The New York State Department of Environmental conservation has issued an alert about the increased risk of encounters with black bears in Western New York (DEC Region 9) this spring and summer.
Watch this the DEC TV video on black bears in Western New York
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A DEC senior wildlife biologist, Timothy Spierto, stated that region’s black bear population is at its highest level in decades. He estimates that 300 to 500 bears currently live in Western New York, mostly in the Southern Tier. Most of the bears are concentrated in and around Allegany State Park, but a few have migrated to other, more populated locations, including Buffalo, Amherst and parts of Niagara County.
During 2009, 26 bears were killed by collisions with motor vehicles in WNY. On June 13, 2009, A motorist struck and killed a black bear in Wyoming County. A bear was killed on the southbound Niagara Thruway between Seneca and Smith streets in the City of Buffalo on May 26, 2009. And another bear was struck and killed on May 15, 2009 on the Aurora Expressway in the Town of Aurora. In July of 2009, Town of Amherst police shot and killed a young black bear that had wandered near homes and businesses in a populated area near Millersport Highway and North French Road.
You can read the latest story about bears in WNY in the The Buffalo News story entitled Beware of Backyard Bears here.
Stories about last years bear incidents can be read at these Buffalo News links:
This map shows the location, by DEC Wildlife Management Area, of black bears taken during the 2009 hunting season:
- Map of black bears taken in WNY during 2009 hunting season
These tables show the towns in which bears were taken in WNY during the 2009 hunting sesson: