There will also be a habitat-based monitoring, including an assessment of habitat abundance, persistence, and any changes in protection. The Black Bear is the world's most common bear species, and resides primarily in North America. Contact one of our subject matter experts. Their diet consists of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, with commercial carnivore meat, or some other protein source provided at the direction of a veterinarian. The American black bear's range covers most of the North American continent. Therefore, it is important to know how to live alongside bears. The bears will also feed on crops, like corn, apples, and oats. Bears may feed up to 20 hours per day, accumulating fat (energy) prior to winter denning. The face is blunt, the eyes small, and the nose pad broad with large nostrils. Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge is managed in consideration of Louisiana black bear needs and is a core area for the bear population. The black bear is a large, bulky animal with long black hair and a short, well-haired tail. Depending on the season, and the age of the bear, these creatures will eat up to 85% vegetation. Female black bears have smaller home ranges (1 to 50 square miles) than males (10 to 290 square miles). United States Geological Survey, Southern Appalachian Research Branch, Natural Resource Conservation Service via the. Black bears prefer to live in dense forests where there is a variety of food to eat and they can raise their cubs. A basic understanding of bear biology and implementing a few preventative measures will go a long way to helping make all encounters with bears positive. Want to learn more from our biologists? Other den types include fallen trees, rock cavities, and brush piles in timber cut areas, open ground nests, and man-made structures (culvert pipe). It is highly illegal to own a black bear as a pet for this reason. Black bears are adaptable and opportunistic. Although bears are thought to be a mature forest species, they often use a variety of habitat types. Whether you live or recreate in the bear country, please help maintain and protect the bear. Although not typically and an active predator, rare occurrences of livestock predation is reported each year. They have large areas to exercise and interact with one another, and most enclosures also have some type of water source to swim in. Black bears are, you guessed it, black! From Linda Masterson Living with Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country. An understory of blackberries and blueberries attracts bears; cornfields and abandoned apple orchards also are popular feeding sites. That plan has details about monitoring methods, reporting procedures, and agency responsibilities. The bears will mate in June or July, but the embryo does not begin developing until November. The most animal-based diet occurs immediately after they emerge from hibernation. Black bears have a very diverse diet. The population of most subspecies is stable, and hunting is used to control population growth. Bear home ranges must include food, water, cover, denning sites and diverse habitat types. In the fall they eat acorns, pecans, corn, oats, and wheat, and some bears in southern coastal Louisiana have been documented visiting sugar cane fields. Dispersing yearlings, especially males, looking for new home ranges may also travel a great distance. Recovery was made possible thanks to the active partnerships of many private landowners, state and federal agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations. These bears consume a wide variety of plants throughout the year, including roots, grasses, flowers, budding plants, berries, and other fruits, nuts, and seeds. Other natural causes include disease, cannibalism, drowning, maternal care, and climbing accidents. Please consult, and adhere to, the respective public-land regulations prior to accessing those sites. Black bears and human populations commonly coexist in many parts of North America. Adult males stand up to 8 ft. tall, but the average is closer to 4.5 ft. long. An angry black bear can definitely kill you when aggravated. Depending on the species and the location, black and grizzly bears often prefer different habitats, although both species can and do overlap. This behavior occurs especially frequently when their habitats are scarce in acorns, tree nuts, and berries. © 2020 Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Thick vegetation, and difficult-to-access terrain keeps these bears safe, and is one reason they prefer living in areas isolated from human interruption. Habitat loss, especially the conversion of forest to croplands, was the biggest threat to the Louisiana black bear at the time of listing. Of the three bear species (black, brown, and polar bears) in North America, only the black bear lives in Virginia. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. By 1980, more than 80 percent of the Louisiana black bear’s habitat had been modified or destroyed, and on January 7, 1992, the bear was listed as threatened within its historical range. Black bears are omnivorous and forage on a wide variety of plants and animals. Oak, hickory, black cherry, and beech trees provide the favorite mast of the black bear. However, through the efforts of many conservation partners, much habitat has been restored and protected. At the same time, protect yourself and your property by not feeding bears and by reducing bear attractants. They have black colored fur, and lighter brown colored muzzles with black noses and a black stripe up the top of the muzzle. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. In the eastern United States, black bear range is continuous throughout New England but becomes increasingly fragmented from the mid-Atlantic down through the Southeast. 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.