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Highlands/Glades Bear Abundance 2010-2012

The FWC partnered with biologists from the University of Kentucky from 2010-2012 to estimate the abundance (number) and genetic diversity of bears in the Highlands/Glades subpopulation in South-Central Florida. They used hair corrals to collect samples of bear hair and identified to individual. Read more about how researchers use hair corrals to estimate bear abundance. Bear abundance, density, and genetic diversity were all low relative to other subpopulations in Florida. Biologists were able to detect a slight increase in genetic diversity since 2005, which offered hope that the subpopulation is improving. An update to the abundance and diversity estimates for this subpopulation is planned for 2023.

Results of this study were published in Murphy, S. M., B. C. Augustine, W. A. Ulrey, J. M. Guthrie, B. K. Scheick, J. W. McCown, and J. J. Cox. 2017. Consequences of severe habitat fragmentation on density, genetics, and spatial capture-recapture analysis of a small bear population. PLoS ONE 12(7):e0181849.