Athens, Ohio – One hundred-five black bear sightings were
reported in 21 Ohio counties last year, according to the DNR
Division of Wildlife. Of that number, state wildlife personnel
confirmed 38 sightings, a similar count to the 39 confirmed
sightings in 2007.
The confirmed sightings of 2008 occurred in 11 different
counties and involved an estimated 29 different black bears, the
Division of Wildlife reported.
Sightings occurred in every month of 2008. The majority of bears
were reported May through August, which is the peak of black bear
breeding and dispersal of young male bears, according to the
Twenty of the 105 sightings involved damage or nuisance
behavior, such as damage to bird feeders, beehives and garbage
containers, as well as consumption of pet food. An estimated 19
bears were involved in these cases.
Most of the counties reporting bear sightings were in
northeastern and southeastern Ohio. Ashtabula County led the state
reporting 65 sightings.
Across the state there were three reported sightings of sows
In 2007, state wildlife officials confirmed 39 of a total 141
black bear sightings. The confirmed sightings were in 16 counties
and involved about 19 different black bears. A record 165 bear
sightings were reported in 2002.
The Division of Wildlife began formally keeping records of black
bear observations in 1993. Since that time, bears have been
confirmed in 46 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Efforts to monitor the black bear have been supported by the
Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species fund, which receives
donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off
program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates. Individuals
wanting to donate to the fund can also donate online at www.wildohio.com
The black bear is listed as endangered in Ohio and protected by