Ralph Arwood Photography
FP-190 was first collared on February 14, 2011 in the Corn Dance Unit. She was estimated to be 5 years of age and weighed 70 lbs. An un-collared adult male was also treed nearby. FP-190’s examination at capture indicated that she had nursed but not recently. Annette Johnson saw her from the air with what appeared to be a yearling on 2 occasions, 7 and 8 months after her capture, so it is likely that she was traveling with kitten(s) when she was captured.
She denned in April 2012 and on May 10, 2012 we marked K-361, K-362, and K-363 at the den. They were about three weeks old.
K-361 she weighed 3 lbs. 13 oz.
K-362 he weighed 3 lbs. 13 oz.
K-363 she weighed 4 lbs. 1 oz.
Finding a den is always a challenge and a lot of work. When a female panther stays at one location for more than three days she is usually denning. To locate the den we triangulate the signal from her collar while she is with her kittens. This has to be done without disturbing her so that she does not move away from her kittens, keeping us from triangulating the correct location.
Once we know the den location, we wait for her to go off hunting. With Mom gone we can go in to find the den and kittens. Florida Panther dens are almost always in very dense vegetation, usually in saw palmettos. Searching through dense saw palmetto is always challenging. The kittens are usually 2-3 weeks old at this point. The older they are the more likely they will try to crawl away and hide from us. Because of this search team tries to approach the den from multiple directions. Deborah Jansen filmed the video below as she approached FP-190’s den.
FP-190’s collar failed in the third week of December 2012. Her home range was 113 km2 in the Corn Dance Unit.