Bayou Bear Tracks, A KNOE 8 News Special Report - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Bayou Bear Tracks, A KNOE 8 News Special Report

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In the Mississippi River Delta  (KNOE 8 News) - Modern expansion  in the area where the bear once roamed freely has led to the Louisiana sub-species being placed on the endangered species list.

"The Louisiana Black Bear was federally listed in 1992, due to low numbers that came about from over harvest and loss of habitat."

Since that time, the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries has deployed a cadre of specialists to implement a plan to increase the bear population in the state.

"We have two substantial populations, the first here in Tensas.  Our last estimate was 296 bears in this sub-population.  The other is in Pointe Coupee or Upper Atchafalaya, that population is about 58 bears."

The department has vets whose jobs it is to monitor the health of the animals and technicians to act as a liaison between the animal and human population.

"We examine any fatalities to make sure if they were hit by a car. We do forensic analysis if it is a poaching episode."

"As our bear population continues to grow, human-bear interaction is going to rise."

Maria Davidson, the Large Carnivore Program Manager tells us how the studies that have been ongoing  the past several years will determine the black bear's future.  If removed from the endangered list, there could be a hunting season, which would be based on a harvest quota.
"Because of the data we've gathered.  We have extensive data that enables us to determine exactly how many bears we could afford to harvest in each sub-population."

In addition, the goal would be to sustain, or perhaps continue to grow the population.  Next time we'll introduce you to an orphan cub, soon  to be released  into the wild.

"The cub has a good chance of making it in the future."

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