LDWF continues to conduct research to monitor demographic and genetic characteristics of the individual subpopulations of Louisiana black bear. Research projects include:
- Annual non-invasive hair sampling to estimate abundance, rate-of-change, and apparent survival and investigate genetic characteristics.
- Annual live-trapping and radio-collaring of bears to monitor changes in survival rates as well as mortality rates and causes
- Annual winter den checks to monitor reproductive rates, combined with family group walk-ins during the summer to monitor recruitment rates (survival of cubs)
- Annual tracking of radio-collared bears, confirmation of reports of sightings or human-bear conflicts, and non-invasive hair sampling to monitor range expansion.
Collectively, data from these projects will allow LDWF to monitor the status of the greater Louisiana black bear population and inform LDWF’s conservation and management decisions.
post-delisting monitoring planpost-delisting monitoring annual reports
As the state wildlife management agency, LDWF has a responsibility to ensure Louisiana black bear subpopulations live on into the future. In 2015, LDWF released a management plan (link) that creates a framework from which LDWF and stakeholders can work to maintain a sustainable Louisiana black bear population within the state and ensure the subspecies remains a valued part of our wildlife community. The plan balances the needs of bears with the needs, expectations, and responsibilities of the public. Specific actions include:
- Maintaining sufficient suitable habitat
- Maintaining connectivity among subpopulations
- Continuing to monitor subpopulation demographics to support timely, well-informed management decisions
- Mitigating manmade causes of mortality to reduce unnecessary losses to subpopulations.
Although the subspecies has recovered in Louisiana, conservation challenges remain, especially related to bears and humans. Bears and humans can coexist—advancing research, managing human-bear conflicts, and promoting education are all integral to keeping the bear population healthy and the public accepting and tolerant of bears.
louisiana black bear management plan