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In Florida, Black Bears Get A Recount, Too

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An independent researcher is confirming the state’s claims about a rebounding Florida black bear population. 

Dr. Joseph Clark of the U.S. Geological Survey studied Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission population estimates from 2015.

Clark says there are 4,030 bears, slightly less than the state’s March estimate of 4,350. But it confirms bears have come back since the 1970s, when the state says there were only a few hundred.

Last October, 304 bears were killed when the commission approved the first bear hunt in 20 years. 

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.