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BLACK BEAR
UNIVERSITY OF SARGODHA
SARGODHA
CONTENTS
 Introduction
 Basic Facts About Black Bears
 Fast Facts
 Range Map
 Form and Function
 Evolution and Class...
INTRODUCTION
A medium-sized forest-dwelling bear with blackish
fur and a paler face, found in North America and
eastern As...
BASIC FACTS ABOUT BLACK BEARS
Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing
abil...
It is estimated that there are at least 600,000 black bears in North America. In the
United States, there are estimated to...
FAST FACTS
Type:
Mammal
Diet:
Omnivore
Average life span in the wild:
20 years
Size:
5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m) long
Weight:...
In Canada, black bears still inhabit most of their historic range except for the intensively
farmed areas of the central p...
Bears have an elongate skull that is especially heavy in the back portion, and their jaws
are controlled at the hinge by a...
 Genus Tremarctos (spectacled bear)
1 species of the Andes Mountains of South America.
There are two species of black bea...
and are more closely related to each other than other species of bear. The earliest American
black bear fossils, which wer...
Although mostly herbivorous, the jaw structure of Asian black bears is not as specialised for
plant eating as that of pand...
(308 lbs). The famed British sportsman known as the "Old Shekarry" wrote of how a black bear
he shot in India probably wei...
Along with sun bears, Asian black bears are the most typically used species in areas where
bears are either used in perfor...
decline of old traditional hunters and the increase of a younger generation less inclined to hunt.
Logging is also conside...
AMERICAN BLACK BEAR
(Ursus americanus)
The (North) American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to...
Hybrids
American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species, and have
occasionally produced...
SIZE
Black bear weight tends to vary according to age, sex, health, and season. Seasonal variation in
weight is very prono...
Black bears were once not considered true or "deep" hibernators, but because of discoveries
about the metabolic changes th...
species. There are currently 80,822 licensed black bear hunters in all of Canada. Canadian black
bear hunts take place in ...
BLACK BEARS FUN FACT
On a 1902 hunting trip in Mississippi, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt refused to shoot a
bear t...
REFERENCES
 www.defenders.org
 Fairbanks-alaska.com/alasken-definitions-glossary.htm.
 Animals.nationalgeographic.com
...
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Black bear

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Black Bear Fact File

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Black bear

  1. 1. BLACK BEAR UNIVERSITY OF SARGODHA SARGODHA
  2. 2. CONTENTS  Introduction  Basic Facts About Black Bears  Fast Facts  Range Map  Form and Function  Evolution and Classification  Asian Black Bear  American Black Bear  Black Bears Fun Fact  Save Black Bears  References
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION A medium-sized forest-dwelling bear with blackish fur and a paler face, found in North America and eastern Asia. Although it has a reputation for being fierce and aggressive, the bear is more often a peaceful and solitary creature. The largest of the carnivores-animals classified in an order of flesh-eating land mammals-and the least carnivorous, or flesh-eating. It is closely related to the dog and the raccoon. Black bears are North America's most familiar and common bears. They typically live in forests and are excellent tree climbers, but are also found in mountains and swamps. Despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white. Black bears are very opportunistic eaters. Most of their diet consists of grasses, roots, berries, and insects. They will also eat fish and mammals—including carrion—and easily develop a taste for human foods and garbage. Bears that become habituated to human food at campsites, cabins, or rural homes can become dangerous and are often killed— thus the frequent reminder: Please don't feed the bears! Solitary animals, black bears roam large territories, though they do not protect them from other bears. Males might wander a 15- to 80-square-mile (39- to 207-square- kilometer) home range. When winter arrives, black bears spend the season dormant in their dens, feeding on body fat they have built up by eating ravenously all summer and fall. They make their dens in caves, burrows, brush piles, or other sheltered spots—sometimes even in tree holes high above the ground. Black bears den for various lengths of time governed by the diverse climates in which they live, from Canada to northern Mexico. Female black bears give birth to two or three blind, helpless cubs in mid-winter and nurse them in the den until spring, when all emerge in search of food. The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years.
