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Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The South Central BMU

Close up map of the South Central BMU

The South Central Bear Management Unit includes Charlotte, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St. Lucie counties. Bears in the South Central BMU exist mostly in Glades and Highlands counties. The plan’s objectives  for the South Central BMU are to maintain or increase the current bear subpopulation, increase available bear habitat, create forested connections with the South, Central, and Big Bend BMUs, and to reduce habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 150 to 200 bears lived in Glades/Highlands subpopulation. In 2011, the FWC estimated there to be an average of 100 bears in the South 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 South 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:

South Central BMU Statistics

Bar graph of roadkill bears in the South Central BMU from 2010 - 2017 (n = 54)

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 South Central BMU can be seen in this bar graph.

Bar graph of the total bear related calls received in the South Central BMU from 2010 - 2017 (n = 1,153)

Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears. The associated bar graph shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the South Central BMU.

Pie chart of the reasons for calls in the South Central BMU from 2010 - 2017 (n = 1,153)

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