DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a large American black bear or a grizzly bear. The skulls of American black bears are broad, with narrow muzzles and large jaw hinges. Female home ranges are 3 to 40 square kilometers (1 to 15 square miles). Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzly bears, which was fraught with danger, hibernating American black bears took longer to awaken and hunting them was thus safer and easier. However, in current times, American black bear fatalities are overwhelmingly attributable to human activities. in admiration for the American black bear's intelligence, would decorate the heads of bears they killed with trinkets and place them on blankets. [65] Females have been shown to be pickier in their choice of dens in comparison to males. Meat from the neck, front legs and shoulders is usually ground into minced meat or used for stews and casseroles. [42], The average lifespan in the wild is 18 years, though it is quite possible for wild specimens to survive for more than 23 years. In the northeast part of the range (United States and Canada), prime habitat consists of a forest canopy of hardwoods such as beech, maple, birch and coniferous species. (1967) "Population characteristics and activities of black bears in Yellowstone National Park". Hard masts become the most important part of the American black bear's diet in autumn and may even partially dictate the species' distribution. For American black bears living in the American Southwest and Mexico, habitat usually consists of stands of chaparral and pinyon juniper woods. Kermode bears are found along the north-central coast of British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory, Canada. [5][page needed][39] Many of these will stealthily snatch small cubs right from under the sleeping mother. [125][126], The majority of attacks happened in national parks, usually near campgrounds, where the bears had habituated to close human proximity and food. Individual coat colors can range from white, blonde, cinnamon, light brown or dark chocolate brown to jet black, with many intermediate variations existing. [65], The majority of the American black bear's animal diet consists of insects, such as bees, yellow jackets, ants and their larvae. Unlike female brown bears, female American black bears are not as protective of their cubs and rarely attack humans in the vicinity of the cubs. About 170,000-175,000 hunters are expected to buy Pennsylvania bear-hunting licenses this year. Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us relocated a 360 pound female in the fall of 1998 in Central Ontario. The most licenses sold in one year was 175,314 in 2015. They have been known to turn over flat-shaped rocks weighing 310 to 325 pounds (141 to 147 kg) by flipping them over with a single foreleg. They reach sexual maturity at the age of three years and attain their full growth at the age of five years. Bears at lower altitudes tend to emerge earlier. Colorado, Idaho, western Montana and Wyoming, eastern Washington and Oregon and northeastern Utah. These tremarctine bears evolved from bears that had emigrated from Asia to North America 7–8 ma. [127] It is not recommended to use unleashed dogs to deter bear attacks. [24], The current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains almost continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. How does a black bear finds food? [3][4][page needed] According to recent studies, the sun bear is also a relatively recent split from this lineage. 1-year 21.76 lbs. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the American black bear as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Canadian black bear hunts take place in the fall and spring and both male and female bears can be legally taken, though some provinces prohibit the hunting of females with cubs, or yearling specimens. On average, most bears taken by hunters weigh somewhere between 125 and 300 pounds. The other 90% appear as normal-colored black bears. Longevity in the wild is 20 to 25 years. I would take exception to the attempt to characterize those who tag small bears as being unsportsmanlike. However, at abundant food sources (e.g. [65][page needed], In his book The Great Bear Almanac, Gary Brown summarized the predominance of black or brown/blonde specimens by location:[41], American black bears have better eyesight and hearing than humans. Livestock depredations occur mostly in spring. Length: Five to six feet long. Today, they are primarily limited to sparsely settled, forested areas. Vegetation around the carcass is usually matted down by American black bears and their droppings are frequently found nearby. The overall population of American black bears in the United States has been estimated to range between 339,000 and 465,000,[32] though this excludes populations from Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, whose population sizes are unknown. However, on occasions where they encounter Kodiak or grizzly bears, the larger two brown subspecies dominate them. They can also climb trees and are strong swimmers. [39] In parts of northeastern Canada, especially Labrador, American black bears have adapted exclusively to semi-open areas that are more typical habitat in North America for brown bears (likely due to the absence here of brown and polar bears, as well as other large carnivore species). 