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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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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alabama now has approximately 350 Black Bears,,,,,,,with recruitment coming from both Florida and Georgia.........First having colonized the northern sphere of the state, "SWEET HOME" is now seeing the southern regions picking up bear sightings as well.......Declared by the Legislature as the STATE ANIMAL OF ALABAMA, the Black Bear is protected in Alabama against all forms of hunting and trapping.........
AlabamaCode of Alabama. Title 9. Conservation and Natural Resources. Chapter 11. Fish, Game, and Wildlife. Article 18. Protection of Black Bears. 

Statute Details
Printable Version 
Citation: AL ST § 9-11-480 to 481

Citation: Ala. Code 1975 § 9-11-480 to 481 

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 10/2013

Summary:   These Alabama statutes were signed into law in 2001.  The laws declare that black bears are a species that require special protection in the state and make it illegal to hunt, wound, injure, kill, trap, collect, or capture a black bear, or to attempt to engage in that conduct during the closed season for black bear.  It also makes it illegal to sell or purchase bear parts.


Black Bear Sightings Increase in South Alabama

By Justin Monk, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Alabama’s black bear (Ursus americanus) population was once rich across the entire state. Today, the majority are confined to the forested swamps of Alabama. Reports have shown bears have breeding populations in Baldwin, Clarke, Mobile and Washington counties. There have been some observational reports in other areas of the state. The black bear species that we usually see in Alabama is the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus).

Black bears require large tracts of timber with adjacent bottomland hardwood habitat. They prefer having thick timber nearby for shelter and to provide a wide variety of food sources. Black bears also require water near where they spend most of their time. Last but not least, they need a denning site in the area. New timber practices and commercial and residential development have caused a tremendous loss of habitat for the black bear in south Alabama. The black bear population in south Alabama today is restricted to only about 146 square miles.

Most people think of black bears as aggressive predators but nothing can be further from the truth. On the contrary, black bears are actually poor predators. They mostly feed on plants, berries, nuts, roots and bark. Only a small percentage of a black bear’s diet is protein and most of that comes from eating insects. Most public opinions on black bears tend to be negative because people are not educated about the species. Black bears are just like most all wild animals, in that they will almost always run when given the chance. Black bears are very shy animals. This is why most people have never witnessed one in person. Rarely, black bears may attack if they feel threatened or when a sow senses her cubs are being threatened. Although they are usually harmless, you should always avoid any kind of interaction with black bears. They are large and powerful wild animals.
One of the biggest problems pertaining to the public and black bears is caused by baiting. Whether it’s feeding wildlife in your back yard or spreading bait in front of trail cameras, black bears tend to hang around bait as long as it is available. If you don’t want black bears scaring away your wildlife, stop feeding. Feeding can also cause black bears to lose their cautious nature toward humans. They will begin to associate humans with food, which increases the chance of a human and bear encounter. Generally speaking, nuisance bears result from conditioned feeding associated with people.
Although the black bear population is still low from what it once was, we are beginning to see a small increase in their population in south Alabama. With the availability of habitat decreasing each year, it becomes even more important that any population growth be nurtured through education and cooperation. This will help ensure the future success story of the Alabama black bear.

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