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Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Central BMU

Map of Bear density ranges based on Central Florida

The Central Bear Management Unit includes Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties and contains the Ocala/St. Johns subpopulation, named after the Ocala National Forest and St. Johns River watershed.  The Central BMU is one of three BMUs with a subpopulation estimated at over 1,000 bears, which is one of the criteria that determines a species’s risk for extinction. The plan’s objectives  for the Central BMU are to maintain at least 1,000 bears with the necessary habitat to support them, maintain forested connections with the North BMU and within the Central BMU, and to reduce human-bear conflicts, vehicle-related bear deaths, and habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 825 to 1,225 bears lived in Ocala/St. Johns subpopulation. In 2014, the FWC estimated there to be an average of 1,200 bears in the Central BMU.

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 Central 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

Central BMU Statistics

Bar graph of bears killed from all known causes in the Central BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 1,510)

The bar graph shows the number of bears killed by all known causes in the Central BMU from 2010 to 2018, totaling 1,510 bears, and ranging from 92 to 304.

Vehicle strikes account for the majority of bear deaths in Florida statewide.  Over half of the statewide bear deaths caused by vehicle strikes each year occur in the Central BMU.  The number of bears killed by vehicles, or euthanized due to vehicle injuries, documented each year in the Central BMU can be seen in this bar graph.

Bar graph of the total bear related calls received in the Central BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 27,027)

This bar graph shows the number of Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2018, totaling 27,027 calls.
2010 = 2306 calls
2011 = 2615 calls
2012 = 3904 calls
2013 = 3798 calls
2014 = 4212 calls
2015 = 3149 calls

2016 = 2167 calls

2017 = 2615 calls

2018 = 2261 calls

Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears.  Over half of the statewide bear-related calls each year come from the Central BMU. The neighboring chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the Central BMU.

Pie chart of the reasons for calls in the Central BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 27,027)

This pie chart shows the reason for Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2018, totaling 27,027 calls.

General Interaction (light blue slice) = 35%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 28%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 15%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 13%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 4%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 2%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = 1%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = <1%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = <1%

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