Preliminary Evaluation of Potential Effects of Seismic Surveying for Oil and Gas on the Endangered Florida Panther

October 16, 2018

Endangered Florida panther habitat is currently under threat by oil exploration and other development in and near the Florida Everglades. The Florida panther remains one of the most endangered mammals in the eastern United States, with an estimated population of 120 to 230 individuals in the world. Yet there are numerous threats to its survival, including habitat loss due to oil and gas activities. The Burnett Oil Company, Inc. has begun its first phase of oil exploration within 110-square miles of the Everglades’ Big Cypress National Preserve using 33-ton “vibroseis” vehicles to generate seismic signals to map oil and gas beneath the surface. This seismic exploration is negatively affecting “primary zone” habitats, which are habitats essential for the survival of the endangered Florida panther.