How Many Black Bears Live in North Dakota?

How Many Black Bears Live in North Dakota?NORTH DAKOTA STATE - While not traditionally known for its black bear population, North Dakota has seen an increase in sightings in recent years. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGFD) reports that while there is no established breeding population in the state, black bears are becoming more common, particularly in the eastern and northern regions.

How Many Black Bears Live in North Dakota?
How Many Black Bears Live in North Dakota?

Black Bears in North Dakota: A Growing Presence

The NDGFD estimates that around 12-15 black bears are present in the state annually, with most documented in areas bordering Minnesota and Manitoba, both of which have established bear populations. These bears are believed to be primarily young males dispersing from neighboring states in search of new territories.

Factors Contributing to Increased Sightings

Population growth in neighboring states: As black bear populations increase in Minnesota and Manitoba, young males are venturing out in search of new territory, leading to more frequent sightings in North Dakota.
Habitat suitability: North Dakota's Pembina Gorge and areas along the Red River offer suitable habitat for black bears, with ample food sources and cover. Increased awareness and reporting: The NDGFD's online bear reporting system and public awareness campaigns have encouraged residents to report sightings, leading to more documented cases.

While North Dakota doesn't currently have a breeding population of black bears, the increasing number of sightings suggests that this could change in the future. The NDGFD is actively monitoring the situation and collecting data to better understand the black bear population in the state.

For now, North Dakota residents and visitors are encouraged to report any black bear sightings to the NDGFD. This information helps wildlife officials track bear movements, monitor their population, and develop management strategies to ensure the safety of both humans and bears.