Florida's black bears have just begun to recover from near extinction but they still face serious threats from habitat loss and fragmentation. Since much of the habitat has been developed, the bears are often drawn to residential areas with unsecured garbage cans and also by people who are feeding them illegally.
Many agree that the black bear population is on the right track, but the only reason the bear was removed from the state endangered species list was because the state changed the definition of 'endangered'. Currently, there is no scientific study which has determined black bear population levels. A population assessment is underway, but won't be complete until next year.
Despite a lack of a definitive population count, State Wildlife Commission members have decided in light of recent bear-human incidents to reopen a trophy hunting season on these majestic creatures for the first time in twenty years. This will not solve any conflicts and will appease a small minority of trophy hunters.
Tell the Governor and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to wait for the population study before deciding whether to allow black bear hunting! Sign the petition today, time is running out! http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/
Since Florida Wildlife Commission staff already kills bears who are considered a threat to neighborhoods it does not make sense to allow freelance trophy hunters in to kill bears who pose no threat.
Most of us who live in Florida would appreciate more humane treatment of our wildlife on the part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Wait until the just begun population study is complete, and use the best available science to guide your decision-not a knee-jerk response to bear-human interactions.