Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Stories from the Land

bears 1 P00[C143-I255-E089@002]R340-G256-B413-(I:73-G019h-L0093)-c80-L512-P(02-0360-1080-0359-1079)LB00-RTC0-A0 Overview: The smallest of the three bear species found in North America, the American black bear is black, brown or cinnamon.  They have short, non-retractable claws that allow them to climb trees easily.  This species is found throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico, inhabiting both coniferous and deciduous forests, as well as open alpine habitats.  They live in a variety of areas where they can find food, but they typically do not occur on the Great Plains or other open areas.

The American Black Bear is an opportunistic omnivore, meaning it will consume herbaceous vegetation, fruits, nuts, insects, fish, animals, and human-related foods such as garbage and apples.  This variety in their diet allows them to inhabit a diversity of habitat types.  An important habitat feature for the black bear is a source of fall mast, such as American chestnuts, acorns, beechnuts, hazelnuts, and pine nuts.  This available…

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