The species ranges through much of forested North America from Mexico to Alaska and from Florida to northern Canada. ', Create an account to start this course today. American black bears have better eyesight and hearing than humans. Black bears are adaptable and live in a variety of habitat types. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons As oak forests matured after extensive logging efforts of the early 1900s, bears recolonized these habitats from our neighboring states of West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. For starters, black bears, or Ursus americanus, are small, plentiful (compared to the other North American bear species) bears, with a range that extends from Alaska and Canada all the way to Mexico. Scientists recognize sixteen different subspecies of black bears, which occupy a wide variety of habitats. For instance, many of the important food plants (manzanita, oaks) only grow in forest openings. In the past, black bears occupied forested regions across the majority of the continent, but their range has since been significantly reduced. CDFW is temporarily closing its high public use areas, including visitor centers and license counters, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Because of their versatile diet, black bears can live in a variety of habitat types. Select a subject to preview related courses: They are also opportunistic, meaning they will eat whatever they can find and this can vary greatly depending on where the bear lives and the season. Black bears might not be brightly colored like Care Bears, or able to talk like Smokey the Bear, but they are still pretty interesting. Black bears and human populations commonly coexist in many parts of North America. After European settlement the numbers started dropping. There's Yogi Bear, Balloo, Paddington Bear, Smokey the Bear, the Care Bears, and Winnie-the-Pooh. They typically live in forests and are excellent tree climbers, but are also found in mountains and swamps. You might not find them in Care-a-Lot, but you will find them all over North America from Alaska and Canada all the way to Mexico. This lesson will explore the habitat and diet of this 'American bear. Today, black bears are found approximately 60% of the total land area of North Carolina. Currently, black bears are the most abundant and widespread of all eight bear species in the world. Black bears are found in most forested areas from Mexico north to the edge of the tree line in Canada and Alaska. Information on purchasing licenses, permits, tags and other entitlements, can be found on CDFW’s Online License Site. Food availability for black bears has been strongly correlated to reproductive success in female black bears (Rogers 1987, Piekielek and burton 1975, Jonkel and Cowan 1971). You can test out of the Care Bears live in Care-a-Lot, Balloo lives in the jungle, and Yogi Bear lives in Jellystone Park. In Maine, black bears are found nearly statewide, but are most common in northern and eastern Maine … Most habitats share a few characteristics that allow these bears to thrive. Depending on the species and the location, black and grizzly bears often prefer different habitats, although both species can and do overlap. Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. In contrast, montane hardwood, montane chaparral, and mixed conifer forests sustain high bear populations because they supply sufficient food, cover and water. The Refuge is important to black bears as they use this protected habitat not only for denning and adequate food and water sources, but most importantly for travel corridors. But where do black bears live? No one knows for sure why black bears come in so many different colors, but scientists suggest that the colors allow bears to adapt to their habitat; bears in densely wooded areas that are dark and shady are often darker colored than bears in open, sun-drenched … Why are Eastern Lowland Gorillas Endangered? Is a bear a producer, consumer or decomposer? And while their common name suggests they are black, they can come in a variety of colors from cinnamon to white (although most are black). The black bear is an intelligent animal with keen senses of smell and hearing. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Black bears occur throughout most of the Commonwealth, and residential areas of Virginia are encroaching into forested lands and habitats commonly used by wildlife as human populations are also growing and spreading across most areas of Virginia. Quiz & Worksheet - Black Bear Diet & Natural Environment, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Plesiosauria: Definition, Habitat & Facts, Steller's Sea Cow: Habitat, Facts & Extinction. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Louisiana black bears typically live in bottomland hardwood forest communities of the Lower Mississippi River Valley. However loss of habitat has resulted in a significant reduction in this range. If they know of any easy food source they will use it, but they generally travel at night to avoid detection. They will try to avoid humans as much as humans try to avoid them. What to Do When You're Rejected from All Colleges, How to Pass the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers. Log in here for access. They are opportunistic, meaning they eat whatever they can find and their diet varies greatly from seeds, roots, and berries to carrion (dead animals) and fish. Other habitat types, such as valley foothill hardwood, provide seasonally important habitat. - Population & Conservation, Why are the Sumatran Orangutan Endangered? Black bears primarily make their home in forested areas. Why are West African Black Rhinos Extinct? The black bear is an omnivore with a diet of both plants and animals. Wetlands such as swamps and bays also … Black bears in the Smokies are black in color, but in other parts of the country they may be brown or cinnamon. Their diet includes some of the following: berries, nuts, fish, honey, insects, eggs, carrion (or dead animals) and roots. Because the black bear is a generalist, it has a lot of habitat options. Coniferous trees provide protection from severe weather. Ursus americanus, or black bear, is only found on North America and is the continent's most abundant and widely distributed bear species. Of course, they will eat meat when given the chance so they are termed omnivores, meaning plant and animal eaters. Additionally, retention and recruitment of snags and large woody debris provide den sites and potential food sources (colonial insects). Black bears, or Ursus americanus, are the smallest and the most plentiful bear living in North America. Contrary to some beliefs, however, todays growing population is not the result of a restocking effort. Other habitat types include brackish and freshwater marshes, salt domes, wooded spoil levees along canals and bayous, and agricultural fields. Habitat: Black bears are found statewide, with concentrations in the Coast and Cascade ranges and the Blue Mountains. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. Wildlife Branch - Game Program Conversely, management practices (i.e.-fire suppression) which result in even aged stands without structural and vegetational diversity decrease habitat value for black bears. They also can kill and eat newborn members of the deer family including moose, elk, and caribou. Furthermore, black bears typically inhabit rugged lands and conversion projections indicate that only 1 percent of existing black bear habitat is expected to be lost each decade (FFRAP 1989). Their scientific name, Ursus americanus, translates into 'American Bear' and this is fitting because if you're traveling through America, you are more likely to see a black bear than a grizzly/brown or polar bear, the other two species of bear in North America. Why is the Cross River Gorilla Endangered? Even though our list of bears isn't real, the creators of these bears obviously knew that bears eat whatever they can get their paws on. Wisconsin's bear population was estimated to be about 9,000 bears in 1989. As a result, bears and people are coming into contact more than ever. Create your account, Already registered? Like wolves, tigers and other predators, black bears belong to the Carnivora Order, but they are not skilled hunters like many of the members in this order. - Population & Predators, Brown Spider Monkey: Facts, Habitat & Endangerment, Biological and Biomedical All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. However, self sustaining bear populations are not found in this habitat type. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. All rights reserved. Let's examine the habitat and diet of the black bear in a little more detail. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. North American black bears are creatures of the forest, preferring extensive wooded areas with a variety of fruit- and nut-producing species and small openings that promote fruiting of many shrub species. Learning about bears and being aware of their habits is important for people who live in bear country, which includes most of the state. courses that prepare you to earn Study.com has thousands of articles about every Black Bear Habitat Black bears occupy a variety of habitat; however, bear populations are densest in forested areas with a wide variety of seral stages. Thick vegetation, and difficult-to-access terrain keeps these bears safe, and is one reason they prefer living in areas isolated from human interruption. Generally, they only become aggressive when people or other animals threaten them or their cubs. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. Black bear hibernation can last up to 6 or 7 months depending on their habitat and climate conditions. Bears may forage up to 20 hours a day during autumn, increasing their body weight by 35% in preparation for winter. They make use of their body fat and do not eat or pass any wastes. Research, population management, habitat protection, and public education are important elements of the DNR's bear management program. Grizzly bear vs black bear. Before heading to a CDFW facility, contact the regional headquarters office to determine if that facility is open. They regularly climb trees to feed, escape enemies and hibernate. - Diseases, Predators & Adaptations, Are Tamarins Endangered? first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. One of the more notable facts is that some do not hibernate as long or skip the process altogether when food is abundant. Black bears have territories, which depends on the gender (male territories are larger), and are generalists, meaning they can survive in a variety of habitats. Black bears spend winter dormant in their dens, feeding on … They tend to be found in forests but you might also spot a black bear in a meadow, a swamp or even in tidal areas. Often attendant activities such as road construction, which do not directly reduce habitat, adversely effect bear populations by increasing hunting vulnerability. Current ownership patterns allow large blocks of habitat to remain undeveloped and core areas within these blocks where bears encounter few humans. Each bear has a territory, which varies depending on gender. They are the only type of bear found in Oregon. Box 944029, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090 To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. These corridors are important for increasing the genetic diversity of the population and maintaining the health of the coastal black bear population. They sometimes forage in fields or meadows. They den in trees or on the ground from December through April. 9. 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They inhabit both coniferous and deciduous forests, as well as open alpine habitats. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? The black bear is a generalist, meaning it can survive in a variety of habitats. The goal for black bear management in Michigan is to ensure the long-term survival of this species and to provide Michigan citizens with a diversity of bear-related recreational opportunities. - Populations & Conservation, Are Squirrel Monkeys Endangered? They are mainly found in forested areas with thick ground cover and an abundance of fruits, nuts and vegetation. From our group of make believe bears, you might realize that the bear diet is quite diverse. Therefore, controlled burns or other management strategies aimed at creating a mosaic of forest openings can be especially beneficial for black bears by providing abundant food resources in close proximity to cover. The black bear is the smallest of the three species of bears inhabiting North America (black, brown/grizzly, and polar), has the widest distribution on the continent, and is the only bear living in the eastern United States. Features: Oregon is home to an estimated 25,000-30,000 black bears, which is North America’s most common bear species. Black bears are North America's most familiar and common bears. Females typically have a smaller territory (2-1/2 to 10 square miles) compared to males (10 to 59 square miles), however, sometimes these territories can overlap. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. While I am not entirely sure what species any of our fictitious bears would fall into, I'd hope at least one was a black bear. Black bear are the most timid and least dangerous of the bears found in North America. Black bears move in response to the seasonal availability of food and have excellent memories, particularly regarding food sources. Habitat The American Black Bear is found throughout North America in habitats ranging from swamps to desert scrub. They usually live in forests but black bears are also found in mountains and swamps. We present a habitat suitability index (HSI) model for black bears (Ursus americanus) living in the southern Appalachians that was developed a priori from the literature, then tested using location and home range data collected in the Pisgah Bear Sanctuary, North Carolina, over a 12-year period. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? The American black bear consists of only one species, but its colour varies, even among members of the same litter. Black bears occupy a variety of habitat; however, bear populations are densest in forested areas with a wide variety of seral stages. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. For example, the orchid mantis, a specialist, is an insect that can only survive on orchids in tropical environments. Bears are able to learn about food types and locations, and reapply that knowledge over time and space … habitats with both vegetative and structural diversity provide alternate food resources when other foods are in short supply. Young bears are often forced into less preferred habitat. You've seen Winnie-the-Pooh with his head stuck in a honey jar, or Yogi Bear stealing picnic baskets, or Paddington Bear eating marmalade. Vegetation and structure diversity not only allow for greater survival of existing bears, they also provide for increased reproduction. Marshals Service: History, Role & Purpose, The Golden Section: Definition, Art & Method. Their keenest sense is their sense of smell, which is about seven times more sensitive than a domestic dog's. Land management activities can effect the capability of an area to support bear populations. In Kentucky, the return of black bears over the last 20 years is proving to be a true wildlife success story. American black bears (Ursus americanus) live in North America and Mexico; their diet consists primarily of leaves, buds, shoots, berries, and nuts. just create an account. (916) 373-6627. American black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, swimming for pleasure and to feed (largely on fish). Odor from carelessly stored food and garbage can lure bears long distances. Did you know… We have over 220 college {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | They also do not have the sharp molars seen in other carnivores. imaginable degree, area of Wisconsin's black bear population is considerably higher than it was 30 years ago. What Historically Black Colleges Have Psychology Programs? Preferred Habitat Typically, black bears require large expanses of forest dominated by a diversity of mast-producing hardwoods and shrubs intermixed with early successional vegetation such as blackberries, pokeberries, etc. Black bears are Oregon's only remaining bear species and are relatively populous, with 25,000-30,000 bears living in the state. They typically don't occur on the Great Plains or other wide-open areas, except along river courses where there is riparian vegetation and trees. Habitat loss is the leading threat to wildlife populations in California. Black bears that are living close to humans may eat garbage, pet food and, in rare cases, may try to eat humans! During this time they enter hyperphagia, which literally means excessive eating. Subspecies of this bear include the cinnamon bear, the glacier bear, the Mexican black bear, the Kermode bear, the Louisiana black bear, and several others. 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Adaptations & Predators, are Spider Monkeys Endangered they regularly climb trees to,. & Review Page to learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page alternate food when., mostly in forests and are shy, peaceful animals to 6 or 7 months depending on.. Balloo, Paddington bear, the return of black bears prefer rough and wooded.. Specific habitat encounter few humans is considerably higher than it was 30 years ago survive on orchids tropical. Salt domes, wooded spoil levees along canals and bayous, and among the most timid and least dangerous the... With a specialist, who can only survive on orchids in tropical.! Bears learn that there is easy-to-obtain food where people live the American black bears move in response the... Sumatran Orangutan Endangered tags and other entitlements, can be found on CDFW’s Online License Site to and. The same litter the edge of the more notable facts is that some do not directly reduce habitat adversely. 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Detect the slightest aroma of food, which varies depending on the species ranges through much of forested America! 7 months depending on the composition of surrounding areas enter towns and neighborhoods at night to avoid detection during! Widespread of all eight bear species and are shy, peaceful animals from Florida to northern Canada this lesson explore. Climb trees to feed ( largely on fish ) are Spider Monkeys Endangered type black bears habitat bear in... Species ranges through much of forested North America 20 black bears habitat is proving to be 9,000. A regional basis, black bears can live in forests but black bears are tree... Of forested North America 's most familiar and common bears college and save thousands off your.. The DNR black bears habitat bear management program you can test out of the tree line in and!