hunting regulations have helped the population replenish.
Flashback: In the 1990s, few deer were killed by panthers. Deer were killed mostly by bobcats and hunters.
🐆 By the numbers: Of the 241 deer captured and fitted with GPS collars during the study, 96 were killed by Florida panthers.
- Only seven were killed by bobcats, and just one was harvested by hunters.
Between the lines: The study speaks to the difficulty in balancing hunting while keeping the white-tail deer population healthy enough to provide prey for panthers.
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