- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Researchers now estimate that the black bear population in Middle Georgia is nearly twice as big as previously thought.

The University of Georgia has been conducting research since 2012 by using a model that estimates the number of bears in an area based on hair collected from snare traps, The Telegraph of Macon reported (https://bit.ly/2hAYZQo).

Bobby Bond, a Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, said the latest estimate of 458 bears is based on the most sophisticated model used to date. The state had previously estimated the region’s bear population at 240.

“It’s good news for the bear population,” he said. “I think it gives us a more rounder, completer picture of the bear population.”

Georgia has allowed a one-day bear hunt each year since 2011. Ten bears - half of them female - were killed Saturday in this year’s hunt.

Steps should be taken that ensure that not too many female bears are killed in the annual hunt, said John Trussell, an advocate for preserving the bear population. He is in favor of having the hunt moved to January when the female bears are mostly in dens and less likely to be seen.

“The bear population is in good shape, but it’s still a low population that has to be closely monitored,” Trussell said.

The estimate, which was developed by UGA graduate student Annaliese Ashley, looked at a 278,000-acre area mostly in Houston, Bleckley, Twiggs and Pulaski counties. Ashley calculated about one bear per 625 acres in the area.


Information from: The Macon Telegraph, https://www.macontelegraph.com

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide