Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The Central BMU

Central BMU Bear Range Map - Brown=Abundant; Beige=Common; Tan=Occasional; Eggshell= Rare


The Central Bear Management Unit includes Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties and contains the Ocala/St. Johns subpopulation, named after the Ocala National Forest and St. Johns River watershed.  The Central BMU is the only BMU with a subpopulation estimated at 1,000 bears, which is one of the criteria that determines a species’s risk for extinction. The plan’s objectives Adobe PDF for the Central BMU are to maintain at least 1,000 bears with the necessary habitat to support them, maintain forested connections with the North BMU and within the Central BMU, and to reduce human-bear conflicts, vehicle-related bear deaths, and habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 825 to 1,225 bears lived in Ocala/St. Johns subpopulation. In 2014, the FWC estimated there to be an average of 1,200 bears in the Central BMU.

The Florida Black Bear Management Plan called for the creation of Bear Stakeholder Groups for each of the seven bear subpopulations. These groups are made up of local residents, government officials, non-profit organization staff, FWC staff, business owners, property managers, and other interested individuals in the Central BMU. The Group meets several times a year to discuss bear management and research.

Are you interested in being a part of the Bear Stakeholder Group? Email us at:


Vehicle strikes account for the majority of bear deaths in Florida statewide.  Over half of the statewide bear deaths caused by vehicle strikes each year occur in the Central BMU.  The number of bears killed by vehicles, or euthanized due to vehicle injuries, documented each year in the Central BMU can be seen below.

Central BMU Bear Roadkill Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by vehicle strikes in the Central BMU from 2000 to 2017, totaling 969 bears.

2010 = 78 bears

2011 = 102 bears

2012 = 172 bears

2013 = 133 bears

2014 = 121 bears

2015 = 112 bears

2016 = 119 bears

2017 = 132 bears



Each year, FWC receives thousands of calls statewide from the public about bears.  Over half of the statewide bear-related calls each year come from the Central BMU.  The following chart shows the number of bear-related reports FWC received from the Central BMU.

Central BMU Bear Related Calls Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 24,794 calls.
2010 = 2,306 calls
2011 = 2,615 calls
2012 = 3,904 calls
2013 = 3,798 calls
2014 = 4,211 calls
2015 = 3,159 calls

2016 = 2,170 calls

2017 = 2,631 calls



The following pie chart represents the reasons people call FWC about bears in the Central BMU.

Central BMU Reasons for Bear Related Calls Pie Chart - See Caption Below  

Caption: This pie chart shows the reason for Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 24,794 calls. General Interaction (light blue slice) = 35%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 29%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 15%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 13%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 4%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 2%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = 1%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = <1%;  Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = <1%


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

FWC Facts:
Tarpon are also known as silver kings, tarpum, cuffum and sábalos.

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