Jaguarundi in Florida

I just got back from a two-week trip to Florida with plenty of time for birdwatching and (day-time) mammal-searching. The mammal list saw 6 species: close-up views of 8 West Indian Manatees (Flamingo Marina/Everglades), 2 Nine-banded Armadillos, 2 Marsh Rabbits, 40 Eastern Grey Squirrels and 4 Northern Racoons  and … #6 being a totally unexpected sighting of a Jaguarundi walking towards a pond near Cooper City on February 17th.

After the initial surprise the species was easy to determine but going through the litterature I realised that it was quite a rare sight with few and scattered records all over Florida. It seems that the origin of the very small (relict?) population is unknown – so I was curious to hear if anybody know of recent analysis/knowledge about the Jaguarundis in Florida?

/ Morten Hansen, Denmark

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  • Miles Foster

    Great sighting, Morten!

  • William Henri Lewis

    That’s a really interesting sighting – I’m familiar with the population of Jaguarundis living in central Florida, around the Lake Placid area, but haven’t heard of them getting out that far towards Cooper City. A friend of mine saw one this fall at Archbold Biological Station, so they’re definitely around, but from what I’ve heard so rare that a picture of one in Florida has yet to surface anywhere. I believe that the prevailing theory at the moment is that they are part of an escaped captive population and not a relict former occurrence, but it’s still very up for debate because they are very poorly known at the moment.

  • Moses Swanson the XVI

    We found one of the next N.U.T.T.E.R award nominees

  • benbalmford

    Just to add to this, on my trip in May 2022 (report posted on here) I was really fairly sure the mammal I saw at Marzek lake was a jaguarundi. I did a whole bunch of googling and left it NID given the lack of records. I’d be very much interested to see how this develops!


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