2) The average length of a black bear is 5 to 6 feet, and the average height is 2 to 3 feet when standing on all fours. "Implications of a high-energy and low-protein diet on the body composition, fitness, and competitive abilities of black (, Barnes, V.G. [19][80], Hibernating American black bears spend their time in hollowed-out dens in tree cavities, under logs or rocks, in banks, caves, or culverts and in shallow depressions. American black bears on the East Coast tend to be heavier on average than those on the West Coast, although American black bears follow Bergmann's rule and bears from the Northwest are often slightly heavier than the bears from the Southeast. [37], There are about in 1,500 bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Finally, mature males tend to come out earliest, followed by immature males and females, and lastly mothers with cubs. As the fawns reach 10 days of age, they can outmaneuver the bears and their scent is soon ignored until the next year. [102][103][104] They may even hunt prey up to the size of adult female moose, which are considerably larger than themselves, by ambushing them. [63] Despite their name, American black bears show a great deal of color variation. As a result, the cats spend more time killing and less time feeding on each kill. [105] Unless well trained, horses were often useless in American black bear hunts, as they often bolted when the bears stood their ground. Black bears can also be efficient predators of deer fawns and moose calves. Adult female bears, called sows, weigh about 175 pounds. Although large, aggressive dogs can sometimes cause a bear to run, if pressed, angry bears often turn the tables and end up chasing the dogs in return. Adult male black bears can weigh between 150 and 600 pounds, and adult females usually weigh between 90 and 300 pounds. Heaviest Black Bear In 1976, a male American black bear was hunted in New Brunswick. Unlike gray wolves and coyotes, American black bears rarely scatter the remains of their kills. These include refuse, birdseed, agricultural products and honey from apiaries. [71] The breeding period usually occurs in the June–July period, though it can extend to August in the species' northern range. American black bears in the southern Appalachian Mountains survive in predominantly oak-hickory and mixed mesophytic forests. Adult males typically weigh between 57–250 kg (126–551 lb), while females weigh 33% less at 41–170 kg (90–375 lb). [83], The hibernating American black bear does not display the same rate of muscle and bone atrophy relative to other nonhibernatory animals that are subject to long periods of inactivity due to ailment or old age. [5][page needed][67][page needed], American black bears may communicate with various vocal and non-vocal sounds. [5][page needed] Once out of hibernation, mother bears may be able to fight off most potential predators. [57][page needed] In 1799, 192,000 American black bear skins were exported from Quebec. American black bears are highly dexterous, being capable of opening screw-top jars and manipulating door latches. Black bears vary in color from tan or brown to black. Polar bears are about twice as big as a black bear. Black bears have become established in the tundra of northern Labrador, a region where there are no brown bears. New born 7.16 lbs. Black bears have strong, highly curved claws and the profile of the face is convex when compared with the more concave profile of a brown bear. [96][97][98] Bears may catch the scent of hiding fawns when foraging for something else and then sniff them out and pounce on them. [81], During their time in hibernation, an American black bear's heart rate drops from 40 to 50 beats per minute to 8 beats per minute and the metabolic rate can drop to a quarter of the bear's (nonhibernating) basal metabolic rate (BMR). Upon exiting hibernation, bears retain a reduced heart rate and basal metabolic rate. In some areas of coastal British Columbia and Alaska they also feed on spawning salmon. Black bears are omnivorous and feed on a wide range of foods, depending on what is available. [citation needed]. The adaptation to woodlands and thick vegetation in this species may have originally been due to the American black bear having evolved alongside larger, more aggressive bear species, such as the extinct giant short-faced bear and the still-living grizzly bear, that monopolized