Bears


LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK BEARS IN NJ ON NOV. 17

In the wake of several bear sightings in Union County communities this year, the public is invited to a special Cranford forum about Black Bears in New Jersey.

State Biologist Michelle Smith, from the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, will be speaking at 8 p.m., on Nov. 17, at the Masonic AzureMasada Lodge #22, 478 South Avenue East, Cranford.

Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They are an integral part of the state’s natural heritage and a vital component of healthy ecosystems.

Since the 1980s the Garden State’s black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving and there are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties.

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife offers Know the Bear Facts educational seminars free of charge to schools and organized groups. Program participants learn about the natural history and biology of the Garden State’s largest land mammal, as well as about black bear research. Since black bears are found statewide, the program also provides practical information about coexisting with bears and tips on how to react if a black bear is encountered.


While New Jersey’s Black Bear population is concentrated more in the northwest corner of the state, they have expanded their territory over the years and have wandered practically all over the state, showing up at times here in Union County.

Because bears do occasionally do show up, residents are cautioned to avoid approaching any bear and contact authorities immediately. Bear problems are handled by the State, with the following information provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They are an integral part of the state’s natural heritage and a vital component of healthy ecosystems.

Since the 1980s the Garden State’s black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving and there are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties.

Division of Fish and Wildlife personnel use an integrated approach to managing New Jersey’s black bear population, fostering coexistence between people and bears.

The most common bear problem New Jersey’s residents experience is black bears getting into their garbage. Bears are attracted to neighborhoods by garbage odors, so properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance in your community.

Residents are encouraged to work within their community to make sure all garbage is secured and kept away from bears. For tips on proper garbage management and coexisting with bears, click here.