Florida FWC

U.S. Forest Service Southern Region

Ways to manage Florida’s black bear population are outlined in the draft of an updated 10-year plan that’s out this week.

Florida’s bear population is estimated at 4,000; and the goal is to keep that number stable, according to Dave Telesco at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. To do that, they have to keep one step ahead – especially this time of year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

This year’s Emerald Coast Open was a record-breaker with nearly 20,000 lionfish removed from the water in Okaloosa County.

The annual fishing tournament aims to reduce the number of lionfish from the Gulf of Mexico where they pose a threat to native marine life.

Daniel Uhlfelder

Oct. 8 Update: Red tide blooms are still present in Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. In Walton County, there is a medium concentration of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis.  According to the latest update from FWC, there is a very low presence of red tide in Okaloosa County. 

Red tide Blooms have popped up in Walton and Okaloosa Counties according to the latest update from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). 

WUWF Public Media

Santa Rosa and Okaloosa are among eight Florida counties in line to receive funding from the 'BearWise' program, to help reduce conflicts between bears and humans.

Bear populations in the state were up in 2015, the latest figures available from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), compared to the last estimate taken in 2002. There were roughly 120 bears in the western Panhandle of Florida – a 50 percent increase -- and nearly 1,100 in the eastern Panhandle – up 86 percent.