Black Bears on the Rise

Black Bear

The number of black bears in Missouri has more than doubled in the last seven years, increasing to approximately 840 bears, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The bears have been seen primarily in the Ozarks, but there have recently been more sightings in other parts of Missouri.

Hunting in the 1800s nearly wiped out the Missouri black bear population, but a small number still existed in the Ozarks. The increase in the number of bears in Missouri is due to the reintroduction of the species in neighboring states, like Arkansas. The rise of black bears is a sign of healthy forests, as the result of bears eating a lot of plant material and serving as seed dispersers.

Watch out for these Missouri forest residents on your next adventure in nature!

July 26, 2019 - 11:54am

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