How Many Black Bears Live in Pennsylvania?

How Many Black Bears Live in Pennsylvania?PENNSYLVANIA - Pennsylvania has seen its black bear population skyrocket over the past four decades as more people have moved into bear habitats. Unfortunately, this has resulted in more bear sightings due to bears becoming familiar with foods left out for them by humans; an unnerving video such as that featured above shows one man's son coming dangerously close to an unfamiliar bear that investigates his front door. The Game Commission estimates there are 18,000 bears currently roaming Pennsylvania.

How Many Black Bears Live in Pennsylvania?

Black Bears Live in Pennsylvania

Bears (Ursus americanus) may seem slow and lumbering, but they are pretty agile animals capable of quickly running up to 35 miles an hour and climbing trees. Plus, they can swim well enough that some have lived over 25 years in the wild!

The Game Commission can determine the state's "biological carrying capacity" by tracking and monitoring radio-collared bears. Emily Carrollo, a wildlife biologist for the commission, actively participates in this research: she locates collared bears in their winter dens before performing physical checks during the February-March hibernation season.

Carrollo takes temperature readings of bears before measuring their head and torso and shaving a patch of fur from one ear for piercing with tags for tags. This provides census data that the Game Commission uses to establish their annual population estimates, such as when females give birth and how many cubs are born annually by each female.