Here is information to help live with, vacation near, conserve, and enjoy our native black bear, the only species of bear found in Florida. The state’s largest land mammal has come back from just several hundred bears in the 1970s to more than 3,000 today and is one of Florida’s conservation success stories. Find links to more information along the left side of this page.
Do you want to help FWC update the map of where bears are in Florida?
Have you seen a bear or their tracks while hiking, camping, bird watching, or paddling? FWC would like to specifically ask hikers, hunters, and all others who recreate in wild lands for their bear observations .
What’s going on with bears in Florida?
In August 2012, FWC Commissioners approved the removal of the black bear from the list of state-threatened species and created a new rule that maintains it is illegal to injure or kill a bear or possess or sell bear parts. As part of the delisting process the Florida Black Bear Management Plan was passed that guides how Florida’s bears should be managed over the next 10 years.
The plan creates Bear Management Units (BMU) based on the seven geographically distinct bear subpopulations in Florida. BMUs give people an opportunity to play an active role in efforts to manage and conserve bears in their local community. Which BMU are you?
FWC has scheduled public workshops and government briefings in the North BMU and South Central BMU. All workshops will be from 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. The workshop locations and dates are as follows:
- Macclenny - September 30th - Baker County IFAS Extension Office, 1025 West Macclenny Ave.
- Lake City - October 1st - Columbia County School Board Auditorium, 372 Duval St.
South Central BMU
- Sebring - October 7th - Highlands County IFAS Extension, 4509 George Blvd.
- Lakeland - October 8th - Circle B Bar Reserve, 4399 Winter Lake Rd.
- Punta Gorda - October 9th - Charlotte Harbor Event Center, 75 Taylor St.
FWC will hold public workshops and government briefings in the Big Bend BMU in fall 2014, please check back frequently for meeting dates.
If you would like to help support bear conservation in Florida, please visit the Wildlife Foundation of Florida to learn more.
If you would like to learn more about the Florida black bear, please view this 15 minute FWC video . Thank you!
Living with Florida Black Bears. 2009. 15 minute video discussing Florida black bear ecology, conservation efforts, and how to avoid conflicts.