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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kentucky has a rebounding Black Bear population that is estimated at about 500 animals.......State Game Officials have felt that this population could withstand an annual hunting season which commenced in 2009.............If the population estimate is correct, the 20 Bears killed in 2013 will not hurt the growth chances for "Boone State(Daniel) bruins

History and Current Status of the Black Bear in Kentucky
David E. Unger 1,*, John J. Cox 2, Hannah B. Harris 3, Jeffery L. Larkin 4, Ben Augustine 2, Steven Dobey5, Joseph M. Guthrie 2, John T. Hast 2, Rebekah Jensen 2, Sean Murphy 2, Jason Plaxico 5, and David S. Maehr 2,6
1 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Division of Natural Sciences, Maryville College, Maryville, TN 37804.
2 Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0073.
3 Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0073.
4 Department of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA 15765.
5 Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, #1 Sportsman's Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601.
6 Deceased.
* Corresponding author -


Once abundant in Kentucky, Ursus americanus (American Black Bear) were extirpated from the state by the late 19th century because of overharvest and habitat alteration. Regenerating deciduous forests, increased human tolerance, and source population growth and expansion in neighboring states have facilitated Black Bear recolonization in parts of southeastern Kentucky since the 1980s. 

As of 2012, 500 Black Bears were estimated to occur in Kentucky, with most individuals found in two successfully reproducing, geographically separate, and genetically distinct core populations in the southeastern part of the state. Our research suggests that population growth and expansion of Black Bears within Kentucky is occurring and abundant suitable habitat exists to support further increases in range and numbers. 
Potential impediments to further population growth and recolonization include roads, overexploitation primarily from illegal harvest, and habitat loss and fragmentation. The recolonization of Kentucky by the Black Bear represents an important case study of population growth and expansion of large mammals in the eastern US that has widespread ecological and economic implications.

Bear hunting season

 ends with

 20 bears killed

Kentucky - State Fish and Wildlife officials say hunters in Kentucky bagged 20 black bears during the season
 that ended in December.
It was the first season with a new expanded bear
 zone and an archery and 
crossbow season.
Hunters can now hunt bears in 16 Kentucky
 counties, up
 from four counties in 2012.
Seven were killed in Letcher County and
 three bears were
 taken in Harlan, Leslie, 
and Perry Counties.

Modern-day bear hunting in Kentucky began
 in 2009.

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