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 Tip@MyFWC.com
              
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 sightings within the last 3 years (during or after 2010) are appreciated as well.
  • 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.
  • Additional comments, questions or photos can be sent to bear.sightings@myfwc.com. Due to the high volume of messages we receive, replies may be delayed.
     
Thank you very much for your participation in this survey. Your contribution to this effort is important to bear conservation and management in Florida!

Lat/Long of center of map


  1. You can drag the red bubble marker on Google Maps 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.  (Hint, you can click on the Hybrid tab in Google Maps to see the satellite images with roads and places labeled.
  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 Save.
    
 

    

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Florida has a very broad public records law and any information you submit will become part of this record.