Here is information to help live with, vacation near, conserve, and enjoy our native black bear, the only species of bear found in Florida. The state’s largest land mammal has come back from just several hundred bears in the 1970s to more than 3,000 today and is one of Florida’s conservation success stories. Find links to more information along the left side of this page.
Do you want to help FWC update the map of where bears are in Florida?
Have you seen a bear or their tracks while hiking, camping, bird watching, or paddling? FWC would like to specifically ask hikers, hunters, and all others who recreate in wild lands for their bear observations .
What’s going on with bears in Florida?
In August 2012, FWC Commissioners approved the removal of the black bear from the list of state-threatened species and created a new rule that maintains it is illegal to injure or kill a bear or possess or sell bear parts. As part of the delisting process the Florida Black Bear Management Plan was passed that guides how Florida’s bears should be managed over the next 10 years.
The plan creates Bear Management Units (BMU) based on the seven geographically distinct bear subpopulations in Florida. BMUs give people an opportunity to play an active role in efforts to manage and conserve bears in their local community. Which BMU are you?
FWC has scheduled public workshops and government briefings in the Big Bend BMU. All workshops will be from 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. The workshop locations and dates are as follows:
- Homosassa – December 2nd – Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
- Dade City – December 3rd – Pasco County IFAS Extension Office, 36722 State Road 52.
- Chiefland – December 4th – Tommy Usher Community Center, 506 SW 4th Ave.
If you would like to help support bear conservation in Florida, please visit the Wildlife Foundation of Florida to learn more.
If you would like to learn more about the Florida black bear, please view this 15 minute FWC video . Thank you!
Living with Florida Black Bears. 2009. 15 minute video discussing Florida black bear ecology, conservation efforts, and how to avoid conflicts.