Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 2, Number 2, Pages 151-152, Fall 2008. Published and copyright by Jack H. Berryman Institute. http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


The Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) is one of 16 subspecies of American black bear. At the time of English settlement, this subspecies was abundant throughout Louisiana, the southern two-thirds of Mississippi, eastern Texas, and extreme southern Arkansas. By the 1950s, Louisiana black bears had been extirpated from most of their original range due to habitat destruction and fragmentation and over-harvest by hunters (Leigh and Chamberlain 2008). It is believed that only about 100 black bears remained; existing in isolated, extremely rural areas of eastern Louisiana. Bears became so scarce during the 1960s that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) initiated a restocking program using bears captured in Minnesota. The restoration program ultimately was unsuccessful. Small, isolated bear populations continued to hang onto existence, and, in 1992, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the Louisiana black bear as threatened.