Following Bear Hunt, Florida Black Bears May Go Back To The Endangered Species List

Categories: Wildlife

Scientists have come together to talk about Florida's elephant in the room, or bear rather.

A recent petition has been drafted up by a group of scientists asking for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to push the black bear population onto the endangered species list, says the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

The environmental plea comes not long after the FWC presented the state with a limited black bear hunt last October in response to various human-bear encounters.

Black bears were officially classified as threatened in 1974, but a steady rise in numbers led to them being recategorized as stable in 2012.  After hunting and killing nearly 300 bears in 2015, young lost their mothers, and related circumstances lead to the death of other bears.  

FWC executive director Nick Wiley has recognized the petition, but stated that the commission has yet to officially review it, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Scientists claim that if black bears continue to not have protection under the Endangered Species Act, there will be a dangerous decline in numbers. The petition goes on to say that the species is currently being affected by a scarcity in palmetto berries — a black bear favorite — and habitat loss.

The Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Florida are currently supporting the appeal.

via:  The Orlando Weekly

Orlando Sentinal Previous video on how it came to this:


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