Ohio black bear sightings in 2014 dropped from 2013 numbers, with a catch.
Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife documented 135 black bear sightings in 2014 that involved an estimated 88 individual bears. This is a decrease from 2013 numbers, where 158 sightings were documented from an estimated 74 black bears.
Interestingly, though the number of black bear sightings decreased, the estimated number of black bears increased in 2014.
The Division of Wildlife biologists confirmed sightings by evidence, including tracks and photographic proof. The ODNR confirmed 60 of the 135 sightings in 2014, or roughly 44 percent. This is also an increase from 2013, where only 34 percent of black bear sightings were confirmed.
Other key facts from these sightings include:
- Two reports of a black bear sow with cubs (both in Athens County), one of which was confirmed. The observer caught a picture of the second cub, which appeared to be a yearling.
- Ashtabula and Trumbull counties reported the most black bear sightings, at 21 in each county. Ashtabula had 14 confirmed sightings, and Trumbull had 13.
- Most sightings (about 52 percent) were reported from May through July.
- Black bear sightings were reported in 43 counties, most of which from northeast Ohio.
- The first verified sightings for Hamilton County occurred in 2014.
Residents can report black bear sightings to 1-800-WILDLIFE.
For more information about ODNR’s 2014 black bear observations, find the full report here.
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