Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Big Bend BMU

Big Bend

The Big Bend Bear Management Unit includes Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hernando, Lafayette, Levy, and Pasco counties and contains the Chassahowitzka subpopulation.  Bears are absent or nearly so throughout most of the Big Bend BMU with the exception of a remnant group of bears in and around the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area at the southern extent of the BMU.  In 2002, the FWC estimated 12 to 28 bears lived in Chassahowitzka subpopulation.  The plan’s objectives Adobe PDF for the Big Bend BMU are to increase the current bear subpopulation numbers and to reduce habitat fragmentation. In 2014, the FWC will begin the multi-year process of updating subpopulation estimates. More details can be found in the bear management plan.

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 Big Bend BMU can be seen below.

Big Bend Roadkill

Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears.  The following chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the Big Bend BMU.

Big Bend Bear Calls

The following pie charts represent the reasons people call FWC about bears in the Big Bend BMU. The charts are in four year increments to show how the reasons have changed over time.

Big Bend 10-13

Big Bend 06-09

Big Bend 02-06

Big Bend 98-01

Big Bend 98-13

We look forward to working with you to conserve and manage Florida’s black bears.

FWC Facts:
Butterfly watching is a fun and simple way to explore wild Florida and a great outdoor activity for the whole family.

Learn More at AskFWC