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Florida Black Bear

Ursus americanus floridanus

A distinct subspecies of the black bear, the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus), is all black with a dark brown muzzle. Weighing in at 130-180 and 250-300 for females and males, respectively, the Florida black bear is no small creature. They need 15 to 60 square miles to live, are excellent tree climbers and sustain themselves mostly on berries, fruits and nuts with the occasional insect component and even meat such as opossum and carrion. It is common to see bears and cubs mobile around the refuge in winter months when the temperatures and water levels have subsided.  

The state encompasses seven geographically distinct subpopulations. Many people live in bear country so it is important to educate yourself on how to keep you and the bears safe. Remember to always clean up trash and hang food while camping, secure trash cans, and always clean up after yourself while in the wilderness and around your home. 

Facts About Florida Black Bear

Black bears are not true hibernators. Instead, they experience what is often called "winter lethargy" or "denning."  

Florida black bears eat the heart and berries from palmettos.  

It is illegal to injure or kill a bear in Florida.

Page Photo Credits — Florida Black Bear and cub - FWC
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2013
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