Black bears use a variety of habitats depending on the season, but prefer habitats with a dense understory. Ideal habitats provide food, shelter, and corridors for travel. Black bears are considered an "umbrella" species – a wide ranging species whose protection (and habitat’s protection) in turn protects numerous other species.

Flatwoods

habitat-flatwoods

Swamps

habitat-swamps

Scrub oak ridges

habitat-scrub

Bayheads

habitat-bayheads


Preferred habitats contain trees and shrubs that produce nuts and fruits.   There are 19 species of oaks native to Florida and each produces a different kind of acorn, most are seasonal favorites of bears. The most important plants to Florida’s bears are palmettos (Serenoa repens).

 habitat-palmetto habitat-palmetto-berry

Bears eat the heart and berries from the plant and female bears den in dense palmetto stands when giving birth every other year in late January or early February.

 



FWC Facts:
Freshwater catfish have many external taste buds on their barbels, so they use their sense of taste more than their sight to find prey.

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