more open habitats[39] and the historic presence of larger predators, such as Smilodon and the American lion, that could have preyed on American black bears. In most of the contiguous United States, American black bears today are usually found in heavily vegetated mountainous areas, from 400 to 3,000 m (1,300 to 9,800 ft) in elevation. [117][page needed] In the mythology of the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian people of the Northwest Coast, mankind first learned to respect bears when a girl married the son of a black bear chieftain. Anything over that and we're talking humongous territory. In the coastal areas of the Southeast (such as Florida, the Carolinas and Louisiana), bears inhabit a mixture of flatwoods, bays and swampy hardwood sites. spawning salmon or garbage dumps), they may congregate and dominance hierarchies form, with the largest, most powerful males dominating the most fruitful feeding spots. At birth, cubs weigh 225 to 330 grams (7 to 11 ounces). Theodore Roosevelt himself likened the flesh of young American black bears to that of pork and not as coarse or flavorless as the meat of grizzly bears. Most American black bear attacks tend to be motivated by hunger rather than territoriality and thus victims have a higher probability of surviving by fighting back rather than submitting. Black bears can run 35 miles per hour and can live for more than 25 years. [65] The record age of a wild specimen was 39 years,[74] while that in captivity was 44 years. American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species and occasionally produce hybrid offspring. [52] In Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta adults reportedly averaged 125 to 128 kg (276 to 282 lb). Black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains also eat insects and animal carcasses when they are available. Records. [44], There is at least one record of an American black bear killing a wolverine (Gulo gulo) in a dispute over food in Yellowstone National Park. Black Bear Woman's children, in turn, killed Grizzly Bear Woman's children. Approximately 10% of the population of this subspecies have white or cream-colored coats due to a recessive gene and are called "Kermode bears" or "spirit bears". [66] American black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, swimming for pleasure and to feed (largely on fish). SIZE Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. Record: 816 pounds; Minnesota, over 800 pounds recorded in Manitoba; Females: 90 to 300 pounds common. [8], The American black bear lived during the same period as the giant and lesser short-faced bears (Arctodus simus and A. pristinus, respectively) and the Florida spectacled bear (Tremarctos floridanus). The gestation period lasts 235 days and litters are usually born in late January to early February. Bear Facts for Kids Facts about Black Bears Black bears can smell and hear very well. [5][page needed][44], In the state of California, studies have indicated that the average mass is 86 kg (190 lb) in adult males and 58 kg (128 lb) in adult females. [24] In the state of California, there are an estimated 25,000-35,000 American black bears, making it the largest population of the species in the contiguous United States. [41], The biggest wild American black bear ever recorded was a male from New Brunswick, shot in November 1972, that weighed 409 kg (902 lb) after it had been dressed, meaning it weighed an estimated 500 kg (1,100 lb) in life and measured 2.41 m (7.9 ft) long. [61], The fur is soft, with dense underfur and long, coarse, thick guard hairs. In mountainous areas, they seek southerly slopes at lower elevations for forage and move to northerly and easterly slopes at higher elevations as summer progresses. Despite this, American black bears in those areas seem to have expanded their range during the last decade, such as with recent sightings in Ohio[25] and southern Indiana,[27] though these probably do not yet represent stable breeding populations. [59] The North American Bear Center, located in Ely, Minnesota, is home to the world's largest captive male and female American black bears. Females reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age and males a year or so later. Polar Bear Brown Bear; Average Weight of Mature Male: 900-1,500 pounds: 500-900 pounds: Heaviest Recorded: 2,210 pounds: 2,500+ pounds: Average Length of Mature Male [41] They move in a rhythmic, sure-footed way and can run at speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour (40 to 48 km/h). [62][page needed] American black bear skins can be distinguished from those of Asian black bears by the lack of a white blaze on the chest and hairier footpads. Bear hunting had been banned in New Jersey for five years before that time. Albino specimens have also been recorded. [5][page needed]. Sightings of itinerant American black bears in the Driftless