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BLACK BEAR PDF Print E-mail

Bear{Ursus americanus}

Omnivorous, Black Bears are opportunistic predators in woodlands and swamps. Populations are increasing across most of their range.

Appearance
The Black Bear is distinguished from other bears by smaller size, larger ears, a pale muzzle and a rounded back. Fur color varies geographically: most eastern bears are dark black and western populations can be brown, cinnamon or blond. Some coastal populations in British Columbia and Alaska are creamy white (Kermode Bears) or bluish–gray (Glacier Bears). Some bears have a white chest patch. Lips are adapted for seizing or grasping, especially when wrapping them around their prey. Males are larger than females.

Behavior
These animals often leave their marks on trees when stripping the bark to eat sap, while using its claws to climb trees or when rubbing and scratching them to mark their territory. In most areas, Black Bears hibernate through the winter on the ground or in tree dens. In the south, only pregnant females hibernate.

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