Panthers are wide ranging, secretive, and occur at low densities. They require large contiguous areas to meet their social, reproductive, and energetic needs. Panther habitat selection is related to prey availability (i.e., habitats that make prey vulnerable to stalking and capturing are selected). Dense understory vegetation provides some of the most important feeding, resting, and denning cover for panthers. Telemetry monitoring and ground tracking indicate that panthers select forested habitat types interspersed with other habitat types that are used in proportion to their availability. Limiting factors for the Florida panther are habitat availability, prey availability, and lack of human tolerance. Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation is the greatest threat to panther survival, while lack of human tolerance threatens panther recovery.
2008 Panther Recovery Plan