MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — As 2015 comes to an end, it has been a record year for Florida panther deaths.READ MORE: Juvenile Green Sea Turtle Released In Florida Keys To Join Tour de Turtles Online Race
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 40 panthers died this year. The latest was Monday when a year old uncollarded male was hit by a car in Collier County. Twenty-nine of the 40 panther deaths this year have come on Florida roadways.READ MORE: Cinderella's Castle Gets Makeover Ahead Of Disney's 50th Anniversary Celebrations
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that one silver lining to the increased deaths could be a rebounding panther population. Between 100 and 180 panthers are estimated to roam the region south of the Caloosahatchee River.
But officials also say the panther deaths could be a sign the cats are running out of habitat because of increased development, especially in southwest Florida.MORE NEWS: 'It Means Absolutely Everything': Family Of Miami's Eddy Alvarez Watch Proudly As He Carries American Flag At Olympics Opening Ceremony
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