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Save the Florida Panther Day – March 18, 2023

Save the Florida Panther Day is celebrated every third Saturday of March and this year it will be observed on March 18. In this article, you will learn more about the holiday and how to best observe it. Did you know that it has been 106 years since the Panthera classification was introduced? The Day is observed every year as a step toward saving panthers from going extinct and protecting their natural habitat. This is particularly observed in Florida, as the panther is the State’s animal. People observe this day by joining hands with the volunteers and spreading the word about the protection of panthers.

History of Save the Florida Panther Day

It was in the year 1816 when Lorenz Oken put all the spotted big cats in the genus Panthera. In 1916, Reginald Pocock made sub-classifications of the genus and introduced lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars based on their characteristic features.

The biggest cause behind panthers’ becoming endangered is the loss of their natural habitat. With the population growing and with ever-expanding industries clearing up forests, many panthers were left without a home. Hunting and poaching also are major threats to the lives of panthers. It is estimated that about 35 panthers were killed in the year 2016. About 15 panthers were killed on the highway near Alligator Alley previously. One step taken by the Florida Department of Transportation (F.D.O.T.) is going to bring a big change in the lives and welfare of panthers. The F.D.O.T. is going to fence the area from the Naples tollbooth to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, which is about nine miles. In 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (F.W.C.) recorded the finding of a female panther near the Caloosahatchee River and also noted that the panther population had gone up from 180 to 230. This was a piece of extremely positive news; it showed that panther conservation efforts were yielding results.

On Save the Florida Panther Day, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge encourages citizens to be a part of this effort of saving panthers. They organize guided tours, camps, and safaris. People can also help the volunteers of the Panther Citizens Assistance Taskforce (P.C.A.T.) and play their part in the ongoing campaign. People who don’t reside in Florida can also be a part of this journey by spreading awareness of the importance of saving panthers and their habitat.

Save the Florida Panther Day timeline

1816
The Big Cats are Classified

The Panthera genus is introduced by Lorenz Oken as a general term for all big cat wildlife.

1999
The Conservation Commission is Incepted

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is founded by the government of Florida.

2015
The Panter Population Increases

The panther population increases from 180 to 230, near the Caloosahatchee River.

2016
The Florida Panther Day is Established

Save the Florida Panther Day is created to encourage citizens to join hands and help the cause of protecting the lives and habitat of panthers.

Save the Florida Panther Day FAQs

How many panthers are left?

As of 2020, records show that there are about 200 Florida panthers in the wild.

What would happen if the Florida panther went extinct?

The Florida panther is said to have a role in recycling the nutrients in the ecosystem. If they go extinct, it might be a huge threat to the entire cougar population.

Are panthers flexible?

Yes, like most big cats, they are extremely flexible creatures.

How to Observe Save the Florida Panther Day

  1. Join in efforts to raise awareness

    This is one of the best and easiest ways to observe Save the Florida Panther Day. Join hands with volunteers of P.C.A.T. and help them spread the word about panther life conservation.

  2. Share it on social media

    Let everyone know the importance of this day. Take pictures of you participating in rallies or doing your part with the volunteers for the welfare of panthers, and post them on your social media page.

  3. Go for safaris

    The Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge organizes guided tours and safaris that take you through the swamp and natural habitat of the panthers. Have a look at these magnificent creatures from close quarters, and take a peep into their lives.

5 Intriguing Facts About Florida Panthers

  1. They can swim

    Panthers are known to be fantastic swimmers.

  2. They have inspired sports

    Many teams in sports like ice hockey, baseball, and basketball have the name panther.

  3. The Florida panther’s species

    The Florida panther is a subspecies of the mountain lion and is not regarded as a panther by some.

  4. They are high jumpers

    Florida Panthers can leap up to four meters (15 ft.).

  5. They have alternate names

    The Florida Panthers are also known as Costa Rican Puma, Florida Cougar, and Florida Puma.

Why Save the Florida Panther Day is Important

  1. It's all about conservation

    The Florida panther is an endangered species. This is our chance to do our part for their welfare.

  2. We learn more about these animals

    The tours and safaris arranged on this day allow you to observe and understand how panthers live in their habitat. It's an opportunity that should not be missed!

  3. We appreciate the efforts taken so far

    This day gives us a chance to learn and understand the threats that loom around the panthers. It makes us appreciate the efforts and hard work of the people involved in the protection of these majestic cats

Save the Florida Panther Day dates

YearDateDay
2022March 19Saturday
2023March 18Saturday
2024March 16Saturday
2025March 15Saturday
2026March 21Saturday

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