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Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Big Bend BMU

Map of Bear density ranges based on Big Bend Florida

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:

Big Bend BMU Statistics

Total Bear Mortality for the Big Bend BMU 2010 - 2018 Bar Graph (n = 12)

This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by all known causes of mortality in the Big Bend BMU from 2000 to 2018, totaling 12 bears.

2010 = 0 bears, 2011 = 0 bears, 2012 = 0 bears, 2013 = 2 bears, 2014 = 0 bears, 2015 = 0 bears, 2016 = 1 bear, 2017 = 3 bears, 

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.

Bear Graph of Bear Related Calls for the Big Bend BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 487)

This bar graph shows the number of Big Bend BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2018, totaling 487calls.
2010 = 27 calls, 2011 = 10 calls, 2012 = 11 calls, 2013 = 79 calls, 2014 = 37 calls, 2015 = 33 calls, 2016 = 27 calls, 2017 = 189 calls, 2018 = 74 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.

Pie chart of the reasons for calls in the Big Bend BMU from  2010 - 2017 (n = 409)

This pie chart shows the reason for Big Bend BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 409 calls. General Interaction (light blue slice) = 40%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 22%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 18%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = 8%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 8%;  Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 1%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 1%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = < 1%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = <1%

This pie chart represents the reasons people call FWC about bears in the Big Bend BMU.