Skip to main content

Berchman Soileau
Wildlife Photographer

According to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Louisiana’s official state mammal, the Louisiana black bear is also the state’s most recent conservation success story.

One of 16 unique subspecies of the American black bear in North America, the Louisiana black bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1992. Years of overexploitation from bear hunting in the 19th and early 20th centuries and widespread deforestation from manufacturing of wood products and clearing lands for agriculture drastically reduced the population and distribution of Louisiana black bear.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders to monitor black bear population numbers, restore black bear habitat, and protect the subspecies for the long term, the Louisiana black bear has now recovered and was removed from the list in 2016. The Louisiana black bear’s recovery is a symbol of effective wildlife management approaches and the value of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Photograph: Louisiana Black Bear – St. Landry Parish – 9/16/2022
(Photographed by Berchman Soileau)

Berchman Soileau