  4. 4. BASIC FACTS ABOUT BLACK BEARS Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing ability. Black bear fur Fur is usually a uniform color except for a brown muzzle and light markings that sometimes appear on their chests. Eastern populations are usually black in color while western populations often show brown, cinnamon, and blond coloration in addition to black. Black bears with white-bluish fur are known as Kermode (glacier) bears and these unique color phases are only found in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Diet American black bears are omnivorous: plants, fruits, nuts, insects, honey, salmon, small mammals and carrion. In northern regions, they eat spawning salmon. Black bears will also occasionally kill young deer or moose calves. Population
  5. 5. It is estimated that there are at least 600,000 black bears in North America. In the United States, there are estimated to be over 300,000 individuals. However, the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolu) and Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) are threatened subspecies with small populations (see Legal Status/Protection). Behavior Black bears are extremely adaptable and show a great variation in habitat types, though they are primarily found in forested areas with thick ground vegetation and an abundance of fruits, nuts, and vegetation. In the northern areas, they can be found in the tundra, and they will sometimes forage in fields or meadows. Black bears tend to be solitary animals, with the exception of mothers and cubs. The bears usually forage alone, but will tolerate each other and forage in groups if there is an abundance of food in one area. Most black bears hibernate depending on local weather conditions and availability of food during the winter months. In regions where there is a consistent food supply and warmer weather throughout the winter, bears may not hibernate at all or do so for a very brief time. Females give birth and usually remain denned throughout the winter, but males and females without young may leave their dens from time to time during winter months. Reproduction Mating Season: Summer. Gestation: 63-70 days. Litter Size: 1-6 cubs; 2 cubs are most common. Cubs remain with the mother for a year and a half or more, even though they are weaned at 6-8 months of age. Females only reproduce every second year (or more). Should the young die for some reason, the female may reproduce again after only one year.
  6. 6. FAST FACTS Type: Mammal Diet: Omnivore Average life span in the wild: 20 years Size: 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 1.8 m) long Weight: 200 to 600 lbs (90 to 270 kg) Group name: Sleuth or Sloth Did you know? Black bears are not true hibernators. During their winter dormant period, though, they do not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate, but may wake up if disturbed. Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man: RANGE MAP The American black bear is distributed throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico and in at least 40 states in the U.S. They historically occupied nearly all of the forested regions of North America, but in the U.S. they are now restricted to the forested areas less densely occupied by humans.
  7. 7. In Canada, black bears still inhabit most of their historic range except for the intensively farmed areas of the central plains. In Mexico, black bears were thought to have inhabited the mountainous regions of the northern states but are now limited to a few remnant populations. Form and function In most species, the male is larger than the female. Unlike cats and canids such as dogs and wolves, bears walk in plantigrade fashion (on the soles of their feet with the heels touching the ground). Each foot has five digits ending in large nonretractile claws that are sometimes adapted for digging, as in the Asian sloth bear. The claws on the front feet are usually better developed than those on the rear, and they are especially adapted for digging out small rodents or nutritious plant roots. The feet generally have hairless soles, but those of the polar bear are covered with hair, enabling the animal to walk on ice with a firm footing. Bears lack a clavicle but have a baculum (penis bone). Their lips are protrusible and mobile. All have a short stubby tail.
