[UPDATE] Florida Black Bear Removed from Threatened List

By: David Royse, The News Service of Florida; AP
By: David Royse, The News Service of Florida; AP

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, June 9, 2011……

The Florida black bear, the Brown pelican and 14 other species are set to be removed from the list of threatened species in Florida after a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The commission began a review four years ago of the list of threatened species in an effort to determine which animals were no longer at risk of extinction in Florida, looking at various factors indicating the risk to the animal’s survival, including overall population size and the size of the species’ range.

The black bear is a symbol of Florida’s conservation effort to the point that it is one of two animals pictured on the state’s “Conserve Wildlife” license plates. The other is the snowy egret, which was also removed from the list by Wednesday’s vote.

The commission, meeting in St. Augustine, voted 6-0 to accept the recommendations of groups set up to review 61 species for possible delisting. The panel recommended keeping 40 species, including the burrowing owl and the Roseate spoonbill, on the state threatened list, removing the 16 animals, and keeping five species as “species of special concern” because there wasn’t enough information to make a final decision.

A number of well known species that are federally endangered or threatened weren’t part of the review, including the Florida Panther, the manatee, a number of different sea turtle species, and the American alligator and American crocodile.

The change in status followed the adoption of a new classification system, work on which began in 2007.

"The whole process represents the most comprehensive assessment ever of Florida's threatened wildlife," Dr. Elsa Haubold, the FWC's leader of the Threatened Species Management System, said in a statement released Wednesday. "The reviews provide us - and the public - with information necessary to help us draft management plans to conserve and prevent extinction of Florida's wildlife."

None of the changes will go into effect right away. State biologists will now create management plans for the population – essentially deciding what it will mean for the particular species to no longer be on the list, such as whether hunting should be allowed. Commission staff have said that in the case of the black bear, any decision on hunting is a long way off.

State wildlife officials say there were only a few hundred black bears in Florida in the middle of the last century, but through conservation efforts the population had rebounded to more than 2,000 by the beginning of this century even with human population pressures.

The 16 species approved Wednesday for removal from the state threatened list were the:

Alligator snapping turtle
Brown pelican
Florida black bear
Florida mouse
Florida tree snail
Gopher frog
Lake Eustis pupfish
Limpkin Pine Barrens treefrog
RivulusSnowy egret
Suwannee cooter
White ibis

And in the Keys, the:

Peninsula ribbon snake
Red rat snake
Striped mud turtle

______________

St. Augustine, FL (AP) - The Florida black bear will no longer
be a protected species.

The native bear, considered threatened since 1974, was among 16
species removed from the state list Wednesday by the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A study found that the bear's
numbers had increased from 500 in the 1950s to more than 2,000 in
the early part of this decade.

Commissioners voted 6-0 to remove the bear from the list, but
the change will not take place officially until they come up with a
management plan -- which could open the door to bear hunting in
Florida.

Since 1998, the bear's image has been featured on the state's
"Conserve Wildlife" specialty license plate, which has generated
about $500,000 per year for wildlife commission programs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by jayl Location: sopchoppy on Jun 15, 2011 at 05:19 PM
    A few years back I spent $3,000 to go to Canada to hunt bears. I would have loved to have spent part of that money for a chance to hunt them in Florida. I see them all the time around my house. There needs to be a season here in Florida as they are and have been a nuisence. Sell us tags to manage the population.
  • by big shady Location: East 90 on Jun 9, 2011 at 12:34 PM
    Its about time. Now they need to open up a season on them. Alligators on the endangered/threatened list?? WTF are these people on? They've obviously never been on a body of freshwater in Florida. There is NO shortage of Alligators in this state.
  • by You betcha on Jun 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM
    Well, as usual, a bunch of clowns and idiots have posted their "thoughts". This delisting move was to be expected, with Republicans running the government here for so many decades now. You see, Republicans only care about things they can shoot, and they want to be able to shoot everything. Soon they will have to resort to shooting things, brought in from other places, that are stocked on private reserves. There will be no wildlife left in Florida, because Republicans will make sure that all land is developed, and all native wildlife is shot or extirpated. Forget about drinking the water, too - but then, Republicans will make sure some of their friends get a sweetheart deal and will supply FL with bottled water. And idiots will continue to vote for this scum.
    • reply
      by not likely on Jun 9, 2011 at 01:18 PM in reply to You betcha
      Well, as usual, at least one clown or idiot has posted their "thoughts". This delisting move was to be expected, thankfully, Democrats haven't been running the government here for many decades now. You see, Democrats only care about things they can steal, then redistribute, and they want to be able to steal and redistribute everything. Soon they will have to resort to stealing things, brought in from other places, that are stocked on private property. There will be no wildlife left in Florida, because Democrats will make sure that all land is confiscated, and all native wildlife is starved into extinction due to poor game management. Forget about drinking the water, too - but then, Democrats will make sure some of their friends get a sweetheart deal and will supply FL with bottled water. And idiots will continue to vote for this scum.-----There, see how that works.
    • reply
      by Country on Jun 9, 2011 at 04:04 PM in reply to You betcha
      Grandiose political rhetoric aside, wildlife populations _must_ be controlled.
  • by Sunshine Location: Orange on Jun 9, 2011 at 07:00 AM
    When I was little, I liked bears. But then, after I grew up and started PEVA (People Eating Veggies are A******s), I found out that bears eat a lot of plants and also honey bees. I don't like that, and think it would be OK to eat the bears, like we do cows, which eat REALLY a lot of plants. And step on them, which is mean, so I eat cows all the time. Does anyone know the best way to cook bears?
    • reply
      by Good Day on Jun 9, 2011 at 09:04 AM in reply to Sunshine
      Pick up a copy of "The Joy of Cooking". They have recipes for everything including muskrat and armadillo.
      • reply
        by Sunshine on Jun 9, 2011 at 10:17 AM in reply to Good Day
        Do they have recipes for cooking innocent plants? Because I just can't stand reading those. It's almost like they all have them.
  • by SH88 Location: tally on Jun 9, 2011 at 06:48 AM
    Who cares if they go extinct. It's the circle of life.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 09:31 AM in reply to SH88
      The circle of life comes from the fact the every species depend on other species (a circle where everyone depends on others). Without Black bears, some species would be affected, and as this cascades, soon all species would be effected, and possibly at risk. But I guess ignorance is bliss, so who cares right?
  • by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 06:46 AM
    I bet many now wish this happened a few weeks ago when a 'large bear' was roaming parts of north Clay and south Duval Counties. I know some of those residents who saw the bear would have loved the chance to shoot it.
  • by robert on Jun 9, 2011 at 06:44 AM
    I believe the gators (not florida) should of made this list before the black bear.
  • by Brutal Location: Capital City, Florida on Jun 9, 2011 at 03:58 AM
    It's about time. They are as numerous as gators! Start selling stamps, and we can stop them from breaking into houses.
  • by Say What? on Jun 9, 2011 at 03:58 AM
    I bet they kept the Polar Bear on the list!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 05:45 AM in reply to Say What?
      Where have you seen polar bears in Florida? (other than a zoo of course)
  • by Country Location: groundinfinity on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:54 PM
    Hallelujah!!! Where there are bears, there are too many bears -- they need culling badly. It is a classic case of "The king is dead, long live the King..."
    • reply
      by Anon Nowhere, nearby on Jun 9, 2011 at 09:12 AM in reply to Country
      Think...Mrs Dash, oak fire and a grill! Very tasty? You betcha!
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