LPB chronicles the comeback of the Louisiana black bear

Alive! In America’s Delta: Black Bear Comeback to air Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting producers and photographers spent a year following biologists on the forefront of the Louisiana black bear recovery effort to create the latest episode of Alive! In America’s Delta.

Efforts to save the iconic species are documented in Black Bear Comeback, set to air on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on the LPB network across the state.

“Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists have proven time and again that species recovery is possible when staff time and resources are made available to make it happen,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “In this state that has been true for the alligator, the bald eagle, the brown pelican, white tailed-deer, wild turkey – and now the black bear.”

According to a press release, when the Louisiana black bear was listed as threatened in 1992, there were estimated to be fewer than 300 of them left in the world. Today, estimates now indicate between 500 and 1,000 bears in the state, and the population is continuing to grow.

New studies documenting the bear population in coastal St. Mary Parish, Iberia Parish and Point Coupee Parish are nearly complete and will be a critical factor in determining if the bears could soon be removed from protected status.

The results of the U.S. Geological Survey’s study are expected in early January, and once the data is analyzed, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether the Louisiana black bear can be removed from the federal Endangered Species List, the release states.

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