  8. 8. Bears have an elongate skull that is especially heavy in the back portion, and their jaws are controlled at the hinge by a powerful set of muscles. The teeth of the omnivorous bears are unspecialized. The first three premolars are usually either missing or extremely small. Except for variability as to the presence of premolars, the ursid dental formula is that of the Carnivora generally, but the sloth bear lacks one pair of upper incisors. The shearing teeth (carnassials) are poorly developed, and the molars have broad, flat crowns. Evolution and classification The bear family is the most recently evolved lineage of carnivores. Studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) performed during the early 21st century showed that black bears, brown bears, and polar bears diverged from one another some 4–5 million years ago, early in the Pliocene Epoch (5.3 million to 2.6 million years ago). There has been much disagreement over the classification of giant pandas. Mammalogists have placed giant pandas with bears (family Ursidae), with raccoons (Procyonidae), or with the red, or lesser, panda (Ailurus fulgens) in Ailuridae. However, molecular analyses performed during the 1990s have revealed a close evolutionary relationship between giant pandas and bears.  Kingdom Animalia  Phylum Chordata  Class Mammalia  Order Carnivora  Family Ursidae (bears) 8 species in 5 genera found in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, not including 1 African species (Ursus crowtheri) of the Atlas Mountains, driven to extinction in the 19th century.  Genus Ursus (American black bear, Asiatic black bear, polar bear, and brown bear, including the grizzly bear) 4 species of North America, Asia, and Europe.  Genus Ailuropoda (giant panda) 1 species of central China.  Genus Helarctos (sun bear) 1 species of Southeast Asia.  Genus Melursus (sloth bear) 1 species of the Indian subcontinent.
  9. 9.  Genus Tremarctos (spectacled bear) 1 species of the Andes Mountains of South America. There are two species of black bears belonging to genus ursus .i.e. Asiatic Black Bear and American Black Bear. Asiatic black bear: bear with a black coat living in central and eastern Asia. American black bear: brown to black North American bear; smaller and less ferocious than the brown bear. Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear, is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, seen across much of the Himalayas and the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian far east and the Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan. It is classed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species, mostly due to deforestation and active hunting for its body parts. The species is morphologically very similar to some prehistoric bears, and is thought by some scientists to be the ancestor of other extant bear species. Though largely herbivorous, Asian black bears can be very aggressive toward humans, and have frequently attacked people without provocation. The species was described by Rudyard Kipling as "the most bizarre of the ursine species." .and made by Quinton Tarlton. Ancestral and sister taxa Biologically and morphologically, Asian black bears represent the beginning of the arboreal specialisations attained by sloth bears and sun bears. Asian black bears have karotypes nearly identical to those of the five other ursine bears, and, as is typical in the genus, they have 74 chromosomes. From an evolutionary perspective, Asian black bears are the least changed of Old World bears, with certain scientists arguing that it is likely that all other lineages of ursine bear stem from this species. Asian black bears are close relatives to American black bears, with which they share a European common ancestor; the two species are thought to have diverged 3 million years ago, though genetic evidence is inconclusive. Both American and Asiatic species are considered sister taxa,
  10. 10. and are more closely related to each other than other species of bear. The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania, greatly resemble the Asiatic species. The first mtDNA study undertaken on Asian black bears suggested that the species arose after the American black bears, while a second study could not statistically resolve the branching order of sloth bears and the two black species, suggesting that these three species underwent a rapid radiation event. A third study suggested that American black bears and Asian black bears diverged as sister taxa after the sloth bear lineage and before the sun bear lineage. Further investigations on the entire mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence indicate that the divergence of continental and Japanese black bear populations might have occurred when bears crossed the land bridge between the Korean peninsula and Japan 500,000 years ago, which is consistent with paleontological evidence. Until the Late Pleistocene, two further subspecies ranged across Europe and western Asia. These are Ursus thibetanus mediterraneus in western Europe and the Caucasus and Ursus thibetanus permjak from eastern Europe, especially the Ural Mountains. Hybrids Asian black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species, and have on occasion produced hybrid offspring. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, Florida was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and an American black bear, and Scherren's Some notes on hybrid bears published in 1907 mentioned a successful mating between an Asian black bear and a sloth bear. In 1975, within Venezuela's "Las Delicias" Zoo, a female black bear shared its enclosure with a spectacled bear, and produced several hybrid descendants. In 2005, a possible black bear/sun bear hybrid cub was captured in the Mekong River watershed of eastern Cambodia. An Asian black bear/brown bear hybrid, taken from a bile farm, is housed at the Animals Asia Foundation's China Moon Bear Rescue as of 2010. DESCRIPTION Asian black bears are similar in general appearance to brown bears, but are more lightly built and are more slender limbed. The skulls of Asian black bears are relatively small, but massive, particularly in the lower jaw. Adult males have skulls measuring 311.7–328 mm (12.3–13 in) long and 199.5–228 mm (7.9–9 in) wide, while females have skulls measuring 291.6–315 mm (11.5–12.4 in) long and 163–173 mm (6.4–6.8 in) wide. Compared to other bears of the genus Ursus, the projections of the skull are weakly developed; the sagittal crest is low and short, even in old specimens, and does not exceed more than 19–20% of the total length of the skull, unlike in brown bears, which have sagittal crests comprising up to 41% of the skull's length.
