[57][page needed] American black bears that live in northern coastal regions (especially the Pacific Coast) will fish for salmon during the night, as their black fur is easily spotted by salmon in the daytime. Male: 880 lbs (399 kgs), Craven Co., NC, 1998 or 902 lbs (410 kg) field-dressed, New Brunswick, 1972. In southern areas, they may wake up in midwinter. Black bear fur is usually a uniform color except for a brown muzzle and light markings that sometimes appear on their chests. SIZE Black bears are the largest land mammal in New Jersey. [6] This suggests that U. abstrusus may be the direct ancestor of the American black bear, which evolved in North America. Author Gerald Amy with his best bear ever, a 400 pound plus, 7 foot … A black bear's weight fluctuates depending on the availability of food. For males 4 years of age or older, the average weight was 186 pounds, ranging from 128 to 260 pounds. He killed 30 or 40 American black bears with only a knife, which he would use to stab the bears between the shoulder blades while they were distracted by his hounds. [94] Other fish, including suckers, trout and catfish, are readily caught whenever possible. Mothers with yearling cubs are seen before those with newborns. General description: A large black (or sometimes brown) mammal with a large head, small eyes, erect ears, stout legs, and a very short tail. They can also climb trees and are strong swimmers. Hard masts become the most important part of the American black bear's diet in autumn and may even partially dictate the species' distribution. It and the brown bear are the only two of the eight modern bear species not considered by the IUCN to be globally threatened with extinction. Colorado, Idaho, western Montana and Wyoming, eastern Washington and Oregon and northeastern Utah. Typically they are dark brown with a brown muzzle and, occasionally, a small white chest patch. Adult black bears typically weigh between 100 and 500 pounds. [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. [30][31], Surveys taken from 35 states in the early 1990s indicate that American black bears are either stable or increasing, except in Idaho and New Mexico. A bear in pursuit of a pet dog can threaten both canid and human lives. [134], In Canada, American black bears are considered as both a big game and furbearer species in all provinces, save for New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories, where they are only classed as a big game species. It is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. These bears often eat crops, especially during autumn hyperphagia when natural foods are scarce. [25] The total Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000,[26] based on surveys taken in the mid-1990s in seven Canadian provinces, though this estimate excludes American black bear populations in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. The fat most favored for this purpose was the hard white fat found in the body's interior. [4][page needed] Theodore Roosevelt wrote extensively on American black bear hunting in his Hunting the Grisly and other sketches, in which he stated, in [a black bear] chase there is much excitement, and occasionally a slight spice of danger, just enough to render it attractive; so it has always been eagerly followed. Mexico is the only country where the American black bear is classified as "endangered". [111][112], American black bear interactions with gray wolves are much rarer than with brown bears, due to differences in habitat preferences. [95] Although American black bears do not often engage in active predation of other large animals for much of the year, the species will regularly prey on mule and white-tailed deer fawns in spring, given the opportunity. [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. The average weight of an adult male black bear is 150 to 350 pounds (68 to 158 kg). White to cream-colored American black bears occur in the coastal islands and the adjacent mainland of southwestern British Columbia. [39], A limitation of food sources in early spring and wild berry and nut crop failures in summer may contribute to American black bears regularly feeding from human-based food sources. During the autumn hyperphagia, feeding becomes virtually the full-time task of American black bears. [5][page needed]. Bear Facts for Kids Facts about Black Bears Black bears can smell and hear very well. in admiration for the American black bear's intelligence, would decorate the heads of bears they killed with trinkets and place them on blankets. The skulls of American black bears are broad, with narrow muzzles and large jaw hinges. Nineteen states require a bear hunting license, with some also requiring a big game license. American black bears tend to escape competition from brown bears by being more active in the daytime and living in more densely forested areas. [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. 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. Newborn cubs weigh about 8 to 12 ounces. The claws are short and rounded, being thick at the base and tapering to a point. [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 paws of the species are relatively large, with a rear foot length of 13.7 to 22.5 cm (5.4 to 8.9 in), which is proportionately larger than other medium-sized bear species, but much smaller than the paws of large adult brown, and especially polar, bears. Finally, mature males tend to come out earliest, followed by immature males and females, and lastly mothers with cubs. A young adult female is often allowed to establish her territory within that of her mother, while sub adult males must disperse. [41] Many American black bears in northwestern North America are cinnamon, blonde or light brown in color and thus may sometimes be mistaken for grizzly bears. Individual coat colors can range from white, blonde, cinnamon, light brown or dark chocolate brown to jet black, with many intermediate variations existing. [76] Flooding of dens after birth may also occasionally kill newborn cubs. Known predators of bear cubs have included bobcats, coyotes, cougars, gray wolves, brown bears and other bears of their own species. Critically endangered. These include refuse, birdseed, agricultural products and honey from apiaries. 8-years 57.2 lbs. The vestigial tail is usually 4.8 inches (120 mm) long. The retention of waste during hibernation (specifically in minerals such as calcium) may play a role in the bear's resistance to atrophy.[84]. [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. [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. [41] The average annual survival rate for adult American black bears is variable, ranging from 86% in Florida to 73% in Virginia and North Carolina. On average, most bears taken by hunters weigh somewhere between 125 and 300 pounds. Warning sounds include jaw-clicking and lip-popping. The claws are short and rounded, being thick at the base and tapering to a point. The American black bear then split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. [3] American and Asian black bears are considered sister taxa and are more closely related to each other than to the other modern species of bears. Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us relocated a 360 pound female in the fall of 1998 in Central Ontario. Males try to mate with several females, but large, dominant ones may violently claim a female if another mature male comes near. Black bears can run 35 miles per hour and can live for more than 25 years. Sightings of itinerant American black bears in the Driftless Area of southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and southwest Wisconsin are common. An average male weighs 136 kg (300 lb). Has a light brown nose and shiny black fur. 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. At the age of six weeks, they attain 900 g (2.0 lb), by the age of eight weeks they reach 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and by the age of six months they weigh 18 to 27 kg (40 to 60 lb). The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to North America. Black bears are large - They have erect, rounded ears; a long, narrow, brown muzzle; and a short tail. Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan is named after a Native American legend, where a female bear and her cub swam across Lake Michigan. [5][page needed][39], American black bears tend to be territorial and non-gregarious in nature. [65] Females have been shown to be pickier in their choice of dens in comparison to males. 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. Upon exiting hibernation, bears retain a reduced heart rate and basal metabolic rate. [124] Another exceptional attack occurred in August 1997 in Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in Canada, when an emaciated American black bear attacked a mother and child, killing the mother and a man who intervened. 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. Over much of their range, American black bears are assured scavengers that can intimidate, using their large size and considerable strength, and if necessary dominate other predators in confrontations over carcasses. [37], There are about in 1,500 bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Black bears can remain dormant for up to 5 months in winter. [14] In 1859, an American black bear and a Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs that were born died before they reached maturity. 1-year 21.76 lbs. These reductions in metabolic rate and heart rate do not appear to decrease the bear's ability to heal injuries during hibernation. [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. Females measure from 130 to 190 centimeters (50 to 75 inches) and weigh 40 to 80 kilograms (90 to 175 pounds). The hunting methods and seasons vary greatly according to state, with some bear hunting seasons including fall only, spring and fall, or year-round. Many of the physiological changes an American black bear exhibits during hibernation are retained slightly post-hibernation. 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. [60] Honey, the female, weighed 219.6 kg (484 lb) in the fall of 2007. [39] Remarkably, a study of American black bears in Nevada found that the amount of annual mortality of a population of bears in wilderness areas was 0%, whereas in developed areas in the state this figure rose to 83%. 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. [113] Wolf packs typically kill American black bears when the larger animals are in their hibernation cycle. (1967) "Population characteristics and activities of black bears in Yellowstone National Park". They put on weight quickly. Smithsonian Institution—North American Mammals: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=American_black_bear&oldid=998478060, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Articles with permanently dead external links, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from May 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2019, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Able to live in varied climates: found in temperate rain forest in the north and, Haida Gwaii black bear or Queen Charlotte Islands black bear. [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. DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a large American black bear or a grizzly bear. In this region, bears occasionally move to more open areas to feed on prickly pear cactus. Black bears have become established in the tundra of northern Labrador, a region where there are no brown bears. Approximately 18,000 American black bears were killed annually in the U.S. between 1988 and 1992. Color: Black, dark or light brown (in Minnesota, less than 10% are brown). [72] Sows tend to be short-tempered with their mates after copulating. Both sexes are promiscuous. The average spring weight of a female black bear is 100–150 pounds (45–60 kg), and the average adult male spring weight is 170–200 pounds (77–90 kg). This species is closer to the Grizzly bear but has subtle differences between them. For female bears 4 years of age or older, the average weight was 124 pounds, ranging from 95 to 165 pounds. The bears also go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, during winter. "Using black bears to test ideal-free distribution models experimentally". They also have great physical strength. Although naturally made dens are occasionally used, most dens are dug out by the bear itself. Black bears can also been seen at the Mendenhall Glacier bear viewing area in Juneau. Bears store body fat during the fall months to supply energy during their long winter denning period, and are heaviest in late fall. Despite the American black bear being more powerful on a one-to-one basis, packs of wolves have been recorded to kill black bears on numerous occasions without eating them. Females are smaller, weighing 100-400 pounds, and measuring 4-5 feet in length. In eight states, only a big game license is required to hunt American black bears. [59] The North American Bear Center, located in Ely, Minnesota, is home to the world's largest captive male and female American black bears. Cubs usually weigh between 200 and 450 g (between seven ounces and one pound) at birth. Females will weigh between 209-450 pounds (95-205kg). Any black bear topping the 300-pound mark is considered large. Male black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds but average about 250 to 350 pounds, while females grow to only 100 to 200 pounds. [51][page needed] It was found in Nevada and Lake Tahoe region that black bears closer to urban regions were significantly heavier than their arid-country dwelling counterparts, with males near urban areas averaging 138 kg (304 lb) against wild-land males which averaged 115.5 kg (255 lb) whereas peri-urban females averaged 97.9 kg (216 lb) against the average of 65.2 kg (144 lb) in wild-land ones. 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