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Ohio Black Bear Sightings Decrease in 2014

April 7, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio black bear sightings decreased in 2014, according to reports received by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) biologists. The ODNR Division of Wildlife documented 135 sightings involving an estimated 88 individual black bears in 2014. In 2013, 158 sightings were received from an estimated 74 black bears.

Division of Wildlife biologists were able to confirm 60 of the 135 sightings in 2014, or 44 percent. This is an increase from 2013, when 34 percent of sightings were confirmed. Sightings are confirmed by evidence such as tracks or photos.

Two reports were received of a sow with cubs, both in Athens County. One sighting was confirmed; the observer was able to take a picture of the second young bear, which appeared to be a yearling.

Ashtabula and Trumbull counties reported the most sightings, with 21 each. Ashtabula had 14 confirmed sightings, and Trumbull had 13.

Most sightings were reported from May through July (52 percent).

Sightings were reported in 43 counties. Most counties were in northeast Ohio.

The first verified sightings for Hamilton County occurred in 2014.



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