  11. 11. Although mostly herbivorous, the jaw structure of Asian black bears is not as specialised for plant eating as that of pandas: Asian black bears have much narrower zygomatic arches, and the weight ratio of the two pterygoid muscles is also much smaller in Asian black bears. However, the lateral slips of the temporal muscles are thicker and stronger in black bears. In contrast to polar bears, Asian black bears have powerful upper bodies for climbing trees, and relatively weak hind legs, which are shorter than those in brown bears and American black bears. A black bear with broken hind legs can still climb effectively. They are the most bipedal of all bears, and have been known to walk upright for over a quarter mile. The heel pads on the forefeet are larger than those of most other bear species. Their claws, which are primarily used for climbing and digging, are slightly longer on the fore foot (30–45 mm) than the back (18–36 mm), and are larger and more hooked than those of the American black bear. The ears, which are bell shaped, are proportionately longer than those of other bears, and stick out sideways from the head. The lips and nose are larger and more mobile than those of brown bears. On average, adult black bears are slightly smaller than American black bears, though large males can exceed the size of several other bear species. They measure 70–100 cm (28–40 in) at the shoulder, and 120–195 cm (47–77 in) in length. The tail is 11 cm (4.4 inches) long. Mature males typically weigh between 100–200 kg (220-440 lbs), with an average weight of about 135 kg (about 300 lbs). Females weigh about 65–90 kg (143–198 lbs), with large ones up to 140 kg
  12. 12. (308 lbs). The famed British sportsman known as the "Old Shekarry" wrote of how a black bear he shot in India probably weighed no less than 363 kg (800 lbs) based on how many people it took to lift its body, though Gary Brown, author of The Great Bear Almanac writes that the largest Asian black bear on record weighed 200 kg (440 lbs). Zoo-kept specimens can weigh up to 225 kg (500 lbs). Although their senses are more acute than those of brown bears, their eyesight is poor, and their powers of hearing moderate, the upper limit being 30 kHz. BEHAVIOUR Asian black bears are diurnal, though they become nocturnal near human habitations. They may live in family groups consisting of two adults and two successive litters of young. They will walk in a procession of largest to smallest. They are good climbers of rocks and trees, and will climb to feed, rest, sun, elude enemies and hibernate. Some older bears may become too heavy to climb. Half of their life is spent in trees and they are one of the largest arboreal mammals. In the Ussuri territory, black bears can spend up to 15% of their time in trees. Asian black bears break branches and twigs to place under themselves when feeding on trees, thus causing many trees in their home ranges to have nest-like structures on their tops. Asian black bears will rest for short periods in nests on trees standing fifteen feet or higher. Asian black bears do not hibernate over most of their range. They may hibernate in their colder, northern ranges, though some bears will simply move to lower elevations. Nearly all pregnant sows hibernate. Black bears prepare their dens for hibernation in mid October, and will sleep from November until March. Their dens can either be dug out hollow trees (sixty feet above ground), caves or holes in the ground, hollow logs, or steep, mountainous and sunny slopes. They may also den in abandoned brown bear dens. Asiatic black bears tend to den at lower elevations and on less steeper slopes than brown bears. Female black bears emerge from dens later than do males, and female black bears with cubs emerge later than barren females. Asian black bears tend to be less mobile than brown bears. With sufficient food, Asian black bears can remain in an area of roughly 1–2 sq km, and sometimes even as little as 0.5–1 sq km. Asian black bears have a wide range of vocalisations, including grunts, whines, roars, slurping sounds (sometimes made when feeding) and "an appalling row" when wounded, alarmed or angry. They emit loud hisses when issuing warnings or threats, and scream when fighting. When approaching other bears, they produce "tut tut" sounds, thought to be produced by bears snapping their tongue against the roof of their mouth. When courting, they emit clucking sounds. Tameability and Trainability
