Biology Faculty Articles

Title

Genetic Restoration of the Florida Panther

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-24-2010

Publication Title

Science

ISSN

0036-8075

Volume

329

Issue/No.

5999

First Page

1641

Last Page

1645

Abstract

The rediscovery of remnant Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) in southern Florida swamplands prompted a program to protect and stabilize the population. In 1995, conservation managers translocated eight female pumas (P. c stanleyana) from Texas to increase depleted genetic diversity, improve population numbers, and reverse indications of inbreeding depression. We have assessed the demographic population-genetic, and biomedical consequences of this restoration experiment and show that panther numbers increased threefold, genetic heterozygosity doubled, survival and fitness measures improved, and inbreeding correlates declined significantly. Although these results are encouraging, continued habitat loss, persistent inbreeding, infectious agents, and possible habitat saturation pose new dilemmas. This intensive management program illustrates the challenges of maintaining populations of large predators worldwide.

Comments

©2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Additional Comments

National Cancer Institute contract #: N01-CO-12400

ORCID ID

0000-0001-7353-8301

ResearcherID

N-1726-2015

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