The number of reported bear sightings in Connecticut in 2018 increased significantly from the previous year, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The most recent figures from DEEP of bear sightings cover the period from Jan. 8, 2018 to Dec. 12, 2018.
The number of bear sightings, however, doesn’t necessarily translate to bear populations. The same bear can be spotted numerous times in various communities.
DEEP estimates Connecticut has a bear population of around 800.
With an estimated bear population of more than 235 in Litchfield County, there has been an effort in two General Assembly sessions to allow bear hunting. Both efforts failed.
“Based on the tagging and tracking data gathered by the DEEP, the department estimates that Connecticut’s black bear population is increasing at a rate of 10 percent per year,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said. “In the absence of natural predators and with easy access to food sources associated with the presence of humans, it is reasonable to project that the population will continue to increase, with the overall population reaching 3,000 or higher (based upon observed density in similar habitats).”
Last year, there were a number of bear sightings that attracted the public attention:
Like bear sighting numbers from prior years, the towns of Simsbury (597), Farmington (542), Avon (460) and Granby (403) lead the list.
Other towns in Connecticut’s bear country include:
New Milford: 311
New Hartford: 201
West Hartford: 199
Salisbury : 120
East Granby: 80
New Fairfield: 69
North Haven: 23
In Connecticut cities:
New Haven: 5
For the complete statewide list, click here