Black Bear at Red River, Photo by Tommy Archer
The East Texas Black Bear Task Force conducted a meeting August 14th at the Big Thicket Field Research Station in Saratoga. Approximately 30 participants received an update on bear sightings, future habitat conservation priorities, new habitat modeling efforts and information on education and outreach activities. Presenters included Chris Comer of Stephen F. Austin State University, Bruce Drury of the Big Thicket Association, Raymon Hedges of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Doyle Shook of the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture, Donna Work of the Texas A&M Forest Service, Gary Calkins of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Nathan Garner of the East Texas Black Bear Task Force.
The East Texas Black Bear Task Force was formed to implement the goals and objectives outlined in the 2005 Conservation and Management Plan and is an official subcommittee of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition. Breeding populations of black bears in Texas are limited to the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains regions, but individual bears are moving into eastern Texas on their own from bordering states. No black bears have been introduced to the state of Texas. It is the goal of the Task Force to garner public support for a proactive approach for the management of bears in East Texas under the leadership of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
One of the most important contributions citizens can make to black bear conservation and management is to report all bear sightings in east Texas. To report a sighting, please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Regional Office in Tyler at 903-566-1626 ext. 209.
Christopher E. ComerShare on Twitter Share on Facebook