Florida Panther Parturition by Month
1985-1996

Total = 45

Courtesy of Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

The close relationship between white-tailed deer and panthers is evident in many aspects of panther behavior and ecology. Throughout its new world existence the panther depends heavily upon exploitable populations of ungulates. From the soft padded feet that make stealthy approach possible to the retractable claws and well developed canines that enable a quick dispatch of prey, the panther has evolved to become an efficient solitary predator. This relationship is evident even in facets of panther behavior one might consider instinctive, such as reproduction.

Although panther births have occurred virtually throughout the year, they peak in the spring and summer months. Immediately after birth and until they are approximately two months of age panther kittens remain near their natal den and depend entirely upon their mother for nourishment. During this time females greatly restrict movements from approximately 120 km sq. to as little as 15 km sq. and must provide for themselves and their kittens within this area. Not coincidentally, in southwest Florida, white-tailed deer fawns are generally born in February and March so that as panther existence is at its most precarious prey resources are greatest.