03 January 2011 A Better Year for Big Cats? Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 6 comments | Share: Sadly, 2010 came to an end with little fanfare from Florida panthers – the past year was only marginally less deadly for the endangered cats than a record-breaking 2009. Of the 23 known deaths in 2010, 16 were a result of collisions with vehicles. This comes up short of the 17 killed while crossing roads in 2009 – a record for the state – by only one death. The same goes for overall panther deaths, which totaled 24 last year. For a species whose population is believed to be just over 100 animals, those numbers remain far too high. But the year wasn’t all bad for Florida cats: wildlife officials say this past year saw the births of 29 panther kittens! That’s great news when compared to only 11 births the previous year. Those numbers aren’t set in stone – unfortunately, not all the kittens will survive. However, those are only documented births – they don’t include those kittens born to uncollared panthers in the state. The actual number of Florida panther kittens may be much higher. Florida panthers are still critically endangered animals, and with stressors like increased development and climate change, populations continue to face great threats. They’ll need all the help they can get in the upcoming year. What can YOU do to make 2011 a better year for Florida panthers? Support safe passage for panthers. Defenders is working to increase the number of wildlife crossings throughout the state to ensure both wildlife and people can use our roads safely. Make one of your new year’s resolutions to slow down – reducing your speed will increase your response time to avoid colliding with a crossing animal. See Defenders’ Top 10 Tips to help you stay safe on the road. Give a Gift that Helps Save Panthers Panther adoptions are a great way to share your appreciation for this imperiled species while helping to support Defenders’ work on their behalf. Save Something Wild! Visit our Wildlife Adoption Center to adopt a panther or one of our 26 other imperiled animals today! 6 Responses to “A Better Year for Big Cats?” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?