Ursus americanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Ursidae

Scientific Name: Ursus americanus
Species Authority: Pallas, 1780
Common Name(s):
English American Black Bear
French Ours noir d'Amérique
Spanish Oso negro americano
Taxonomic Notes:

Although commonly known as the American black bear, coat color (even within a single litter) ranges from black to various shades of brown.  Black-colored bears predominate in the eastern and northern parts of the range, whereas the proportion of brown-colored individuals generally increases moving westward: brown-colored black bears predominate in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of the Rocky Mountains (Rounds 1987). Variation in color-phase occurs within individual states and provinces, related to habitat and weather (Beecham and Rohlman 1994).  A rare white (non-albino) color phase, associated with a single recessive gene, occurs in coastal British Columbia (Ritland et al. 2001).  A very rare “blue” (grey) color phase known as the Glacier bear occurs in northwestern British Columbia and along the coast of Alaska (McTaggart Cowan 1938, Obbard 1987).

Sixteen subspecies have been named (Hall 1981). Some of these gained special protections, particularly in eastern U.S. where recognized subspecies are morphologically distinguishable from cranial morphology (Kennedy et al. 2002). However, these subspecies designations do not correspond with recently documented genetic population clusters (Puckett et al. 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-03-18
Assessor(s): Beecham, J., Doan-Crider, D., Garshelis, D., Obbard, M. & Scheick, B.
Reviewer(s): van Manen, F.
Justification:

This species is widespread and occupies a large portion of its historical range. The global population is estimated at more than twice that of all other species of bears combined. Within the United States, populations have been expanding numerically and geographically. Legal hunting is the primary cause of mortality and is well controlled by state and provincial management agencies in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. Hunting is banned in Mexico. Population-level threats exist in only a few isolated places, and relate mainly to habitat fragmentation and conflicts between bears and people. Many management agencies are more concerned with controlling population growth of this species through legal harvest than promoting further growth and geographic expansion (which could increase human–bear conflicts).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

American black bears range across three countries: 12 provinces and territories of Canada (all except Prince Edward Island, where they were once abundant, but the last known one shot in 1927; Sobey 2007); 41 U.S. states (with sightings but undefined ranges in 5 other states); and 6 states of northern Mexico (Scheick and McCown 2014) (with sightings in 4 other Mexican states and a recent record of a dead bear farther south in the state of Hidalgo; Rojas-Martínez and Juárez-Casillas 2013). The species never existed outside of these three countries, although the southern historic limit is not well known. The present range falls within 69°29´ to 23°14´ N (with the incidental record in Hidalgo at 21°05’30” N) and 52°49´ to 164°10´W.

In western parts of their range, American black bears broadly overlap and compete with grizzly/brown bears (Ursus arctos) (Mattson et al. 2005, Mowat et al. 2013). Black bears occupy several islands off the coast of Alaska and British Columbia, but do not coexist with brown bears on any islands.  Northward, black bears narrowly overlap with polar bears (Ursus maritimus) along the Québec coast of Ungava peninsula, the Ontario and Québec coasts of James Bay, and along the Ontario and Manitoba coasts of Hudson Bay.  Climate change seems to have enabled black bears to range farther north. For example, there have been recent sightings of black bears near Salluit, the second northernmost Inuit community in Québec (62°12'N) (S. Côté, Laval University, Québec City, personal communication, 2015).  Along the western shore of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, local hunters from the community of Arviat (61°5'N) have observed black bears about 50 km west of the village.  These sightings have occurred since 2005, were of single individuals, and are considered to be rare (D. Lee, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, personal communication, 2014) but are farther north than similarly rare excursions noted by Jonkel and Miller (1970).

