Your Bear Management Unit (BMU) – The South Central BMU

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

The South Central Bear Management Unit includes Charlotte, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St Lucie counties. Bears in the South Central BMU exist mostly in Glades and Highlands counties. The plan’s objectives Adobe PDF for the South Central BMU are to maintain or increase the current bear subpopulation, increase available bear habitat, create forested connections with the South, Central, and Big Bend BMUs, and to reduce habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 150 to 200 bears lived in Glades/Highlands subpopulation. In 2011, the FWC estimated there to be an average of 100 bears in the South 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 South 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: 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 South Central BMU can be seen below.

South Central BMU Bear Roadkills Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of bears killed by vehicle strikes in the South Central BMU from 2000 to 2017, totaling 54 bears.

2010 = 6 bears

2011 = 8 bears

2012 = 6 bears

2013 = 8 bears

2014 = 6 bears

2015 = 8 bears

2016 = 4 bears

2017 = 8 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 South Central BMU.

South Central BMU Bear Related Calls Bar Graph - See Caption Below

Caption: This bar graph shows the number of South Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 1,153 calls.
2010 = 43 calls
2011 = 44 calls
2012 = 63 calls
2013 = 129 calls
2014 = 273 calls
2015 = 196 calls

2016 = 152 calls

2017 = 253 calls

 

 

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

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

Caption: This pie chart shows the reason for South Central BMU bear related calls received by FWC from the public from 2010 to 2017, totaling 1,153 calls. General Interaction (light blue slice) = 38%; In Garbage (brown slice) = 29%; Property Damage (orange slice) = 11%; Sick/Dead Bear (dark green slice) = 10%; Miscellaneous (light grey slice) = 5%; Bear-Animal Encounter (yellow slice) = 4%; Public Safety Incident (light green slice) = 1%; In Structure (dark grey slice) = 1%; Illegal Activity (dark blue slice) = <1%.

 

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



FWC Facts:
Florida is the only place where the Osceola subspecies of wild turkey can be found.

Learn More at AskFWC