Florida Black bear is a subspecies of the American Black bear found in the forested areas of Florida. These black-furred mammals are solitary and are rarely seen in groups. These animals can grow to a length of 4 to 6 feet, and stand 3 feet high at the shoulder. Florida Black bears are omnivorous, and their diet typically consists of plants and fruits. These giant animals do not attack humans unless they are provoked. These animals were abundant in Florida with an estimated population of 25,000 during the first half of the twentieth century, but continuous hunting in later years brought Black bears to the verge of extinction.

Bear Hunting in Florida

Black bears have been hunted vigorously for the last six decades in Florida. These omnivorous animals were hunted to the point where only 300 black bears were left in the State during the 1970’s. Around 1500 of these animals were killed each year, and there were no conservation plans till 1980. In 1981, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission started Conservation plans for the near extinct Florida Black bear, and Bear Hunting was banned in the State. Despite the ban imposed on bear hunting, around 100 black bears were hunted every year. The skin of these thick-furred animals is very valuable and most of the illegal hunting is done to exploit the skin.

Florida Black bear population growth in recent years

According to the study conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there is a significant increase in the population of Florida Black bears with 4,350 adult bears reported in 2015. There was a further increase in the population with 4,600 adult bears reported in the forests of Florida in 2016.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission must be credited for this valuable increase in the population of one of the most important animals in the wild. There is a need to make sure that these Black bears are provided with a suitable habitat and enough food in the forested areas. The habitat of these wild animals should be far away from the native people so that these animals are not hunted again.