- Living With the Wild
Is Florida’s Bear Hunt Necessary?
The bear population has risen in the state, but conservationists wonder what a weeklong hunt will accomplish.
Florida is poised to open a sport hunting season on black bears this Saturday. It's the first such season in 21 years. And as nearly 3,000 recipients of special bear tags ready their rifles, controversy surrounds the occasion.
A handful of other states use hunting seasons to control black bear populations, but conservationists wonder whether it's necessary in Florida. The influx of people to the Sunshine State has already made the habitat for the iconic Florida panther so fragmented that the big cat’s prospects for survival are bleak.
“In a state that has seen such explosive human population growth, the bisection of so much habitat means that any wide-ranging apex predator is going to have difficulty making a living in that