CARSON CITY – Black bears in Nevada are not distinct from other bear populations in the region and do not warrant federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.
“It’s the same black bears on either side of the California and Nevada state line, and there is no biological difference associated with this political boundary,” said Ted Koch, Nevada state supervisor for the federal agency.
“Therefore the bears on the Nevada side do not warrant treatment as a separate species under the ESA.”
Most of Nevada’s black bears are found in the Carson Range and eastern Sierra in and around Lake Tahoe. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said the same species of American black bear is found in California and in the Cascade Range of northern California and southern Oregon.
The finding comes in response to a petition filed in September by two wildlife groups, NoBearHuntNV.org and Oregon-based Big Wildlife, which opposed establishing a bear hunting season in Nevada. Fourteen bears were killed in the state’s inaugural hunt last year.