Florida Black Bear Mananagement Plan Coming Soon

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Black bears have increasingly become a problem in Florida by invading populated areas as well as causing vehicle collisions. One black bear broke into a house and took a cake, later that black bear was found and killed. This is just one instance of run-ins with humans and black bears in Florida. There was another instance where a black bear was found taking a dip in a pool. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission requested the removal of the black bear from the endangered list, and now have created a management plan that will be released later today.

At one time there were around 500 black bears in the state, now there may be as many as 3,000 roaming Florida. The management plan would help keep the population at a level the state can sustain safely. The panel will take public comment and then finalize the black bear plan some time next year. From WEAR ABC 3 News.

Comments

COMeatHunter's picture

Great to hear Florida has a

Great to hear Florida has a growing black bear population.  I hope they can get the status of black bears changed from endangered and get a good management plan approved.  With people/bear ecounters already happening they really need to get a handle on their management strategy quickly to help prevent more encounters.

Another success for wildlife management.  Thanks, Florida!

hunter25's picture

I have never thought of

I have never thought of Florida as a bear state but obviously it is going to become a good one with the way the population has expanded. Getting them off the list and setting a management goal is a huge accomplishment and one to be proud of. Just like New Mexico and the delisting of the desert bighorns there these states have a lot to be proud of. three thousand bears might not seem like a lot but if they continue to expand there will be many more before long,and quite often these estimates are much lower than reality will show. I think our mountain lion numbers are similar here in Colorado and we have plenty of hunting opportunity for those.

Retired2hunt's picture

  This is a great step for

 

This is a great step for Florida to be able to generate a management plan for the black bear within the state and remove it from the state's endangered species list - just like they accomplished with the bald eagles within the state.

The link doesn't work but here are two more that will take you to more of the full story...

http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/No_Hunting_in_Florida_Black_Bear_Management_Plan_133617123.html?storySection=story

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/10/2495147/florida-releasing-black-bear-management.html

However, Floridians will not be allowed to actually hunt these black bears within the state before 2015.  Here is some exerpt info from the management plan...

"Establishment of seven bear management units (BMUs) to provide localized bear management and public involvement appropriate to the area, from about 1,000 bears in the Central BMU, which includes Ocala National Forest, to about 20 bears in the Big Bend BMU, which includes Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

Creation of “Bear Smart Communities” in areas of high bear activity. Human-bear conflicts are on the rise in Florida. In 2010, the FWC received more than 4,000 calls from citizens about bears. In the past 10 years, more than half of those calls were related to bears rummaging through garbage. A “Bear Smart Community” would involve residents, local governments, businesses and schools in changing people’s behaviors to reduce human-bear conflicts."

Overall their management plan will allow smarter control of the black bear population within the state and eventually add another season for its hunters.  Great Job Florida!