John McCoy is the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette’s award-winning outdoors writer. His "Woods & Waters" page appears weekly in the Sports section of the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
In 32 years of outdoors writing, John has had articles published in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, Hatches and other publications. His works have earned more than 50 state, regional and national awards for writing and photography.
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There aren’t many Florida panthers roaming the swamps and scrub lands of the Sunshine State, but apparently there are enough that state wildlife officials think they’re due some relief from federal oversight. From the Associated Press:
ORLANDO (AP) – Florida wildlife officials say the growth of Florida’s panther population in the past two decades should be enough for its designation as endangered to be reconsidered.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a draft position paper released today that federal officials should rethink the criteria they’ve set for Florida officials about what it will take to get the panther off the federal Endangered Species list. Florida officials say some of those goals are impossible to reach, such as adding populations of panthers outside southwest Florida.
Florida wildlife officials say Florida’s panther population has been growing during the past 20 years and stands at around 180 adults.
The Florida panther was listed as endangered in 1967 when the population was as low as 30 animals.