  13. 13. Along with sun bears, Asian black bears are the most typically used species in areas where bears are either used in performances or as pets. Asian black bears have an outstanding learning ability in captivity, and are among the most common species used in circus acts. According to Gary Brown: The Asiatic black bears are the comedians of the performing bears. They appear to appreciate applause and will intentionally move into their prescribed position late to attain laughter and attention. —Brown, Gary The Influence of Bears on Humans from The Great Bear Almanac, Lyons & Burford, Publishers, 1993 Black bears are easily tamed, and can be fed with rice, maize, sweet potato, cassava, pumpkin, ripe fruit, animal fat and sweet foods. Keeping captive black bears is popular in China, especially due to the belief that milking the bear's gall bladder leads to quick prosperity. Bears are also popular as pets in Vietnam. THREATS The main habitat threat to Chinese black bears is overcutting of forests, largely due to human populations increasing to over 430,000 in regions where bears are distributed, in the Shaanxi, Ganshu, and Sichuan provinces. 27 forestry enterprises were built in these areas between 1950 and 1985 (excluding the lumbering units belonging to the county). By the early 1990s, the black bear distribution area was reduced to only one-fifth of the area that existed before the 1940s. Isolated bear populations face environmental and genetic stress in these circumstances. However, one of the most important reasons for their decrease involves overhunting, as black bear paws, gall bladders and cubs have great economic value. Black bear harvests are maintained at a high level due to the harm they cause to crops, orchards and bee farms. During the 1950s and 1960s, 1000 bears were harvested annually in the Heilongjiang Province. However, purchased furs were reduced by 4/5, even by 9/10 yearly in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Bears have also been declining annually in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Nations Autonomous Prefecture and the Yunnan Province. Poaching for gall bladders and skin are the main threat faced by black bears in India. Although the poaching of bears is well known throughout Japan, authorities have done little to remedy the situation. The killing of nuisance bears is practiced year-round, and harvest numbers have been on the increase. Box traps have been widely used since 1970 to capture nuisance bears. It is estimated that the number of shot bears will decrease in time, due to the
  14. 14. decline of old traditional hunters and the increase of a younger generation less inclined to hunt. Logging is also considered a threat. Although black bears have been afforded protection in Russia since 1983, illegal poaching, fuelled by a growing demand for bear parts in the Asian market, is still a major threat to the Russian population. Many workers of Chinese and Korean origin, supposedly employed in the timber industry, are actually involved in the illegal trade. Some Russian sailors reportedly purchase bear parts from local hunters to sell them to Japanese and Southeast Asian clients. Russia's rapidly growing timber industry has been a serious threat to the Asian black bear's home range for three decades. The cutting of trees containing cavities deprives black bears of their main source of dens, and forces them to den on the ground or in rocks, thus making them more vulnerable to tigers, brown bears and hunters. In Taiwan, black bears are not actively pursued, though steel traps set out for wild boars have been responsible for unintentional bear trappings.Timber harvesting has largely stopped being a major threat to Taiwan's black bear population, though a new policy concerning the transfer of ownership of hill land from the government to private interests has the potential to affect some lowland habitat, particularly in the eastern part of the nation. The building of new cross island highways through bear habitat is also potentially threatening. Vietnamese black bear populations have declined rapidly due to the pressures of human population growth and unstable settlement. Vietnamese forests have been: of the 87,000km2 of natural forests, about 1,000km2 disappear every year. Hunting pressures have also increased with a coinciding decline of environmental awareness. South Korea remains one of two countries to allow bear bile farming to continue legally. As reported in 2009, approximately 1,374 bears reside in an estimated 74 bear farms where they are kept for slaughter to fuel the demands of traditional Asian medicine. In sharp contrast, fewer than 20 bears can be found at Jirisan Restoration Center, located in Korea's Jirisan National Park. CONSERVATION STATUS
