Gov. Rick Scott has proclaimed March 16 as "Save the Florida Panther Day."
In his March 6 proclamation, Scott said "It is proper and fitting for all all Floridians to pause and reflect on the plight of the Florida panther and the task of preserving this rare component of Florida’s diverse natural resources as a legacy to generations of Floridians yet to come.”
The Florida Panther is primarily found in South Florida, but once was found all over the southeastern U.S.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there are about 100 to 160 adult panthers in the wild, primarily in the area south of Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee.
FWC also said the population has increased in the last 20 years because of conservation efforts.
State panther specialty license plates also help fund research and conservation.