Wildlife: Black Bears Back in Texas

Mother Black Bear and cub in Big bend National Park.

Mother Black Bear and cub in Big Bend National Park.

This is Passport to Texas

The American Black bear is returning to parts of its native range in Texas after a long absence.

13—When Europeans got to Texas, black bears roamed across the entire state. And it wasn’t until the 1950s when they were almost completely wiped out. I think by the 60s they were completely wiped out, and then slowly started coming back.

Sightings of the Louisiana black bear, a threatened subspecies found in east Texas, trickle into Texas Parks and Wildlife; the animals are usually lone males meandering across the Texas-Oklahoma border. It’s a different story for the Mexican black bear, says Texas Parks and Wildlife mammalogist, Jonah Evans.

30—The Mexican black bear seems to be making the biggest comeback right now. And these are bears coming across from Mexico – the del Carmen region, sort of across from Big Bend National Park. In 2011 we had sightings in a huge number of counties where we haven’t seen them before, like Mennard County, Valverde County, Crockett County, and all the way down south in Star County and Webb County. So, we had a lot of bears moving around.

What’s bringing these south-of-the-border bears back into Texas? Mammalogist, Jonah Evans, returns tomorrow to share his thoughts.

That’s our show for today…Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Comments are closed.