Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The North BMU

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

 

The North Bear Management Unit includes Baker, Columbia, Duval, Hamilton, Nassau, Suwannee, and Union counties and contains the Osceola subpopulation, named after the Osceola National Forest.  Bears in the Osceola subpopulation are part of a larger subpopulation that includes bears in the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. The plan’s objectives Adobe PDF for the North BMU are to maintain or increase the current bear subpopulation with the necessary habitat to support them, maintain forested connections with the Central BMU, and to reduce human-bear conflicts and habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 200 to 313 bears lived in Osceola subpopulation. In 2014, the FWC estimates there to be an average of 500 bears in the North 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 North 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: BearPlan@MyFWC.com

 

 

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 North BMU can be seen below.

North BMU Bear Roadkill Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by vehicle strikes in the North BMU from 2000 to 2017, totaling 74 bears.

2010 = 8 bears

2011 = 7 bears

2012 = 9 bears

2013 = 10 bears

2014 = 11 bears

2015 = 12 bears

2016 = 10 bears

2017 = 7 bears

 

 

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 North BMU.

North BMU Bear Related Calls Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of North BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 370 calls.
2010 = 32 calls
2011 = 40 calls
2012 = 44 calls
2013 = 55 calls
2014 = 59 calls
2015 = 39 calls

2016 = 42 calls

2017 = 59 calls

 

 

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

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

Caption: This pie chart shows the reason for North BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 370 calls. Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 39%; General Interaction (light blue slice) = 34%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 9%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 8%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 4%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = 4%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = 2%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = <1%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = 0%  

 

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



FWC Facts:
The St. Johns River is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of south.

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