Black Bear Essay

1234 Words Sep 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Black Bear
Black bears are one of the more common species in North America. They live in many different habitats are not picky about what they eat. Their keen sense of smell gives them much information about their environment and foods they eat.
The American black bear is considered a threatened species in some areas. In fact they are protected in the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. In other areas they are actively hunted and are subject to open "hunting seasons".
CHARACTERISTICS
Black bear anatomy includes a straight face and flat shoulders. It has ears that are often pointed and a short tail. Fur color can vary from black to chocolate brown with gray combinations. One of the more notable facts about this species is that
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The mother will usually mate every 2 years but frequency depends on food resources, age, environment, and habitat density.
HOW MANY BLACK BEARS LIVE IN NORTH AMERICA?
The total black bear population is estimated to be between 600,000 to 700,000 (excluding baby cubs). Habitat distribution information suggests about 55% live in Canada, 40% live in the United States, and 5% are in Mexico (accurate population facts south of Mexico unknown). Thanks to conservation efforts their population in some areas, such as California, are on the increase.
WHERE DO BLACK BEARS LIVE?
Historic information suggests black bear habitat included most of North America including Alaska, Canada, almost all of the lower 48 United States, and Mexico. Today their home range territory is mostly in Alaska and Canada. Their territory is greatly reduced in Mexico. In the continental United States they live in less than 20% of their original range.
Black bears prefer to live in dense forests where there is a variety of food to eat and they can raise their cubs. But they have adapted to many different habitats. They build their dens in caves, burrows, tree trunks, and brush or grass nests. They collect grass and leaves to pad their dens.
WHAT DO BLACK BEARS EAT?
American black bears are eating machines and are mostly vegetarian. Baby cubs are also voracious eaters. At the top of the food chain they are not picky about their diet.

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