Recently completed scientific estimates of black bear populations in Florida indicate the statewide population is now 4,350 adult bears. This new population estimate reflects how conservation measures have propelled the growth of Florida bear populations from the 1970s level of 300 to 500 bears to their abundant status today.
Extensive field surveys completed in 2015 and rigorous scientific analysis show strong growth in adult black bear populations in all three bear management units (BMUs) studied — West Panhandle, East Panhandle, and South BMUs. Survey work in 2014 also showed significant increases in bear populations in the North and Central BMUs. These efforts provide accurate estimates for all public and private lands within the five recently surveyed BMUs and confirm that bears are one of Florida’s greatest conservation success stories.