Black bear activity in the Hill Country and South Texas along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to below Laredo is increasing, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
“This is likely a result of a growing number of bears in Mexico dispersing and searching for food after severe droughts and wildfires,” says TPWD biologist Jonah Evans of Alpine, the department’s bear coordinator. “Whether these sightings signify a permanent recolonization of Central and South Texas remains to be seen.”
While black bears are native to all of Texas, in the early 1900′s, heavy hunting and trapping completely eliminated them from the state. Currently, the only established breeding populations are in the Big Bend area of West Texas.