  15. 15. AMERICAN BLACK BEAR (Ursus americanus) The (North) American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to the species' widespread distribution and a large global population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered globally threatened with extinction by the IUCN. American black bears often mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears. Taxonomy and Evolution Although they all live in North America, American black bears are not closely related to brown bears and polar bears; genetic studies reveal that they split from a common ancestor 5.05 million years ago. Both American and Asiatic black bears are considered sister taxa, and are more closely related to each other than to other species of bear. A small primitive bear called Ursus abstrusus is the oldest known North American fossil member of the genus Ursus, dated to 4.95 mya. This suggests that U. abstrusus may be the direct ancestor of the American black bear, which evolved in North America. Although Wolverton and Lyman still consider U. vitabilis an "apparent precursor to modern black bears", it has also placed within U. americanus. The ancestors of American black bears and Asiatic black bears diverged from sun bears 4.58 mya. The American black bear then split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania, greatly resemble the Asiatic species, though later specimens grew to sizes comparable to grizzlies. From the Holocene to present, American black bears seem to have shrunk in size, but this has been disputed because of problems with dating these fossil specimens.
  16. 16. Hybrids American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species, and have occasionally produced hybrid offspring. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, Florida, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and an American black bear. In 1859, a black bear and a Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs did not reach maturity. In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication Charles Darwin noted: In the nine-year Report it is stated that the bears had been seen in the Zoological Gardens to couple freely, but previously to 1848 most had rarely conceived. In the Reports published since this date three species have produced young (hybrids in one case). A black bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be a black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger braincase and skull. DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a black bear or grizzly. DESCRIPTION American black bears can be distinguished from brown bears by their smaller size, their more concave profiles, their shorter claws and the lack of a shoulder hump. BUILD The skulls of American black bears are broad, with narrow muzzles and large jaw hinges. Females tend to have more slender and pointed faces than males. Their claws are typically black or grayish brown. The claws are short and rounded, being thick at the base and tapering to a point. Claws from both hind and front legs are almost identical in length, though the foreclaws tend to be more sharply curved. The hind legs are longer than those of Asiatic black bears. The tail is usually 4.8 inches (12 cm) long. The ears are small and rounded, and are set well back on the head. The soles of the feet are black or brownish, and are naked, leathery and deeply wrinkled. Black bears are highly dexterous, being capable of opening screw-top jars and manipulating door latches. They also have great physical strength. Even bear cubs have been known to turn over flat-shaped rocks weighing 310 to 325 pounds (140 to 147 kg) by flipping them over with a single foreleg. They move in a rhythmic, surefooted way and can run at speeds of 25–30 mph (40–50 km/h). Black bears have good eyesight, and have been proven experimentally to be able to learn visual discrimination tasks based on color faster than chimpanzees and as fast as dogs. They are also capable of rapidly learning to distinguish different shapes, such as small triangles, circles and squares.
