MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has released its new black bear population estimation.

The department says the black bear population now stands at an estimated 7,000 to 8,500. That number, based on 2022 data, marks a five-year high for the Green Mountain state.

It credits the robust bear population to decades of research, and conservation efforts such as land protection, and public education on proactive conflict prevention. In a statement, the department says, “taking active steps to coexist with bears is our responsibility as Vermonters.”

The VFWD says it will be watching the population closely in the next few years to see if the population drops or continues its upward trend.