Of the three bear species (black, brown, and polar bears) in North America, only the black bear lives in Virginia. Shy and secretive, the sighting of a bear is a rare treat for most Virginians. However, bears are found throughout most of the Commonwealth, and encounters between bears and people are increasing.
Where do bears live in Virginia?
While the highest concentration of bears occurs in the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains and around the Great Dismal Swamp, bears can be seen just about anywhere in Virginia.
How common are bears in Virginia?
If you live in Virginia, you live in bear country! Black Bears are found throughout Virginia, and may even be seen in some suburban and urban locations. The bear population is healthy with an estimated 17,000 bears in the state.
Are there grizzly bears in Virginia?
Virginia has black bears which range in color from light brown to dark black. There are no grizzly or polar bears in Virginia. Black bears gorge during the Fall on acorns and whatever else they can find, then stay in a den (usually a hollow tree) during the winter.
How many bears are in Virginia?
Better management and changing ecological conditions have resulted in increases in black bear numbers throughout their geographic range. By current estimates, more than 900,000 are living today on the continent with 5,000 to 6,000 of those in Virginia.
Are there mountain lions in Virginia?
According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, there are no mountain lions (or cougars or Pumas) in Virginia. They say the last mountain lion in Virginia was killed in 1882.
Are there wolves in Virginia?
Although this species once ranged throughout most of North America and Mexico, it is now fairly rare in the United States with most of the individuals found in Alaska. … This species used to occur throughout Virginia, but is now considered extirpated from the state.
Are black bears aggressive?
In most cases, black bears are relatively shy, only acting aggressively as a last resort. Nevertheless, the most effective way to avoid a bear attack is by preventing encounters in the first place. Just because black bears can be less dangerous than other large carnivores doesn’t mean fatal attacks don’t happen.
What do you do if you see a black bear?
Stand and face the bear directly. Never run away from or approach him. Make yourself look as big as possible by spreading your arms or, better yet, a coat. Make as much noise as possible by yelling, banging pots and pans or using other noisemaking devices.
Are coyotes in Virginia?
Coyotes are found throughout Virginia, including in urban and suburban areas. … The best way to prevent coyotes from becoming a problem is to avoid giving them a reason to come near your home. Keep reading to get more tips.
What state has the most black bear?
In the US, Alaska reported the highest number of black bears with a ”conservative” esti- mate of 72,500; in the lower 48 states, bear population sizes varied from 55 in Mississippi to 34,000 in California. …
How big are black bears in Virginia?
Depending on the time of year, adult female black bears commonly weigh between 90 to 250 pounds. Males commonly weigh between 130 to 500 pounds.
Are there elk in Virginia?
Elk were successfully re-introduced to Virginia between 2012 and 2014 and now there’s a thriving herd of more than 250 elk in Southwest Virginia, most of which are located in close proximity to the original restoration site in Buchanan County.