Florida Black Bear

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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.

Need help with human-bear conflicts?

Need to report a sick, injured, orphaned, or dead bear?  


How can I share my opinions about Bear Management in Florida?

There are two ways to share your opinions with FWC

  1. Fill out a brief form to submit your thoughts and feedback on bear management


  2. FWC will host two webinars to discuss proposed amendments to the bear feeding rule Adobe PDF and bear conservation rule Adobe PDF, which includes the proposal of a depredation permit program Adobe PDF, as well as rule changes required to have a bear hunt Adobe PDF in the fall of 2015 will be discussed. 

March 23rd and 26th Webinar Agenda and Presentation Adobe PDF

The webinars will be held March 23rd and 26th, each beginning at 6 p.m. (ET). Those interested in viewing a webinar can register for either session, but please register for only one session. Registration must be completed by 5:00 pm the day of the webinar.

To register for the Monday, March 23 webinar, go to

To register for the Thursday, March 26 webinar, go to

Full participation in the webinar will require computer access and telephone access. Those without computer access can listen via the phone. Phone registrations can be made by calling 352-372-4747.

For more information about the webinars, contact Bear Management via e-mail at BearManagement@MyFWC.com.

At the February 4, 2015 Commission Meeting, staff presented on current bear research and management Adobe PDF including efforts to update bear population and range estimates, adopt regionally-focused management, reduce human-bear conflicts, proactively engage partners and stakeholders, and explore options for using sustainable hunting as a bear population management measure. Additionally staff covered proposed changes to the Florida Black Bear Conservation Rule 68A-4.009 Adobe PDF and were authorized to move forward with publishing the Notice of Proposed Rule Amendments for this rule.  The Commission also directed staff to develop proposed changes to the Bear, Fox, and Raccoon Feeding Rule 68A-4.001(3) Adobe PDF as well as develop draft language for a depredation permit program Adobe PDF.  The Commission also directed staff to develop a proposal for a black bear hunting season Adobe PDF and to bring back a detailed proposal for consideration at the April 2015 Commission meeting.

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 Adobe PDF 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?

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 External Website.

If you would like to help support bear conservation in Florida, please visit the Wildlife Foundation of Florida External Website to learn more.

If you would like to learn more about the Florida black bear, please view this 15 minute FWC video External Website. Thank you!

Living with Florida Black Bears. 2009. 15 minute video discussing Florida black bear ecology, conservation efforts, and how to avoid conflicts.

FWC Facts:
Turkeys are powerful fliers, especially for short distances. Their wings are designed for short, fast flight, but by alternating gliding and flapping, they can cover a mile easily.

Learn More at AskFWC