How Many Black Bears Live in Montana?

Montana's Black Bear PopulationMONTANA STATE - Montana, known for its vast wilderness and rugged landscapes, is home to a thriving population of black bears. While exact numbers can fluctuate, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) estimates that the state harbors between 13,000 and 17,000 black bears. This makes Montana one of the top states in the U.S. for black bear populations.

Montana's Black Bear Population
Montana's Black Bear Population

Montana's Black Bear Population: Thriving in Big Sky Country

Black bears are found throughout most of Montana, with higher densities in the western regions, particularly in and around Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. They inhabit a variety of habitats, from dense forests to alpine meadows, and their diet consists mainly of berries, nuts, insects, and occasionally small animals.

The FWP actively manages the black bear population through regulated hunting seasons and research initiatives. These efforts aim to maintain a healthy population balance and minimize conflicts with humans.

Bear sightings in Montana are relatively rare, despite the large population. However, it's important for residents and visitors to be "bear aware" and take precautions to avoid encounters. This includes storing food and garbage securely, cooking food away from campsites, and making noise while hiking to alert bears of your presence.

The thriving black bear population in Montana is a testament to the state's commitment to conservation and the preservation of its natural heritage. By respecting these magnificent creatures and their habitat, we can ensure that they continue to thrive in Big Sky Country for generations to come.