The Florida panther was long considered to be a subspecies of mountain lion, and many still recognize that distinction. Genetic research has cast the status of the 32 Puma concolor subspecies in doubt, and there is some evidence to suggest that there is only one true subspecies of Puma concolor in North America.
However, these panthers represent an isolated population that exists only in southern Florida, and in fact is now the only example of this animal currently living in the eastern United States. Historically, the P. c. coryi subspecies ranged throughout the southeastern U.S., though the arrival of European settlers into the region began a process that would eventually isolate the creature into its current range.
With the population so small, scientists were concerned with the lack of gene flow affecting the genetic diversity, so in 1995 female mountain lions from the Texas population were introduced to help add more to the gene pool of the Florida panther.