Where Are Black Bears Found in Nevada?

As one of our four highlighted neighbors, black bears generate a lot of discussion and insight. But for all of the bear-friendly tips and advice we give, where would it actually apply? What is the extent of the black bear’s range in Nevada?

Black bears are the only bear found in Nevada, and even then their range is restricted to a small portion of the state. Most of Nevada’s bears are found near Reno and Lake Tahoe, with the rest being scattered up and down the western edge of the state along the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) estimates Nevada’s bear population to be somewhere around 300-400 individuals. While news that black bears are spreading eastward across Nevada and the Great Basin as they reclaim their historic range is encouraging, Nevada’s largest bear population around Reno is experiencing some trouble.

As more people continue to move into Lake Tahoe and Reno and use the two scenic, Sierra Nevada cities as popular vacation spots, conflicts with bears increases. Attracting bears to human residences is dangerous for both species, and overly-intrusive bears are occasionally put down. We’ve written extensively on bear safety around the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, but for anyone living along the Sierra Nevada and bear country, keep your pets and their food inside, and properly secure your garbage!

Aaron Huelsman

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