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Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The South BMU

Map of Bear density ranges based on South Florida

The South Bear Management Unit includes Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties and contains the Big Cypress subpopulation, named after the Big Cypress National Preserve. The plan’s objectives for the South BMU are to maintain or increase the current bear subpopulation with the necessary habitat to support them, create forested connections with the South Central BMU, and to reduce human-bear conflicts and habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 516 to 878 bears lived in the Big Cypress subpopulation. In 2015, the FWC estimated there to be an average of 1,040 bears in the South 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 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

South BMU Statistics

Bar graph of bears killed from all known causes in the South BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 202)

This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by all known causes in the South BMU from 2000 to 2018, totaling 202 bears.

2010 = 6 bears, 2011 =15 bears, 2012 = 10 bears, 2013 = 19 bears, 2014 = 26 bears, 2015 = 53 bears, 2016 = 25 bears, 2017 = 26 bears, 2018 = 22 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 South BMU can be seen the associated chart.

Bar graph of the total bear related calls received in the South BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 5,599)

This bar graph shows the number of South BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2018, totaling 5,599 calls.
2010 = 114 calls, 2011 = 510 calls, 2012 = 701 calls, 2013 = 813 calls, 2014 = 701 calls, 2015 = 617 calls, 2016 = 504 calls, 2017 = 583 calls, 2018 = 1,056 calls

Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears. The bar chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the South BMU. The sharp increase in calls between 2010 and 2011 is partially due to a shift in how FWC documents calls in this BMU.

Pie chart of the reasons for calls in the South BMU from 2010 - 2018 (n = 5,599)

This pie chart shows the reason for South BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2018, totaling 5,599 calls.

General Interaction (light blue slice) = 46%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 31%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 7%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 8%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 3%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 2%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = 1%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = 1%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = <1%

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