Black bear image

Know the Bear Facts
Black Bears in New Jersey

Black Bear Safety Podcast with Michelle Smith - DEP website
"Living with New Jersey Black Bears" DVD

Black bear Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. They are an integral part of the state's natural heritage and a vital component of healthy ecosystems.

Since the 1980s the Garden State's black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range both southward and eastward from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. 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.

Division of Fish and Wildlife personnel use an integrated approach to managing New Jersey's black bear population, fostering coexistence between people and bears.

The most common bear problem New Jersey's residents experience is black bears getting into their garbage. Bears are attracted to neighborhoods by garbage odors, so properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance in your community.

Residents are encouraged to work within their community to make sure all garbage is secured and kept away from bears. For tips on proper garbage management and coexisting with bears, visit:

Bear in dumpster
Preventing problems with black bears is everyone's responsibility!

bear icon
Trash Container Information

NJ Bear Distribution As of 2017
Bear sightings map
Enlarge Map
1995-2014 Distribution Maps
Black Bears Have Been Sighted
In All 21 Counties

To report a nuisance black bear, call the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline:
1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).