Discover DEP: the Official Podcast of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Episode 30-Bear Saftety with Michelle Smith

November 4, 2016

Since the 1980s, the Garden State's black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving, and there are now confirmed bear sightings in all 21 of New Jersey's counties. DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife uses an integrated approach to managing New Jersey's black bear population, fostering coexistence between people and bears. Michelle Smith, biologist and bear specialist here at DEP, sits down with Bob Bostock to discuss bears in New Jersey as well as safety tips for dealing with them.

For more information on bear safety in New Jersey, please visit You can report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

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