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Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The South BMU

Close up map of the South BMU

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:

South BMU Statistics

Bar graph of roadkill bears in the South BMU from 2010 - 2017 (n = 114)

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 - 2017 (n = 4,544)

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 - 2017 (n = 4,544)

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