Missouri Black Bear Project

In an effort to understand the dynamics of the ongoing black bear recovery, SCIF and our partners are studying bear habitat use and survival, and obtaining accurate population estimates in order to help the Missouri Department of Conservation develop a black bear management plan.  Black bears are doing well in Missouri, and we expect that in the near future a limited hunting season will return for Missouri bears for the first time in nearly a century.

Species involved: Black Bear

Project partner: Missouri Department of Conservation

Total SCIF Investment: $82,000 (With help from HLF)

Year SCIF began involvement: 2011 (Timeline: 2010-2020)


Project Objectives

1) Determine age at first reproduction and reproductive rates for female bears.

2) Build a population trajectory model based on demographic information.

3) Define suitable habitat for black bears, identify areas of primary habitat, and quantify corridors for black bear movement.


Anticipated Outcomes

This project will help define the feasibility and potential schedule for implementing a bear harvest. It will also provide important data for setting season timing and harvest quotas. Population models can be used to evaluate the impact of various regulations. Resource use and spatial distribution would be used to develop black bear management zones to ensure stable populations.