WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Final Bear Population Estimate In Florida: 4,030

Wildlife authorities check a dead bear during Florida's bear hunt. Photo by Amy Green

Florida wildlife authorities say the state’s bear population is growing at 4,030.

They say that is the final estimate after a count in 2014 and 2015. The Florida black bear was removed from the state’s threatened list in 2012.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the state’s bear population has grown by 48 percent since the last count in the early 2000s.

But Chuck O’Neal of Speak Up Wekiva says the estimate is high. His organization led a failed legal effort last year to stop the state’s first bear hunt in two decades. He worries about the animal’s habitat.

“The problem is the area over which they extrapolated is not dense forest. It’s been manipulated by the U.S. Forest Service and Florida Forest Service for longleaf pine restoration, which destroys not only oak trees that produce acorns but also the saw palmettos that produce saw palmetto berries.”

Eric Sutton, assistant executive director of Florida Fish and Wildlife, says the estimate is scientifically sound.

“FWC’s focus remains responsibly balancing the needs of black bears with the safety and well-being of Florida’s families and communities.”

The state agency voted against holding another bear hunt this year.


Sign Up For 90.7 WMFE's Newsletter

Catch up on the latest Central Florida news and get updates on programs, events and more.


WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »