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8/22/2017 - Know the Bear Facts - Black Bears in New Jersey

Know the Bear Facts - Black Bears in New Jersey

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, visit:

For a list of Bear Resistant Trash Container Manufacturers please CLICK HERE.


Remember: Never feed bears! It's illegal in New Jersey, and it's dangerous. Anyone feeding bears could face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense.


Preventing problems with black bears is everyone's responsibility!

To report a nuisance black bear, call the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

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