The South Bear Management Unit includes Broward, Collier, Hendry, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties and contains the Big Cypress subpopulation, named after the Big Cypress National Preserve. The plan’s objectives for the South BMU are to maintain or increase the current bear subpopulation with the necessary habitat to support them, create forested connections with the South Central BMU, and to reduce human-bear conflicts and habitat fragmentation. In 2002, the FWC estimated 516 to 878 bears lived in the Big Cypress subpopulation. 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 South BMU can be seen below.
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 BMU. The sharp increase in calls between 2010 and 2011 is partially due to a shift in how FWC documents calls in this BMU.
The following pie charts represent the reasons people call FWC about bears in the South BMU. The charts are in four year increments to show how the reasons have changed over time.
We look forward to working with you to conserve and manage Florida’s black bears.