Litter Size and Age of First Breeding of Florida Black Bears

We estimated litter size and age of first reproduction of female black bears in Florida from the examination of 139 female reproductive tracts. Corpora lutea occurred in 81 of the tracts. The number of corpora lutea per tract, a close approximation of litter size, averaged 2.6 (range: 1-4). Most (75%) female bears bred initially when 2.5 years old, and the remainder at 3.5 years. Litter sizes and age of first breeding of female black bears in Florida are comparable to those found in other productive areas of eastern North America.

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