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Florida Panther Genetic Restoration Progress Report

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Information provided by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

January, February, March 1999

TX 101 -- TX 101 continues to utilize areas around the game pen on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation (BCSIR) but spent a larger percentage inside it this period. She crossed north of the L-28 interceptor canal in January but returned within a short period.

Panther #65F1-- Number 65F1 travels the length of Okaloacoochee (OK) Slough on a regular basis occasionally crossing to the north of CR833 (Keri rd.). On March 3rd he was captured for recollaring near the Gopher Ridge orange grove in Immokalee. He weighed a record breaking 158 pounds! His large size is possibly an affect of the genetic introgression but the abundance of deer and hogs in this area probably didn't hurt either.

Panther #66F1-- Panther #66F1 spent most of January on the west and northwest side of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge (FPNWR). On February 1st she was observed from the air but no kittens were spotted with her (this doesn't necessarily mean anything). Soon after, however, she began making some larger movements. She traveled through the Catherine Island area north of the refuge where she spent time on private land. She was with male panther #59 on two separate occasions in March on the 5th and the 17th. Opportunities have been rare when she has been on accessible public lands with favorable tracking conditions. But attempts will be made to verify presence of kittens whenever this occurs.

Panther #73F1-- Number 73's activities are centered around the game pen on the BCSIR but she also spends considerable amounts of time south and west of it as well.

Panther #74F2 - Number 74F2 began dispersing from the BCSIR in early February. He moved northwest crossing the L-28 interceptor and feeder canals. From here he quickly crossed north of CR 846 and traveled through OK Slough. Late in February he was south of SR 80 about 3 miles east Goodno. He returned south a bit and during the first week in March he crossed west of SR 29 and ended up around the Hickey Creek area south-west of Alva. During the second week in March he returned back across SR 29 between Felda and LaBelle where he stayed in areas north of the OK slough property. He made trips down to the OK slough area and by the end of the month he was back around the Hickey Creek area.

Panther #79F1 - After seeing sign of an uncollared male in association with #70F1 in Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) and making several attempts to capture him, we were finally successful on March 3rd. He was captured approximately 1 mile east of Burns Lake on the Preserve. A transponder revealed that he was from the first litter of TX101 born on the BCSIR in September 1995 approximately 25 miles away. Since his capture he has traveled from Burns Lake north to I-75 and east to the Jetport. He crossed south of Highway 41 near the end of March and was located south of Monroe Station.

TX 103 -- TX103 inhabited the Loop and Stairstep Units of BCNP. She was recollared on January 12th due to a malfunctioning radio collar and was in excellent condition.

TX 105 -- TX105 generally occupied the southwestern portion of Long Pine Key (LPK) in Everglades National Park (ENP), extending her movements to Mahogany Hammock. In addition, she inhabited areas to the north of LPK, spending time near the "Tomato Patch." She made frequent jaunts between these two areas. TX105 and male panther #16 were located in the same hammock on March 4th.

TX 106 -- TX106 spent most of this period on the south-west end of the FPNWR. In mid January she ventured south into Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve (FSSP) crossing south of Jane's Scenic Drive. She also occasionally ventured west off the refuge near the Ford Test Track. She was located with male panther #54 on 2 occasions; February 26 and March 1. The following flight, on March 3, she was with male panther #60.

TX 107 -- TX107 maintained her regular range in BCNP and towards the latter part of February began denning approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Popenhager's airstrip. The den was visited on March 11th and we found 3 kittens, 1 male and 2 females, each weighing about 4 pounds. Transponders were inserted as usual. TX107 continued to be located at the den site throughout March.

Panther #70F1-- Panther #70F1 inhabited the southwest portion of the Turner River Unit in the vicinity of Burns and Monument Lakes in BCNP. In March she made an excursion west across Turner River road. She was in the company of male panther #79F1 for several weeks in late February and March. In fact, she was present when #79F1 was first captured being close enough to hear on the radio receiver without the antenna attached.

Panther #71F1-- Panther #71F1 inhabited an area from Mud Lake in the Turner River unit northeast to I-75 near the L-28 interceptor canal in BCNP. She was located with male panther #79F1 on one flight in mid March.

TX 108 -- TX108 primarily utilizes areas to the south, west, and north of LPK in ENP. She was also located in hardwood hammocks on LPK, but made movements to the north near the "Tomato Patch" and south into the "Hole-In-The-Donut" area. Her movements extended west near Sisal pond. She was located with male panther #16 on 17 and 19 February and then in the same hammock on March 10th. Several attempts were made to capture the kittens(s) of TX108 in January but were unsuccessful. It is likely that the kittens have dispersed at this time.

Panther #61F1 -- Panther #61F1 spent all of January near the Homestead General Airport and in areas north of LPK within ENP. In February she primarily occupied the eastern portion of LPK while making jaunts further south and west into the "Hole-in-the-Donut" area. During the latter part of March, she began restricting her movements to Fairchild Hammock indicating she was denning. Now for a peak ahead. On April 6th the den was visited and single healthy 2-week old male kitten was found. This is an F2 kitten and attempts will be made to collar it when it reaches the appropriate age.