What is Florida’s state animal?

Question: What is Florida’s state animal?

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The panther.

Florida’s state animal is the Florida panther. The Florida panther, a subspecies of puma, was officially adopted as the state animal in 1982, following a vote by students throughout the state.

The Florida panther is a significant and emblematic creature in Florida’s wildlife. However, it is also one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. The panther was abundant throughout the Southeastern United States, but habitat loss and hunting pressure greatly reduced its range and population size.

Today, the Florida panther is found only in a small area of Florida, mainly in the southern tip of the state, in the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. The current population is estimated to be between 120 and 230 adult and subadult panthers, indicating a slight recovery from the estimated population of 30 panthers in the 1980s.

Florida panthers are large, carnivorous cats, typically tawny in color, with males being larger than females. They play an essential role in the ecosystem by controlling the populations of prey species and maintaining the balance of the local environment.

Conservation efforts for the Florida panther are ongoing and include habitat preservation, roadkill reduction measures, and reintroduction programs. Despite the many challenges the panther faces, its status as Florida’s state animal has helped to increase awareness and support for its survival.