  17. 17. SIZE Black bear weight tends to vary according to age, sex, health, and season. Seasonal variation in weight is very pronounced: in autumn, their pre-den weight tends to be 30% higher than in spring, when black bears emerge from their dens. Black bears on the East Coast tend to be heavier on average than those on the West Coast. Adult males typically weigh between 57–250 kg (130–550 lb), while females weigh 33% less at 41–170 kg (90–370 lb) PELAGE The fur is soft, with dense underfur and long, coarse, thick guard hairs. The fur is not as shaggy or coarse as that of brown bears. American black bear skins can be distinguished from those of Asiatic black bears by the lack of a white mark on the chin and hairier footpads. Despite their name, black bears show a great deal of color variation. Individual coat colors can range from white, blond, cinnamon, or light brown to dark chocolate brown or to jet black, with many intermediate variations existing. Bluish tinged black bears occur along a portion of coastal Alaska and British Columbia. White to cream colored black bears occur in coastal islands and the adjacent mainland of south-western British Columbia. Albino specimens have also been recorded. Black coats tend to predominate in moist areas such as New England, New York, Tennessee, Michigan and western Washington. 70% of all black bears are black, though only 50% of black bears in the Rocky Mountains are black. BEHAVIOUR Sounds expressing aggression include growls, woofs, snorts, bellows and roars. Sounds expressing contentment include mumbles, squeaks and pants. American black bears tend to be territorial and non-gregarious in nature. They mark their territories by rubbing their bodies against trees and clawing at the bark. Black bears are excellent and strong swimmers, doing so for pleasure and to feed. Black bears climb regularly to feed, escape enemies or to hibernate. Their arboreal abilities tend to decline with age. Adult black bears are mostly nocturnal, but juveniles are often active in daytime. Sows usually produce their first litter at the age of 3–5 years. Sows living in urban areas tend to get pregnant at younger ages. The breeding period usually occurs in the June–July period, though it can extend to August in the species' northern range. The breeding period lasts for 2–3 weeks. Sows tend to be short tempered with their mates after copulating. The gestation period lasts 235 days, and litters are usually born in late January to early February. Litters usually consist of two cubs, though litters of 6 have been recorded.
  18. 18. Black bears were once not considered true or "deep" hibernators, but because of discoveries about the metabolic changes that allow black bears to remain dormant for months without eating, drinking, urinating, or defecating, most biologists have redefined mammalian hibernation as "specialized, seasonal reduction in metabolism concurrent with scarce food and cold weather". Black bears are now considered highly efficient hibernators. Up to 85% of the black bear's diet consists of vegetation, though they tend to dig less than brown bears, eating far fewer roots, bulbs, corms and tubers than the latter species. The majority of the black bear's animal diet consists of insects such as bees, yellow-jackets, ants and their larvae. Black bears will fish for salmon during the night, as their black fur is easily spotted by salmon in the daytime. They may climb up to bald eagle nests to eat the eggs or chicks. Black bears have been reported stealing deer and other animals from human hunters. THREATS Historically, black bears were hunted by both Native Americans and European settlers. Some Native American tribes, in admiration for the black bear's intelligence, would decorate the heads of bears they killed with trinkets, and place them on blankets. Tobacco smoke would be wafted into the disembodied head's nostrils by the hunter that dealt the killing blow, and would compliment the animal for its courage. The Kutchin typically hunted black bears during their hibernation cycle. Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzlies, which was wrought with danger, black bears took longer to awaken, and was thus safer and easier. During the European colonisation of eastern North America, thousands of black bears were hunted for their meat, fat and fur. Theodore Roosevelt wrote extensively on black bear hunting in his Hunting the Grisly and other sketches, in which he stated "in [a black bear] chase there is much excitement, and occasionally a slight spice of danger, just enough to render it attractive; so it has always been eagerly followed". He wrote that black bears were difficult to hunt by stalking, due to their habitat preferences, though were easy to trap. Roosevelt described how in the Southern States, planters regularly hunted black bears on horseback with hounds. General Wade Hampton was known to have been present at 500 successful black bear hunts, two thirds of which he killed personally. He killed thirty or forty black bears with only a knife, which he would use to stab the bears between the shoulder blades while they were distracted by his hounds. Unless well trained, horses were often useless in black bear hunts, as they often bolted when the bears stood their ground. In 1799, 192,000 black bear skins were exported from Quebec. In 1822, 3,000 skins were exported from the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1992, untanned, fleshed and salted black bear hides were sold for an average of $165. In Canada, black bears are considered as both a big game and furbearer species in all provinces save for New Brunswick and Northwest Territories, where they are only classed as a big game