Area of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and southwest Wisconsin are common. Black bears can remain dormant for up to 5 months in winter. [5][page needed] Prior to that time, they can put on up to 14 kg (30 lb) of body fat to get them through the several months during which they fast. 250 lber would be one of the bigger bear you would see out of a possible average 5-7 bear. A guess-ta-met. Seasonal variation in weight is very pronounced: in autumn, their pre-den weight tends to be 30% higher than in spring, when black bears emerge from their dens. Altitude also has an effect. Females will weigh between 209-450 pounds (95-205kg). With unlimited habitat and food supply, like when the first settlers arrived, bears were often much larger and more dangerous. [67][page needed] Up to 85% of the American black bear's diet consists of vegetation,[42] though they tend to dig less than brown bears, eating far fewer roots, bulbs, corms and tubers than the latter species. The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to North America. Mexico is the only country where the American black bear is classified as "endangered". The bear's bone mass does not change in geometry or mineral composition during hibernation, which implies that the bear's conservation of bone mass during hibernation is due to a biological mechanism. How to Judge the Age of a Bear. Corn crops and oak-hickory mast are also common sources of food in some sections of the Northeast; small, thick swampy areas provide excellent refuge cover largely in stands of white cedar. Compared to brown bear attacks, aggressive encounters with American black bears rarely lead to serious injury. [65] Like brown bears, American black bears try to use surprise to ambush their prey and target the weak, injured, sickly or dying animals in the herds. In aggressive interactions, American black bears produce deep-throated pulsing sounds. [92] During summer, the diet largely comprises fruits, especially berries and soft masts such as buds and drupes. [5][page needed]. Within these northern forest types are early successional areas important for American black bears, such as fields of brush, wet and dry meadows, high tidelands, riparian areas and a variety of mast-producing hardwood species. How much bigger is a polar bear than a black bear? American black bears often drag their prey to cover, preferring to feed in seclusion. [57][page needed] American black bears were the only bear species the Kutchin hunted for their meat, though this constituted only a small part of their diet. Weight depends upon age, sex, season, food, and genetics. Black bear fur is usually a uniform color except for a brown muzzle and light markings that sometimes appear on their chests. Favored masts such as hazelnuts, oak acorns and whitebark pine nuts may be consumed by the hundreds each day by a single American black bear during the fall. BLACK BEAR CUBS. However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several other, previous ice ages. Adult Weight: Males: up to 500 pounds common, depending upon age, season, and food. Although most black bears are not much larger than humans, their weight can vary tremendously with the season of the year. [28][29] In the spring of 2019, biologists with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirmed documentation of an American black bear living year-round in woodlands near the town of Decorah in northeast Iowa, believed to be the first instance of a resident black bear in Iowa since the 1880s. A … Overall, over 481,500 American black bear hunting licenses are sold per year. [73] At birth, cubs weigh 280–450 g (0.62–0.99 lb) and measure 20.5 cm (8.1 in) in length. The typically small tail is 7.7–17.7 cm (3.0–7.0 in) long. 2. [39] Across the range, the estimated number of cubs who survive past their first year is 60%. During times of fear or nervousness, bears may moan, huff or blow air. Black bears are large - They have erect, rounded ears; a long, narrow, brown muzzle; and a short tail. Females weigh between 40 and 180 kg (90 and 400 pounds), while males weigh between 50 and 400 kg (110 and 880 pounds). [106] They will readily consume eggs and nestlings of various birds and can easily access many tree nests, even the huge nests of bald eagles. [68][69][70][page needed] American black bears often mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears. Keeping the fat on tends to give the meat a strong flavor. [88] During winter, American black bears consume 25–40% of their body weight. Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan is named after a Native American legend, where a female bear and her cub swam across Lake Michigan. [1], Sows usually produce their first litter at the age of three to five years,[42] with those living in more developed areas tending to get pregnant at younger ages. 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