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Animal Information

Black Bear Eastern Woodlands

Black Bear

Ursus americanus

Biome: Eastern Woodlands

Classification: Mammals

Biography: Of the three bear species that inhabit North America, the American black bear is the only one found exclusively on this continent. It relies upon its keen sense of smell to locate a variety of foods. The black bear's diet changes seasonally, and includes berries, acorns, beechnuts, skunk cabbage, grass and carrion. Favorite den sites for hibernation include rock cavities, hollow trees, excavation dens or ground nests. During hibernation, a black bear does not eat, drink, urinate or defecate, and will lose up to thirty percent of its body weight. Typically, two to three cubs, each weighing about 12 ounces, are born to a hibernating sow in January or early February.

The black bear has a more diverse range than the brown or polar bears of North America, and can be found throughout the boreal forests of Alaska and Canada, the Rockies, the Appalachians in the east, and as far south as Florida and Mexico. The adaptable black bear can often be found living in close proximity to people, especially in the northeast.

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