  19. 19. species. There are currently 80,822 licensed black bear hunters in all of Canada. Canadian black bear hunts take place in the fall and spring, and both male and female bears can be legally taken, though some provinces prohibit the hunting of females with cubs, or yearling specimens. Currently, 28 of the USA's states have black bear hunting seasons. Nineteen states require a bear hunting license, with some also requiring a big game license. Meat and organs Black bear meat had historically been held in high esteem among North America's indigenous people and colonists. Black bears were the only bear species the Kutchin hunted for their meat, though this constituted only a small part of their diet. According to the second volume of Frank Forester's field sports of the United States, and British provinces, of North America: The flesh of the [black] bear is savoury, but rather luscious, and tastes not unlike pork. It was once so common an article of food in New-York as to have given the name of Bear Market to one of the principal markets of the city. —Frank Forester's field sports of the United States, and British provinces, of North America p. 186 Theodore Roosevelt himself likened the flesh of young black bears to that of pork, and not as coarse or flavourless as the meat of grizzlies. The most favoured cuts of the black bear's meat are concentrated in the legs and loins. Meat from the neck, front legs and shoulders is usually ground into mincemeat or used for stews and casseroles. Keeping the fat tends to give the meat a strong flavour. As black bears can have trichinellosis, cooking temperatures need to be high in order to kill the parasites. Black bear fat was once valued as a cosmetic article which promoted hair growth and gloss. The fat most favoured for this purpose was the hard white fat found in the body's interior. As only a small portion of this fat could be harvested for this purpose, the oil was often mixed with large quantities of hog lard. However animal rights activism over the last decade has slowed the harvest of these animals; therefore the lard from black bear has not been used in recent years for the purpose of cosmetics. Conservation status
  20. 20. BLACK BEARS FUN FACT On a 1902 hunting trip in Mississippi, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear that was tied to a tree to ensure an easy target for the president. President Roosevelt immediately ordered the bear released and set free. As a result, political cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman created this cartoon. When toy makers got wind of this, the "Teddy Bear" was born. SAVE BLACK BEARS Black bears are facing some alarming threats, including habitat destruction, poaching and needless killings. You can help. Adopt a black bear. Each individual Florida black bear population needs a minimum of 500,000 to 1 million acres of area to find food, shelter, and mates, so habitat loss due to development is a major threat to their survival. The leading cause of bear deaths is car accidents—over the last five years, between 125 - 175 bears have been killed each year by vehicles. As Florida communities continue to grow and encroach on bear territory, and recovery efforts contribute to a rise in bear numbers, interactions with the animals are becoming more prevalent, often resulting in the death of the bear. Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for black bear recovery. Thanks to conservation efforts by the state, Defenders of Wildlife and others, the Florida black bear was removed from the Florida state threatened species list on August 24, 2012. We work with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on developing long-term plans for managing and connecting bear habitat throughout the state. We also provide a variety of public education programs and resources, such as bear-resistant dumpsters, to help prevent human-bear conflicts.
  21. 21. REFERENCES  www.defenders.org  Fairbanks-alaska.com/alasken-definitions-glossary.htm.  Animals.nationalgeographic.com  Wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/web.wn  Sy Montgomery (24 September 2002). Search for the golden moon bear: science and adventure in Southeast Asia. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0584-9. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  Seryodkin, I. V. et al. (2003). "Denning ecology of brown bears and Asiatic black bears in the Russian Far East". Ursus 14 (2): 153–161. JSTOR 3873015  The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, ''Ursus thibetanus'' Asiatic black bear, Vulnerable. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-09-26.  Garshelis, D.L., Crider, D. & van Manen, F. (2008). Ursus americanus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 27 January 2009.  American black bear videos, photos and facts – Ursus americanus  "Teddy Bears". Library Of Congress. Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-1  "Yellowstone National Park – Denning and Hibernation Behavior (U.S. National Park Service)"

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