The Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) is considered of historical occurrence in Louisiana. The historic range included eastern Texas or western Louisiana and the east lower Mississippi River Valley through the southeastern states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and parts of Tennessee and South Carolina). Even though numerous sighting reports continue to surface annually throughout its historic range, it is unlikely that viable populations of the Florida panther presently occur outside Florida. Each year the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program (LNHP) receives calls reporting puma sightings, most of these reports remain unconfirmed because of the lack of evidence.
If you believe you saw a cougar, check for the following:
- Tracks (below you will find drawings of tracks of cougars and other carnivore species that will help you to identify cougar's tracks). If possible, take a picture and/or make a cast of the track, and/or draw the track on a hard clear plastic with a permanent marker.
- Scats (collect the scats and keep them in a clean plastic bag)
- And remember that black panthers are not native to North America.
For more information on cougars, go to the Eastern Cougar Network website.