Saving Panthers

Originally published at


[audio:npr/Everglades_ Panther_Genetics.mp3]

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National Park Service biologist Sunny Bass tracks signals from a radio collar on one of the panthers.

One of the world’s largest wetlands, the Florida Everglades, is threatened by development. It provides South Florida’s water supply, and it’s also a refuge for numerous species of plants and animals. As part of an effort to restore the everglades, biologists have introduced mountain lions from Texas to a threatened population of Florida panthers, the apex predator in the Everglades terrestrial ecosystem. Biologists say the panthers’ health is a barometer of overall environmental health. Scientists say the news so far is encouraging.

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