Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Big Bend BMU
The Big Bend Bear Management Unit includes Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, and Pasco counties and contains the Chassahowitzka subpopulation. Bears are absent or nearly so throughout most of the Big Bend BMU with the exception of a remnant group of bears in and around the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area at the southern extent of the BMU. The FWC estimates approximately 30 bears live in the Chassahowitzka subpopulation. The plan’s objectives for the Big Bend BMU are to increase the current bear subpopulation numbers and to reduce habitat fragmentation.
The Florida Black Bear Management Plan called for the creation of Bear Stakeholder Groups for each of the seven bear subpopulations. These groups are made up of local residents, government officials, non-profit organization staff, FWC staff, business owners, property managers, and other interested individuals in the Big Bend BMU. The Group meets several times a year to discuss bear management and research.
Are you interested in being a part of the Bear Stakeholder Group? Email us at: BearPlan@MyFWC.com
Big Bend BMU Statics
Vehicle strikes account for the majority of bear deaths in Florida statewide. The number of bears killed by vehicles, or euthanized due to vehicle injuries, documented each year in the Big Bend BMU can be seen in this bar graph.
Figure 1. This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by either road, management, illegal, harvest, or other causes of death in the Big Bend BMU from 2010 to 2021, totaling 15 bears.
2010 = 0 bears, 2011 = 0 bears, 2012 = 0 bears, 2013 = 2 bears (2 road), 2014 = 2 bears (1 management, 1 illegal), 2015 = 2 bears (1 management, 1 other), 2016 = 2 bears (1 road, 1 illegal), 2017 = 4 bears (3 road, 1 illegal), 2018 = 1 bear (1 road), 2019 = 1 bear (1 road), 2020 = 1 bear (1 road), 2021 = 0 bears.
Bear Related Calls
Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears. The chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the Big Bend BMU.
Figure 2. This bar graph shows the number of Big Bend BMU bear related calls, and percentage of core and non-core complaints received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2021, totaling 705 calls.
2010 = 27 calls (41% Core, 59% Non-Core Complaints), 2011 = 10 calls (40% Core, 60% Non-Core Complaints), 2012 = 11 calls (27% Core, 73% Non-Core Complaints), 2013 = 78 calls (51% Core, 49% Non-Core Complaints), 2014 = 36 calls (53% Core, 47% Non-Core Complaints), 2015 = 33 calls (24% Core, 76% Non-Core Complaints), 2016 = 27 calls (30% Core, 70% Non-Core Complaints), 2017 = 189 calls (44% Core, 56% Non-Core Complaints), 2018 = 74 calls (34% Core, 66% Non-Core Complaints), 2019 = 53 calls (17% Core, 83% Non-Core Complaints), 2020 = 102 calls (32% Core, 68% Non-Core Complaints), 2021 = 65 calls (23% Core, 77% Non-Core Complaints).
Core complaints are conflicts, whereas non-core complaints are interactions that could be positive or negative.
Reason for Calls
Figure 3. This pie chart shows the reason for Big Bend BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2021, totaling 705 calls.
General Interaction (light blue slice) = 47%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 19%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 16%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 6%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 1%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = 10%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = <1%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = <1%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 1%.