Wildlife officials chart panther population
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Wildlife officials plan to document where Florida panthers are roaming to help with the animal's population recovery.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to also develop the best practices to help people and panthers coexist. The efforts described in a meeting in Tampa on Wednesday would help a potential northward expansion of the range of breeding for this endangered species.
Panthers already roam several federally managed public lands, but a key area for potential expansion in central Florida is privately owned.
Wildlife officials also ask the public to upload photos of panthers and their tracks, then link them to a specific location on an online geographic database.
The panther is Florida's official state animal.