FWC Considers Black Bear Plan
June 20, 2012
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will focus on conservation of the Florida black bear, the state’s largest land mammal, this week. They will consider taking final action on adopting the FWC’s first management plan for the black bear, which has rebounded from as few as 300 in the wild in the 1970’s to more than 3,000 today.
The goal of the 10-year plan is to “maintain sustainable black bear populations in suitable habitats throughout Florida for the benefit of the species and people.” Public input was invited and utilized in drafting the bear management plan and will be important to its implementation.
The seven bear management units created in the plan provide opportunities for public participation in decisions on managing local bear populations and reducing human-bear conflicts such as the one that occurred recently at a Cantonment apartment complex.
The Commissioners also will decide on removing the black bear from the state’s list of threatened species and adopting a new FWC rule making it illegal to harass, injure or kill a bear in Florida.
Pictured: A black bear wondered through a Cantonment apartment complex for days last month until it was captured and euthanized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.