Loss of habitat and unregulated hunting/persecution resulted in extirpation of black bears across large portions of their range by the early 1900s.  Present occupied range covers 10.5 million km2, representing 65–75% of the historical range, depending on whether Midwestern prairies are counted as historical range (Scheick and McCown 2014).  Black bears were documented along some wooded river courses through the Great Plains (e.g., Lewis and Clark expedition, 1804–1806; Laliberte and Ripple 2003), but were likely scarce in the grasslands. More of the original distribution remains in Canada (>95%; 6.9 million km2) than the U.S. (45–60%; 3.5 million km2). However, recolonization from growing neighboring populations, in some cases assisted by translocations, have occurred across the U.S., including several previously extirpated states: Rhode Island and Connecticut in the Northeast (Cardoza 1976, Scheick and McCown 2014), Kentucky in the Southeast (Unger et al. 2013), Ohio, Oklahoma and Missouri in the Midwest (Bales et al. 2005, Scheick and McCown 2014, Wilton et al. 2014; although genetic studies suggest that Missouri bears may not have been completely extirpated ― Faries et al. 2013, Puckett et al. 2014), and Texas (Onorato and Hellgren 2001) and Nevada in the Southwest (including areas that were erroneously thought to be outside historic range; Lackey et al. 2013). The current distribution in Mexico (at least 99,000 km2) is believed to have been drastically reduced from an unknown historical extent due to deforestation, hunting, and incidental killing from predator poisoning (Delfín-Alfonso et al. 2012); however, these bears are also now expanding and reoccupying portions of their former range, and possibly new areas because of artificial water and food sources.

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Canada; Mexico; United States
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

Heavily persecuted since European settlement of North America, compounded by loss of forest cover, American black bear populations rapidly declined, and probably reached a nadir in the early 1900s. Greater state and provincial protection for bears enabled populations to slowly recover.  More rapid growth occurred with increasing protective measures since the late 1980s (Williamson 2002).  By 1999, 60% of U.S. and Canadian states and provinces reported increasing populations, and other jurisdictions appeared to be either stable or fluctuating with no clear trend (Garshelis and Hristienko 2006).  Many of these trend assessments, though, were not derived from serial estimates of population size.

Based on sums of estimates for individual states, the total U.S. population, excluding Alaska, is estimated at somewhat greater than 300,000.  No reliable estimate exists for numbers of black bears in Alaska, although authorities presume there to be 100,000–200,000 animals.  Similarly, large populations in most parts of Canada are not reliably known, but countrywide estimates center around 450,000 (principally in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec). Thus, the total number of black bears in North America is likely within the range 850,000–950,000.  No population estimates exist for the country of Mexico, although some areas within Mexico have high and increasing black bear densities (SEMARNAP 1999, Doan-Crider 2003).

Many population size or density estimates have been derived using rigorous mark–recapture approaches. Densities have been reported as high as 155 independent black bears/100 km2 (on an Alaskan island with legal hunting and abundant natural foods; Peacock et al. 2011) and 214 independent bears/100 km2 (coastal North Carolina with abundant agricultural crops consumed by bears; van Manen et al. 2012) to as low as 5 independent bears/100 km2 (interior Alaska; Miller et al. 1997; and pine forest with little food or cover in coastal South Carolina; Drewry et al. 2012).  Some mark–recapture population estimates have been conducted over large geographic areas, encompassing whole states or provinces or numerous study sites across the state or province (e.g., Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ontario: Garshelis and Visser 1997, Garshelis and Noyce 2006, Dreher et al. 2007, Belant et al. 2011, Howe et al. 2013, Lackey et al. 2013).

Population trend information is also commonly derived from mark–recapture or from population reconstruction or modelling using ages of legally-harvested bears (Fieberg et al. 2010).  Population size and trend information are routinely used by management agencies to regulate harvest pressure and inform trends in human–bear conflicts.  Detailed demographic studies have revealed that survival and recruitment of American black bears is closely tied to year-to-year variation in natural food abundance (Costello et al. 2003, Reynolds-Hogland et al. 2007, Obbard and Howe 2008, McCall et al. 2013).

Once portrayed as having one of the lowest rates of reproduction of any land mammal in North America, American black bears in some parts of the range, especially in the East and Midwest, are now known to have higher reproductive rates than previously reported (Hristienko and McDonald 2007).  With controls on human-caused mortality, populations can increase rapidly, and spread through immigration. A black bear population in interior Alaska that was almost entirely removed to reduce predation on moose (Alces alces) completely recovered in 4–6 years by immigration (of both sexes) from the surrounding landscape (Keech et al. 2014).

Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:850000-950000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

American black bears are primarily a species of temperate and boreal forests, but they also range into subtropical areas of Florida and Mexico as well as into the subarctic. They live at elevations ranging from sea level to 3,500 m, and inhabit areas as diverse as dry Mexican deserts and scrub forests, Louisiana swamps, Alaskan rainforests, and Labrador tundra (where they occupy the typical niche of the grizzly bear; Veitch and Harrington 1996).  Between these extremes they occupy assorted deciduous and coniferous forest types, each providing a different array of foods.

