Florida Panther

scandia(7)April 15, 2006

I just came back from spending a few days in Fort Lauderdale.

I visited many places while there, Butterfly World, The beach of course, The Tutankhamun Exhibit, The most interesting was Flamingo Gardens. Which is a Wild Animal Rescue and 60 acres of rainforest preserve/exotic gardens.

They had a Florida Panther which is almost extinct. Only 50 known to be in existance. Hummm I thought we (that would be us humans) were past making animals extinct. SAD!!!!

In the wild (not in a preserve) I saw ONE butterfly, ONE Florida Jay, One Mocking bird. lots of Pigeions and lots of Black Birds, Sea Gulls. Oh and ONE squirrel. Had to pay money to see wildlife.

On my way home I took the Everglades Pkwy. Just to see if I could see any wildlife in the WILD..Pitiful..I did see a black hawk not sure what kind of hawk it was, lots of Egrets, and Alligators.

What is up in Florida???!!!!! SHAME..

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development on a grande scale. There needs to be "swap offs" i.e a developer has to buy and preserve forever an acre for every acre they build on. Florida is a fragile state. Look up the Schaus swallowtail. Only a few hundred in existence. At one point down to 70-80 individuals. That said, the possibility for change is there. The everglades are under a massive restoration project. Many houses have solar panels for hot water to reduce energy demand. More and more people are doing backyard habitats.

The world can be changed, 1 yard at a time.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 8:35AM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

There's been a lot on the news lately about a huge problem developing with pythons that have been released from captivity into the Everglades. They are doing, apparently, a job on the alligators and I would imagine that panther kits would be prime pickings for them.

What a shame.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 8:52AM
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I hope they get VERY busy...Maybe all the flying wildlife was blown away by the Hurricanes..

I know they are VERY busy trying to save the alligators..They must have been so busy saving the alligator that they forgot about the mammals. hummmmmmmm

Lovely plant life though. Not sure how much of the giant variety of palms were native plants.

Flamingo Gardens had one palm that is said to have been around when the dinosaurs were alive. And, the original grapefruit trees...2000 years old.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 8:53AM
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There's about 80-90 Florida panthers right now and that's has many as s. FLorida can hold because they need a lot of land. They are kind of trapped in s. FLorida because of all the development. One proposal to fix this problem this year by the Fish and Wildlife service was to relocate panthers to Okefenokee Swamp in GA and also some national forest in Arkansas. Arkansas has already said "no thanks" apparently. "FLorida" panthers once roamed the entire s.e. United States.
The problem with Florida is it adds like 1,000 new residents every day and so development is rampant. People like to retire there. 99% of them want lawns and have no knowledge about the plants and animals.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 11:45AM
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Well the Florida Panther is a LARGE predator. maybe the State of Florida could establish a preserve for them. They had Florida Bobcats too. I cannot remember if they are rare too. I have some beautiful pictures. I am not inclined to post them though since this forum does not copyright protect members pictures.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 7:02AM
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The state of Florida has established preserves and they are making a comeback. There are many sites that you can research that give areas that have been designated as preserves. Here is just one website you may be interested in.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 11:01PM
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i doubt your bobcat in a cage photos are worthy of copywright protection but you would know better since a few days in fort lauderdale has made you an expert on fla wildlife.i can tell you from first hand experience that broward county took a direct hit from wilma.much of this neighborhoods wildlife has been absent.my butterfly garden went from getting 40 butterflies a day to three or four.3 of the 4 resident woodpeckers havent been seen since and even a common squirrel is a rare sight lately.if you want to come to florida to see wildlife i dont recommend zipping across a highway.everglades national park is great this time of year to see birds and if you want to see mammals i recommend Big Cypress,Fakahatchee,Corkscrew swamp,J.W. Corbett wma,and C.R.E.W marsh trails are all a good place to start.you will need to get out of your car as the wildlife will not come to you. if you are really interested in experiencing the everglades i would be more than happy to help you plan your trip.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 8:55PM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

