|Published:||Dec 15, 2012 11:12 PM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 15, 2012 11:12 PM EST|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - State wildlife officials say vehicle strikes are responsible for most of the 25 Florida panther deaths this year.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say 17 panthers were killed by vehicles. In 2011, nine of 24 panther deaths were attributed to vehicle strikes.
The Florida panther once roamed across the Southeast. Now just 100 to 160 remain. They're found only in South Florida.
Environmentalists blame the panther deaths on shrinking habitat.
The Naples-based Conservancy of Southwest Florida says the death toll is likely to increase unless steps are taken to keep development in check.
The Center for Biological Diversity says the federal government has twice rejected its proposals to establish a second panther population in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia-Florida border.
- Cape Police find child living in deplorable conditions
- Deputies confiscate handgun from students at Alva Middle
- Lee County judge rules in favor of son in life or death case
- Ford logo creates close call for FGCU men's basketball team
- FGCU WINS!
- Cape PD: Man buys iPad with stolen credit card
- Teens arrested with gun at school were searched Wednesday
- Principal charged with sexually assaulting staffer
- Sailboat off Marco Island tries to ride out Thursday's storm
- Cape Coral Police shoot 'aggressive' dog on SW 6th Ave.