Louisiana Black Bear Population On The Rise

WDSU.com, Bear Hunting Magazine

If the Louisiana black bear population continues to rebound as quickly as it has over the past several years, the animal could make its way off the federal government's threatened species list by 2013. They estimate that there are at least 500 bears in the state, but there could be as many as 1,000.

That is according to several experts in the field currently working to get an accurate count of how many bears are in the state and to fill gaps in the bear population. The bear has been on the U.S. threatened species list since the early 1990s.

The threatened status means the bear is at risk of becoming endangered, which would mean it is at risk of becoming extinct. Both categories carry the same level of protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, so the bears cannot be hunted or their habitat taken.

Parishes where the bears are thriving, or beginning to do so, include Madison, Pointe Coupee, Tensas, St. Mary, Iberia, lower Concordia and eastern Avoyelles.

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