Skip to main content

Report Panther Sightings to FWC

Help with panther research by reporting sightings to the FWC

By Carli Segelson



With cooler temperatures throughout the Sunshine State, more people are likely to head to the woods to enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking the public to assist with Florida panther research and management by reporting sightings of the large feline to the agency's panther sightings webpage.



The FWC is interested in photos of panthers or their tracks. Anyone lucky enough to capture this large cat on camera is encouraged to submit the picture and sighting location to MyFWC.com/PantherSightings.



“We really value citizen science here at the FWC. People taking pictures of panthers and submitting them to our webpage, helps us to better understand panther range,” said Kipp Frohlich, Deputy Director of the FWC's Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “These sightings also help us with our efforts to better manage human-panther interactions through landowner assistance, outreach and education.”

Biologists have been pleased with the number of reports received through the panther sightings webpage over the last 4.5 years. Since the project began, the FWC has received more than 3,700 reports, of which biologists were able to verify 922 based on photos of the animal or its footprints. Most of the reports came from southwest Florida, however, there were some panthers documented on the east coast near Vero Beach and in central Florida near Orlando.

“We are pleased that so many people are taking the time to share their panther sightings with us. These citizen scientists are providing more ‘eyes in the woods,' thereby helping FWC monitor the whereabouts of Florida's state animal,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “This is a great way for both Florida residents and visitors to help with panther conservation and management. We encourage more folks to upload their trail camera pictures to our webpage because this information is extremely valuable to us,” said Land.

Biologists are especially interested in pictures of panthers north of the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee to Ft. Myers. There are few sightings or photos of panthers in this part of the state. Currently, the only known breeding population of Florida panthers is south of the river in southwest Florida.

The panther sightings webpage includes information about the animals, including how to identify them, what to do or not do when you see one, and a Google map making it easy to pinpoint the sighting location.

Additional information about Florida panthers, including tips on how to safely coexist with them and the “E-Z Guide to Identify Panther Tracks,” can be found at FloridaPantherNet.org.

Florida residents can also help support panther conservation efforts by purchasing a "Protect the Panther" license plate at BuyaPlate.com. Fees from license plate sales are the primary funding source for the FWC's research and management of Florida panthers.

To sign up for email updates, including mortality and depredation information, visit MyFWC.com and click on “Sign up for FWC news updates.”

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Refurbished 1987 Alumacraft Jon Boat | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

New Berkley Finisher: The All-Around Live Sonar Lure

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Power Switch: Powerhouse Lure Designed for Foward-Facing Sonar

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

New Berkley Krej: A Reversed Lip Jerkbait?

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Install New Fuel Tanks in an Old Boat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Videos

Testing Out the Latest from Old Town in the Marquesas

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Powder Coat: Benefits of Powder Coating Metal Fuel Tanks

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Father & Son Customize a 20' Center Console | One Man's Dreamboat

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Gear

Best Features of the Shallow Sport X3

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Learn

How to Fix an Outboard Motor that was Submerged in Saltwater

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

Analyzing a Hurricane Damaged Boat for Restoration

The crew at Marine Customs Unlimited get started on the finishing touches for the Albury Brothers build with a custom da...
Store

How to Design & Build a Custom Dash Panel for a Boat

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now