The American black bear is a generalist, opportunist omnivore. Depending on location and season, they consume herbaceous vegetation, roots, buds, numerous kinds of fleshy fruits, nuts, insects in life stages from egg to adult, and vertebrates from fish to mammals, including their own kills as well as carrion.  Moreover, they readily consume various human-related foods, from garbage and birdseed to a variety of agricultural products from cropfields and orchards, including corn, oats, soybeans, sunflowers, wheat, and apples, and brood and honey in apiaries.  Black bear predation upon livestock has also been documented in some areas. The ability of black bears to adjust their diet to the circumstances has enabled them to persist not only in a diversity of habitat types, but also in highly fragmented forested areas in proximity to humans (Pelton 2003, Benson and Chamberlain 2006, Ditmer et al. 2015).

A key habitat feature in many areas is a source of fall mast that enables black bears to increase their fat reserves for winter hibernation.  Historically, American chestnuts (Castanea dentata) likely were a key fall food for bears (and other wildlife) in eastern North America, but after a blight eliminated this food source in the early and mid-1900s, oak (Quercus spp.) acorns and beechnuts (Fagus grandifolia) have become the principal fall foods for bears throughout this region (Vaughan 2002).  However, oaks are now declining in eastern North America due to forestry practices, insects, disease, and over-abundance of deer (McShea et al. 2007), and a disease accidentally introduced in the late 1800s is now spreading widely across beech forests in northeastern U.S. (Morin et al. 2007). In parts of the range where oaks and beech are absent or uncommon, hazelnuts (Corylus spp.), whitebark pine nuts (Pinus albicaulis), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) berries, madrone (Arbutus xalapensis), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.), buffaloberries (Shepherdia canadensis), wild cherries (Prunus sp.), mountain ash (Sorbus spp.), or other fruits, or sometimes meat, are the fall dietary mainstays.  In the southwestern U.S. and in Mexico, succulents such as yucca (Yucca spp.) and cactus fruits also play important roles in providing food, especially during drought (Doan-Crider 2003).  American black bears may migrate considerable distances (up to 200 km) to find more abundant food sources, especially in late summer and fall, prior to hibernation (Garshelis and Pelton 1981, Beck 1991, Hellgren et al. 2005, Noyce and Garshelis 2011).

American black bears hibernate for up to 7 months in the northern portions of their range (Bertram and Vivion 2002, Chaulk et al. 2005), but for considerably shorter periods in more southerly areas (Wooding and Hardisky 1992, Waller et al. 2012).  In some southern and low-elevation areas, where food is available year-round, some bears may remain active during winter (Hellgren and Vaughan 1987, Graber 1990, Doan-Crider and Hellgren 1996, Hightower et al. 2002).  However, all parturient females den to give birth to cubs, typically in January–February.  American black bears use a wide variety of den structures: existing caves or tree cavities, underground chambers that they excavate, root masses, brush piles, or even above-ground nests. Adequate denning sites or structures are rarely thought to be limiting, except in habitats that flood (because young cubs may drown or die of exposure; White et al. 2001), or where bears preferentially choose certain types of dens, such as hollow trees, that are being reduced through logging (Davis et al. 2012).

Mating typically occurs in May–July, but may be extended in southern latitudes (Garshelis and Hellgren 1994, Spady et al. 2007).  Females can have as many as 3 estrous cycles (B. Durrant, personal communication, 2014). Implantation is delayed, and active gestation is only 2 months.  Females give birth beginning at age 3–10 years: their rate of growth and maturity varies with food availability, and hence tends to be especially delayed in northern boreal forests.  They can produce cubs every other year, but in places with less food, this interval may be extended to 3 years.  Average litter size is approximately 2.5 cubs in eastern (ranging up to 5 or rarely 6 cubs) versus <2.0 cubs in western North America (Alt 1989, Garshelis 1994, Bridges et al. 2011).  Reproductive rate in this species is highest among the ursids, although there is a clear dichotomy between Eastern (including Midwestern) and Western populations.

Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

A looming concern, but not a widespread problem in North America, is the poaching of bears for their paws and gall bladders, which may be sold commercially. Those products, particularly bile from gall bladders, are highly valued by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Several U.S. states and Canadian provinces allow the sale of bear parts taken legally by hunters, either within that jurisdiction or transported into that jurisdiction from elsewhere (Williamson 2002). An argument can be made that this creates opportunities for poachers to employ an illicit pathway into the legal, commercial trade. However, illegal trade appears to be very limited.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Throughout most of its range, this species is not threatened. Legal sport hunting is well controlled by state and provincial agencies to fit management objectives, and most states and provinces that harvest bears have a management plan (Hristienko and McDonald 2007). American black bears are harvested as a game species in all 12 Canadian provinces and territories where they exist and in 31 U.S. states. Since the early 2000s, 6 states with increasing bear populations opened bear hunting seasons ― Florida, New Jersey and Maryland, after 21-, 33- and 51-year closures, respectively, and Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Nevada for the first time in their management history. The sport harvest for this species in Canada and the U.S. totals 40,000–50,000 annually. Currently, black bears are not legally hunted in Mexico, but some conditional permits are allowed for depredation cases.

A few small, isolated populations of American black bears may be threatened with extirpation, simply due to small population size, effects of fluctuating food (and in some cases water) resources, or direct human-caused mortality. A very small (<20 black bears), isolated population in western Florida may persist only if tenuous travel corridors to other, more robust populations are made safer for bears (Larkin et al. 2004). An isolated population on a peninsula in Ontario was judged to have a high probability of extirpation unless all non-natural mortality was eliminated (Howe et al. 2007). A black bear population on a large island in Québec was extirpated apparently from introduced deer excessively browsing berry-producing shrubs, and thus eliminating an essential food supply for the resident bears (Côté 2005).

Most small, isolated populations are in the southern U.S. In a particularly dramatic case, a severe drought in 2000 prompted a number of bears from Big Bend National Park, an isolated population in southwestern Texas, to travel to Chihuahua and Coahuila, Mexico, apparently in search of better fall mast — most never returned (they either remained in Mexico, died naturally when crossing the desert, or were killed by people). As a result, the entire Big Bend population was reduced to 5–7 bears, including only 2 adult females (Hellgren et al. 2005). However, since that time, this population has rebounded to higher numbers than were there before the exodus in 2000, likely supplemented by bears immigrating from Mexico. Mexico served as the original source of the recolonization of bears in southwest Texas after they had been eradicated during the 1940s (Onorato and Hellgren 2001). Movements by bears across the seemingly harsh, xeric environment of southwestern U.S. and Mexico once appeared to be anomalous (Doan-Crider and Hellgren 1996, Onorato et al. 2004), but it is now recognized as an integral part of the ecology of bears in this region.  In 2011, northern Mexico experienced record drought and wildfires that not only caused high direct bear mortality, but also prompted immigration of bears of both sexes into unburned, previously unoccupied habitat in both Mexico and Texas.

Increased public awareness of bears and protection from human-caused mortality are likely enabling bears to successfully traverse areas of Mexico where they once would have been persecuted.  Additionally, reports of bears using deer feeders on game ranches in northern Mexico and south Texas have become commonplace, and may be playing a role in promoting bear movements and population growth.  Conversely, recently constructed barriers and human activity spurred by illegal human immigration and drug-related violence could thwart the natural interchange of bears across the U.S.–Mexican border (Atwood et al. 2011).

Conflicts with humans have been a threat to black bears since European colonization of North America (Cardoza 1976). Human–bear conflict stems from humans and bears competing for space and bears being attracted to food items produced or managed by people. Due to their generalist food habits, black bears are readily attracted to many human sources of foods, such as garbage, agricultural crops, apiaries, and sometimes livestock, especially when their preferred wild foods are scarce. People kill bears in retribution, to prevent property damage, or in fear for their safety.  Encounters between black bears and people have increased as people have encroached upon bear habitat, and as bear populations have increased and expanded into areas occupied by people.  Most states and provinces with a significant population of black bears report common or increasing conflicts between bears and people (Hristienko and McDonald 2007, Spencer et al. 2007).  Recent studies suggest that variation in abundance of natural foods tends to be a key driver of human–bear conflict levels (Howe et al. 2010, Obbard et al. 2014). Urban areas provide attractive sources of anthropogenic food for bears during periods of natural food shortages, but also are a source of increased mortality (Ryan et al. 2007, Baruch-Mordo et al. 2014). Urban areas are expected to increase across American black bear range in the future (Bierwagen et al. 2010), which, coupled with the potential frequent natural food shortages in arid bear habitats as a result of global climate change, may threaten small or isolated bear populations.

