2nd Prize Singles, Nature
06 April 2020
A female Florida panther creeps through a fence between Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and an adjacent cattle ranch, in Naples, Florida, USA, 6 April. The Florida panther is a subspecies of Puma concolor (also known as mountain lion, cougar, or puma). Listed as an endangered species in 1967, Florida panthers are gradually making a comeback, growing from fewer than 20 panthers in the 1970s, to more than 200 today. Ranches are vital to panthers, because few public lands are big enough to support even one adult male, which may require up to 500 square kilometers of territory in which to roam and hunt. The panthers are caught in a race between the need for territory, and increasing land development as a result of Florida’s rapidly growing population, with some 400 square kilometers of their habitat being lost each year.