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Reply #91: Sounds bad until you put it in perspective. [View All]

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 01:25 AM
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91. Sounds bad until you put it in perspective.
I looked a few numbers up:

There are an estimated 3500 black bears in New Jersey. Assuming a standard gender split, that's around 1700 females. Black bears live around 18 years in the wild, and begin breeding around 5 years, so there are probably about 1200 breeding females in the state. Female black bears produce at least two cubs per breeding, and reproduce at least once every three years.

On average, these numbers pencil out to AT LEAST 800 new Black Bears in New Jersey every year*. Because the state is projecting that a consistent 600 bears a year will be taken by these hunts, the simple reality is that the black bear population in the state is still growing. 3500 in 2011. 3700 in 2012. 3900 in 2014. 4100 in 2015. And on. And on. These bear numbers are already higher than those noted by the first European settlers in the 1600's, and they are probably the highest numbers the area has seen since the native americans settled the region 13,000 years ago. Even they hunted the bears to keep their numbers lower than they are today.

These bears aren't going anywhere, and these hunts aren't making any kind of significant dent in their population. It's simply slowing their population growth rate down.

* I should note that ALL of my numbers have been rounded down...bears breed as early as 3 years, live as long as 25, have up to 6 cubs per litter, can breed every other year, etc. The numbers listed here are the minimums. In reality, they are probably producing far more than 800 cubs a year, but that's a safe minimum for the sake of this discussion. Their population is still growing by at least 200 bears a year, but the real number could easily be double that.
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