Increasing density of roads, with increasing traffic volume, is another growing threat to American black bears.  Without immigration from an adjacent national forest, bear numbers in a rural residential community in north-central Florida would have declined as a result of increased adult female mortality from vehicle collisions (Hostetler et al. 2007).  A stretch of highway in North Carolina that was upgraded from 2-lane to 4-lane, with increased speed limits and a new alignment, caused increased bear mortalities that negatively affected the nearby population, even though underpasses were made available (van Manen et al. 2012). Poor food years tend to spur wide-scale movements of black bears, resulting in increased mortalities from vehicular collisions (Wooding and Maddrey 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

n the U.S. and Canada, black bears are managed by individual states and provinces, so although an IUCN conservation action plan exists for this species (Pelton et al. 1999), each state and province sets their own goals and methods for achieving those goals.  As a whole, this has worked well to re-establish robust populations of black bears across their range. Several key factors aided the rapid rebound of American black bears since the 1980s: (1) improved habitat, (2) large dispersal distances in high-quality habitat (Moore et al. 2014), (3) relatively high reproductive rates, (4) reduced human-caused mortality, and (5) better information about the biology and ecology of bears combined with better population monitoring techniques (Miller 1990).

Much forested habitat, essential for black bears, was cleared indiscriminately for agriculture during the 1700s–mid-1900s, but has since returned in many parts of the U.S. Most notably, northeastern U.S. (New England) has been naturally reforested back to near its pre-colonial extent (~400 years ago; Hall et al. 2002), although tree composition is different (fewer hard mast-producing trees as food for bears; Thompson et al. 2013).  Some states and provinces also manage habitat to benefit bears (e.g., space, foods, travelways, den sites; Pelton et al. 1999).

Through the 1800s and early 1900s in some areas, black bears were extensively hunted for meat, skins, and grease (i.e., market hunting; Smith et al. 1991, Unger et al. 2013) or hunted or poisoned with the intent of eliminating or severely reducing their numbers to reduce damage to crops and livestock (Cardoza 1976, Raybourne 1987).  Governments often paid a bounty to encourage the killing of black bears.  Protection and recovery occurred state-by-state and province-by-province during 1902–1983 as laws were changed and bears gained protection as a big game species (Miller 1990). Thereafter, the number and sex of bears killed were more closely controlled through hunting regulations and restrictions on numbers of hunters.  By the 1980s, under the belief that black bears reproduced slowly and were easily over-harvested, most management agencies took a conservative approach to black bear hunting to enable populations to increase (Hristienko and McDonald 2007). Moreover, an infrastructure of wildlife management agency personnel and hunters policed illegal take.

Wildlife management agencies have also taken an increasingly active role in reducing the number of bears killed in conflict situations through stricter laws against shooting and feeding (in some jurisdictions, feeding bears is illegal), and educational programs aimed at coexisting with bears by reducing attractants, promoting public tolerance, and recognizing that black bears are typically not a threat to human safety (Treves et al. 2009, Baruch-Mordo et al. 2014).

In Mexico all hunting seasons for American black bears have been closed since 1985, and the species is considered nationally endangered. Numerous conservation initiatives established by large private ranches and land cooperatives in northern Mexico have created large blocks of suitable habitat (e.g., oak-dominated forests) with protection from poaching (Doan-Crider 2003). Changing public attitudes toward bears in Mexico have also contributed to the recovery and expansion of the species (SEMARNAP 1999, Onorato and Hellgren 2001). Although bear populations are clearly increasing, population estimation and monitoring efforts are lacking because funding (normally associated with hunting fees in the U.S. and Canada) is not available. Hunting bans will likely not be lifted without better documentation of population size and trend.

In the southeastern U.S., where black bears now occupy 27–37% of their historic range (depending on whether primary range or total bear range are counted as occupied range; Scheick and McCown 2014), population recovery was aided by the establishment of national parks and other sanctuaries in the Appalachian Mountains and the Coastal Plain (Pelton and van Manen 1997). These large areas protect the habitat (especially mast-producing trees) and restrict hunter access. Beginning in the early 1970s, additional areas were established where bear hunting was prohibited, thus linking protected areas to other forested lands, including many private lands. the resulting conglomerates serve as dedicated or defacto sanctuaries, especially for adult females, that are a source for bears expanding into other areas (Beringer et al. 1998, Unger et al. 2013).

