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Applied Research

Lindsey Wiggins
Extension Agent II, MS


    Cattle ranches provide important habitat for wildlife, including endangered and protected species; such as Florida panthers. Livestock loss due to the panther is an issue of growing concern to Florida ranchers as the panther population increases and expands its range.  To understand these impacts, the University of Florida conducted a study to quantify calf depredation during 2011-2013. This study was supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Defenders of Wildlife, and two commercial cattle operations in south Florida.  A total of 409 calves were ear tagged with radio transmitters on two ranches, over two years (~100/ranch/yr.). The tags allowed us to monitor calves daily. Each tag was equipped with a mortality mode that emitted a specific signal when a calf did not move for two hours or more, indicating the calf was dead. Mortalities were documented and evaluated for cause of death and all panther depredations were verified by the FWC.  On Ranch A, panthers killed an average of 5.3% of the study herd/year. On Ranch B, panthers killed an average of 0.5% of the study herd/year.  Additionally, black bears were responsible for a small percentage of calf mortalities on both ranches.  Calf loss from causes other than predation was also documented, including factors such as health issues and abandonment. Results of this study are being considered by multiple state and federal agencies in an effort to identify strategies addressing landowner concerns regarding livestock losses to the Florida panther.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: L. Wiggins, C. Jacobs, M. Main
  1. Wiggins, L. Extension Agent II, MS, HENDRY COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE, Florida, 33975
  2. Jacobs, C. UF Graduate Student, University of FL Dept. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Florida, 32611
  3. Main, M. Associate Dean of Extension Natural Resources, University of Florida/IFAS, Florida, 32611