The Huffington Post reported on the news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has footage of an uncollared endangered Florida panther moving three kittens to a den in Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Kevin Godsea, FWS’s project leader of the SW Florida Gulf Coast Refuges, told HuffPost that the camera photographed the panther moving three different kittens over the course of 12 hours. Then, two months later, another camera in the area caught the group again, with all three youngsters following closely behind their mother.
“We don’t get to see that that often,” Godsea said, “and it’s the first time it’s ever been captured on film.”
Sixty-one cameras have been set up at the refuge to monitor panthers, as well as other wildlife species.
The work is crucial. Twenty-six of the panthers have died so far in 2012, making it one of the most deadly years on record according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Sixteen of those deaths, including this adorable kitty, were caused by collisions with vehicles as development further encroaches into panther habitats.
According to the FWC’s Wildlife 2060 report, the single remaining population of panthers could lose 300,000 acres of roaming land by 2060, not helped by the fact that Gov. Rick Scott is bringing back a construction plan to build a highway corridor linking Orlando and Immokalee and scaling back on growth management laws that help wildlife.