Black Bear General Information

1. Location & Range – the black bears can be found from the North American and the Mexican plateau to the Arctic tree line in Labrador and Alaska. As for Canada is concerned, they can be found in mix forested areas, deciduous and coniferous zones from Newfoundland to the British Columbia area. Swamp lands and berry patches are also areas where black bears have been spotted.

2. Habitat & Environment – black bears range through many various landscapes just as long as they have vegetative cover and are able to search for food within a 150 square miles area. As far as the winter season is concerned, black bears prefer swampy and coniferous areas as these areas offer a bigger protection against the harsh snowy days. Once the winter is over, the black bears move towards more deciduous forests and feed off the leaves. As for summer and autumn, they move towards pine forests where berry patches can be found. Due to the reason they live somewhat close to human populations, they have lost the fear of the human and for this reason, they are considered a pest in many regions.

3. Reproduction – black bears reach maturity between 3 and a half years and 7 years of age, depending on the geographical location in which they inhabit. Bears are usually solitary animals but will pair off at mating time. The process of copulation is similar to the one that dogs have, lasting from 15 to 30 minutes. The mating occurs several times in a 2-3 week period, the male and female remaining together for up to an entire month during this period. The black bears mating season starts in the beginning of July and ends in early August and the fertilization will occur but the development of the embryo will be delayed until the middle of the autumn or even later, in the early months of the winter. This occurs because of the delayed implantation which is a survival mechanism. This delayed implantation will allow the ovum to become fertilized at any given point during the mating season. As far as the number of cubs is concerned, this greatly depends on the quantity of the food that the mother can gather during autumn. If she doesn’t store a sufficient amount of fat, she will most likely emerge into the spring alone. With other words, the more food she gathers, the more cubs she will have.

4. Interesting Information – black bears are not born blind – when the baby black bears are born, their eyelids are still closed right until they reach 40 days – this is the reason why cubs are known to be blind when they are born, which is entirely false. The black bear prefers fresh meat to rotten meat but it will eat old meat if fresh meat isn’t available. If a black bear finds an animal that has been dead for a good period of time, it will eat only the fresh parts. Bears are known for their climbing abilities despite their appearance and size.