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BLACK BEAR SIGHTINGS EXPECTED TO INCREASE

Young male bears searching for territory are on the move

April 28, 2009
Ohio Valley Outdoors
AKRON, OH – In 2008, approximately 29 different black bears were confirmed in the Buckeye State according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. While the population of bears in Ohio may not exactly increase in 2009, sightings of the burly creatures are expected.

During spring and summer months, young male black bears disperse on a quest to find their own territory. Dan Kramer, wildlife management supervisor for northeast Ohio explains, “Dispersal occurs annually when an adult female bear (referred to as a sow) boots her one-and-a-half year old cubs out of the family unit so she can breed and raise a new litter of cubs.” Young females have smaller ranges and seldom venture as far as males to establish territories.

The Division of Wildlife estimates the Buckeye bear population at about 60 black bears living in Ohio year round. During 2008, a total of 105 reported sightings of black bears occurred in 21 Ohio counties. Most sightings occurred in northeast and southeast Ohio. “In northeast Ohio, a total of 93 sightings were reported in 11 counties. A total of 32 sightings were verified by tracks, scat, pictures, or other method,” Kramer says. Ashtabula led the state with 65 sightings of which 25 were confirmed.

Every year, many bear reports in Ohio are associated with nuisance situations. Once people become “beareducated” conflicts with bears often diminish. Moving bird feeders higher, keeping trash inside until pick up day, and cleaning up after grilling out all help to deter bears from becoming nuisances.

Efforts to monitor the Ohio black bear have been supported by the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species fund, which receives donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates.

The black bear is protected by state law. For more about Ohio’s wildlife diversity, visit the Division’s web page at www.wildohio.com.

Fact Box

The Division of Wildlife estimates the Buckeye bear population at about 60 black bears living in Ohio year round. During 2008, a total of 105 reported sightings of black bears occurred in 21 Ohio counties.

 
 

 

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