Report Florida Black Bear Sightings

To report a bear conflict, call the FWC Regional Office nearest you. To report an emergency or illegal activity, call FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), use #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or text

Purpose of the Survey:
  • To record where the public is seeing black bears and bear tracks in Florida. Your observations can help FWC bear conservation and management.
  • To improve our knowledge of bear distribution in Florida and revise FWC's range map. The distribution of bears can be difficult to determine because they are solitary, wide-ranging and present in areas not readily accessible to bear researchers.
Identifying Florida Black Bears
  • Bears are large, stocky animals (females average 125-250 pounds while males average 250-350 pounds). The largest individuals can exceed 600 pounds.
  • Bears have black fur, short round ears and a very short tail. About a third of the bears in Florida have a white mark or blaze of varying shape and size on their chest.
  • For a more detailed description, go to the FWC Bear web site.
  • To view photos of bears and tracks, go to the FWC Florida black bear Flickr set.
How to Participate:
  • Enter each sighting separately. FWC is interested in locations of bears or their tracks in Florida. We are especially interested in learning locations of females with cubs or cubs by themselves.
  • Sightings within the past year are preferred, but dates since 2015 are accepted.
  • Use the Google Maps tool below to mark the location where you saw a bear or bear tracks and enter the corresponding information.
  • Photos taken by game cameras are welcome. Do not approach a bear to take its photograph. Black bears are shy and generally non-aggressive but they are large animals. For more information about what to do when encountering a bear, see Human/Bear Encounters on the FWC web site.
  • Providing contact information is optional, but will allow a biologist to contact you to verify locations outside of known bear range, if needed. However, your name, email, and photographs may be subject to public disclosure because all information submitted to this survey is public record and, under Florida law, public records are available to the public and news media upon request.
  • Photos and comments submitted to FWC through this bear sighting registry will be posted to an interactive map. The map allows you to zoom in so you can see where bears have been reported near your neighborhood or community.
  • Additional comments, questions or photos can be sent to Due to the high volume of messages we receive, replies may be delayed. Comments and photos sent by email are also public record and may be used to create new sightings if sufficient information are provided.
Thank you very much for your participation in this survey. Your contribution to this effort is important to bear conservation and management in Florida!
  1. You can drag the red marker on the map to determine coordinates or enter latititude and longitude coordinates directly to center the map.
  2. Please use the + and - buttons to zoom the map as far as possible and pinpoint your location.
  3. You can change the background with the buttons at the top right of the map.
  4. Enter the date you observed the bear or bear track as precisely as you can.
  5. Enter how many cubs were observed with their mother during this report, if any.
  6. Don't forget to click Submit.

Bear Sighting Form

Open the calendar popup.


Upload Photos (Maximum total size - 10 MB):
Allowed files - PDF, JPG, PNG, TIF, GIF

Florida has a very broad public records law and any information you submit will become part of this record. All photos and comments submitted to FWC, either by email or through this bear sightings registry, will be posted to an interactive map.