The American Black Bear

American Black Bear
(Ursus americanus)

Note – If running away from an American black bear, the last thing you want to do is climb a tree – they are expert climbers! Fortunately, they are less aggressive than some other bear species.

American Black Subspecies

16 subspecies.

American Black Life span

20-25 years.

American Black Statistics

Body length: 130-190cm, Weight: male: 60-300kg, female: 40-80kg. Males are 20 to 60 per cent heavier than females.

American Black Physical Description

Black bears tend to be a uniform black colour, but there are also brown, pale blue (glacier bear) and white varieties (kermode bear). They are short-haired and medium-sized, often with a small white patch on the chest.

American Black Distribution

American black bears inhabit Canada, Mexico and the United States.

American Black Habitat

They are thought to avoid open areas due to the risk of attack from brown bears and prefer forested areas.

American Black Diet

Black bears mostly feed on plant matter, such as grasses, herbs, fruits, berries, honey, nuts and seeds, but a small percentage of their diet is made up of animals, such as insects, fish, small mammals, carcasses and rubbish.

American Black Behavior

They are solitary except for mothers with cubs, couples during the mating season and aggregations at feeding sites. Female territory size can be 10-40 square km. Male territories are larger and overlap with those of females.

American Black Reproduction

American black bears mate in June-July and females give birth from January to February. They typically produce 2-3 (but up to 5) cubs after a gestation period of 215 days. The cubs remain with their mother for about 2.5 years, watching and copying everything she does.

American Black Conservation status

American black bears are not listed by the IUCN and are on CITES: Appendix II. They are the most common species of bears, although individual populations are at risk of isolation and starvation. An estimated 30,000 individuals are hunted and killed annually in North America, mostly for trophy.

See more Bear Facts here.