THis discussion reminds me of the side trip we took this past winter while in Fla. Went to Homosassa Springs. It was....well, at least it was a patch of ground not yet paved over. I realize that for Joe City Man and his kids, a day at a place like this is really seeing something, but I had a hard time being happy about it. I gfuess it would compare to Central Park, a static piece of green surrounded by the cancer of the city. Yes, they are trying to preserve a tiny remnant of the ecosystem but it is too late for the little bits surrounded by development. THe animals are all caged, the behaviors unnatural, exotics everywhere. I thought at least that the manatees were free to come and go and follow the springs during their seasonal treks into warmer water, but even that is a farce. There are gates across the inlet and none are allowed to leave. In fact, I think many of them were old or injured or sick anyway and kept for their "own good".
Guess I am becoming a crusted-up old cynic in the end, but some days I just feel like there is no point.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 10:48PM
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NO I do not presume to be an expert. I merely wanted to share my observations. I know when I was younger I would have thought an area like Fort Lauderdale was Kewl. I am sure much of the flying wildlife has been effected by the hurricanes..Which is not something anyone can control. With that in mind, I feel privledged to have been able to see a Mocking Bird and a Florida Jay. Birds and other wildlife have a sixth sense about danger. Possibly the birds/butterflies sense danger and have left to seek safer places.

I think I was disappointed more then anything..I had been reading about Florida's exotic birds and was anticipating seeing them. My Mother use to say, "If you have strong expectations you will eventually be disappointed" Perhaps I should have went to Florida with an open mind instead of having great expectations. Other then my wildlife let down, It is an interesting place to visit.

I went to see my Son who is attending Embry Riddle. He is young and not as aware of wild life as I wish he would be. He was trying to talk me into moving there. I like living in the middle of Nowhere where I can see wildlife from my porch. So I would not consider it. But he is happy.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 7:46AM
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Florida still has plenty of wildlife but you don't usually see it driving down a parkway. The panthers, which are the same as mountain lions, are making a comeback as well as bears. When I was a kid you seldom heard of a bear sighting in Florida...........now I hear of them quiet often. Bobcats, foxes racoons, possums, otters, etc are plentiful. You just have to know where to find them. They are after all wild animals. Sea turtles can be seen around June and July coming to shore to lay their eggs and it is nothing to see Dolphin and Manatees if you are out in a boat.

My parents live outside a town called Clewiston, on the southern side of Lake Okeechobee, and they have gators, bobcats, racoons, otters, foxes, gopher tortoises, and a wide variety of bird species which visit their property. I even have racoons, possums, about 5 different type lizards (including Knight Anoles and Iguanas), geckos, a gopher tortoise, numerous types of birds including a red tail hawk and parrots, numerous species of butterflys and I live in town. I have a half acre lot as does everyone on my street so we're not crammed up like some towns but it is still in town.

Unfortunately development is crowding our wildlife, but thanks to individuals making their property small refuges and conservation groups do their part we do still have quite a lot of wildlife here.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 2:32PM
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On my last trip to south Florida (Miami, Everglades, Keys) in 2004 I saw 95 species of birds in less than a week of actually birding (intensively looking for birds). Granted, that was before last years major hurricane season, but hurricanes have effected the region for 1000's of years. You simply have to know where to look and where to go. A good portion of Florida is developed or being developed, but there are many wild places still left that attract native wildlife. Hundreds if not thousands of birders flock to Florida each spring to see many migratory birds as Florida is often their first stop as they cross the Gulf of Mexico.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 6:45PM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

faerie gardener....gosh that puts it into perspective for me when you say that you are on a half acre but not "crammed up like some towns" . I think of what it would be like for me to make a move from where I am now to a half-acre existence....not sure I could even manage to expand my lungs to full capacity on a half-acre after being spoiled like I have been for so long. But I have seen the worst it can be too, with the next house only about 8 feet away from your window and not so much as a blade of grass anywhere.
That's toxic living.
But still, many people have no choice and yet still manage to get greenspace in somehwere...the tops of buildings, window planters, decks.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 12:41PM
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Pictures of Florida Panther and Florida Bob Cat
...Beautiful Animals.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 10:58AM
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