FWC researchers studied bears in the Apalachicola subpopulation from 2016-2020 to monitor adult female bears and their offspring. Survival and reproductive rates were used to estimate the annual growth rate of the subpopulation and predict subpopulation abundance from 2015 through 2025.
To do this, researchers captured bears in Tate’s Hell State Forest, Apalachicola National Forest, and surrounding private lands and fit 47 adult females with tracking collars. Researchers tracked these animals for several years to document mortalities, annual survival rates, and reproduction. When a collared female bear gave birth, biologists fit a special, expanding collared on her offspring. Researchers collared and tracked 76 cubs to document mortalities and survival for cubs in their first year. See Tracking Bears to learn more about how FWC tracks and uses movement data from bears.
This research is ongoing. Results from this project are expected in 2021.