The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released encouraging estimates about the number of panthers living south of the Caloosahatchee River.
The updated population estimate is 120 to 230 Florida panthers, according to a February 2017 report.
The previous Florida panther population estimate was 100 to 180 adult and subadult panthers in 2014. These population estimates do not include kittens, which are still dependent on their mothers.
The panther population report is available on FloridaPantherNet.org.
FWC said scientists are evaluating several methods to better estimate the panther population size, including the use of cameras and panther road mortality data.
“This latest Florida panther population estimate is good news, an indication that conservation efforts are on track in helping recover this endangered animal,” said Kipp Frohlich, FWC’s Deputy Director for the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation in a news release. “In the 1970s and 1980s, it was estimated only 20 to 30 panthers remained in Florida.”