South Florida Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region

 

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Service Seeking New Information on Florida Panthers


Contact: Ken Warren, (772) 469-4323

June 30, 2017

Florida panther

Florida panther
(Photo credit: FWC)

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The public has an opportunity to provide new information on Florida panther recovery and conservation during the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) current five-year review of the status of Florida panthers.

“We want new information from all sources to assist us and our partners in better targeting and prioritizing our conservation efforts for this species,” said Larry Williams, the Service’s state supervisor for Ecological Services.

To ensure species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act continue to have the appropriate level of protection, the Service conducts periodic assessments of their status about once every five years.

The Service is accepting public input for consideration in this review of Florida panthers until August 29, 2017. Input should be sent to David Shindle by one of the following methods:

  • Regular mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; South Florida Ecological Services Field Office; 12085 State Road 29 South; Immokalee, FL 34142
  • Email: david_shindle@fws.gov
  • Fax: 772–562–4288

A five-year review utilizes the best available scientific and commercial data on a species to determine whether its status has changed since the time of its listing or its last status review.

Upon completing a five-year review, the Service can make four possible recommendations:

  • Reclassify the species from threatened to endangered;
  • Reclassify the species from endangered to threatened;
  • Remove the species from the list; or
  • Maintain the species’ current classification.

A five-year review begins with gathering the best available scientific and commercial data regarding the species. To facilitate this process, the Service published a notice in the Federal Register today announcing Florida panthers are under review and requesting any relevant information that should be considered, particularly any information that has become available since the last five-year review on Florida panthers was published in 2009.

The information most needed to conduct these reviews includes:

  • Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;
  • Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability;
  • Conservation measures that have benefited the species;
  • Threat status and trends; and
  • Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to changes in taxonomy or nomenclature and identification of erroneous information contained in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

“The Florida panther population has made significant strides towards recovery since it first received federal protection in 1967. And for the first time since 1973, we have documented females and kittens north of the Caloosahatchee River, a natural expansion of their breeding range,” said Williams. “This five-year review will help ensure that our recovery efforts are guided by the best available science and help make sure the panther population continues to receive the appropriate level of protection.”

The published Federal Register notice covering this five-year review can be found at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-06-30/pdf/2017-13758.pdf.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at https://facebook.com/usfwssoutheast, follow our tweets at https://twitter.com/usfwssoutheast, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast.

 

Last updated: May 3, 2019