LA Black bear Population Continues to Rise

Accurate estimates of the Louisiana black bear were not available when the bear was listed as “threatened” in 1992.  An estimate of around 300 animals was the number that seemed to be tossed around the most.  Since that time, several research studies have been conducted to attempt to get a more accurate count of bears in the region.  In 1991, researchers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Tennessee estimated that 60 to 100 bears occupied the Tensas Basin population.  In 1999, as study using a DNA hair snare survey estimated 90 to 180 bears in the Tensas Basin population.  A multi-year study in the Tensas Basin in recent years provided an estimate of 294 bears in the Tensas Basin.  A similar study in the upper Atchafalaya Basin estimated 56 bears in that subpopulation.  That study has been replicated in the coastal population in St. Mary and Iberia Parishes, but the results have not yet been made public.