A relatively small stretch of swamp between Miami and Naples in south Florida was the only place on Earth where the Florida panther lived 20 years ago. In fact, scientists estimate that only roughly 26 of the animals that once roamed the entire Southeast remained in that swamp, many stunted by genetic defects brought on by inbreeding. In a bid to stave off the same kind of extinction that had wiped out all other mountain lion subspecies (also known as cougars, panthers or pumas) east of the Mississippi, wildlife managers imported eight female cougars from Texas in 1995. It worked. Today, the vigor of the Florida panther is back, according to a new genetic survey published September 23 in Science.
The rest here.