In some areas, populations of American black bears have either been augmented or reintroduced after former extirpation by transplanting bears from elsewhere (Clark et al. 2002).  Reintroductions into Arkansas during the 1960s were highly successful (Smith et al. 1991).  Licensed hunters in this state now harvest several hundred bears annually, and bears from Arkansas have expanded into neighboring states. Further reintroductions within Arkansas have been conducted more recently (Wear et al. 2005). A successful reintroduction augmented a newly-spawning population in Kentucky (Unger et al. 2013). Augmentation of several populations in Louisiana during the mid-1960s likely contributed to population recovery there.

The Louisiana black bear (U. a. luteolus), a recognized subspecies of American black bear, was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1992 as a result of severe loss and fragmentation of its habitat combined with unsustainable human-caused mortality (Bowker and Jacobson 1995). At the time of the listing, and since then, the validity and integrity of this subspecies has been debated (Pelton 1991, Kennedy et al. 2002, Csiki et al. 2003, Puckett et al. 2015). Under this ruling, all bears within the historic range of the Louisiana black bear, from east Texas to southern Mississippi, have been protected. Much of the bottomland hardwood forest that the Louisiana black bear historically inhabited had been converted to agriculture. Since 1992, remnant bottomland hardwoods have been protected, and some marginal farmland converted to hardwood trees.  Moreover, a new population of bears within Louisiana was established by translocating bears from other Louisiana populations (Benson and Chamberlain 2007) in order to create a stepping-stone between two separated populations; this enabled bears to travel between them (Laufenberg and Clark 2014). One irony is that the stepping-stone successfully linked a population that was believed to be native Louisiana black bears with a population that had previously been established by translocating U. a. americanus bears from Minnesota (1964–1967). The Minnesota bears had clearly adapted to the very different habitat and weather conditions in Louisiana, as they have been established there for three generations and their numbers have been increasing. However, if the luteolus subspecies has any merit, the successful establishment of a conservation corridor reduced the purity of that genetic stock.

The conservation efforts in Louisiana have been further enhanced through public information and education. This management program is organized by a broad coalition of state and federal agencies, conservation groups, forestry and agricultural industries, and private landowners. As a result, bears have been noticeably increasing in numbers and distribution in all three range states, although a breeding population does not yet exist in east Texas.  Large, contiguous forested habitat capable of sustaining a population of black bears exists within the historical range of the subspecies in east Texas (Kaminski et al. 2013); however, surveys of local people indicate concern over potential conflicts with an established bear population in the area (Morzillo et al. 2010). In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed delisting the Louisiana black bear, based largely on a rigorous study (Laufenberg and Clark 2014) that showed that all of the population criteria for recovery had been attained and adequate safeguards against future threats were in place (Fuller 2015).

Another typically-accepted subspecies of black bear (U. a. floridanus) was listed as threatened by the state of Florida in 1974, although legal hunting continued in some population strongholds until 1994. Habitat degradation, and bears being killed on highways and in conflicts with people are the primary threats to these bears. The fragmented habitat contributes to the high vehicle kills and human interactions. A public petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the Florida black bear as a federally threatened species was denied in 1992. A black bear management plan, adopted in 1993, directed the state management agency to conserve habitat and reduce human-caused bear mortalities. These efforts, particularly habitat conservation measures and changes in human attitudes toward bears, supported a steady population increase (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 2012). Florida black bears have been expanding into areas of unoccupied habitat as regrowth of understory and forests improve habitat quality, even as development reduces habitat quantity.  In 2010 the status of the Florida black bear was re-evaluated using IUCN redlisting criteria, and after a thorough, peer-reviewed biological assessment and development of a management plan, the species was removed from the state’s threatened species list in 2012 (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 2012). A hunt was initiated in 2015.

In British Columbia much conservation attention has been directed toward the Kermode subspecies (U. a. kermodei). This animal is commonly referred to as the “spirit bear” because it possesses a gene that when homozygous is manifested as white pelage (Ritland et al. 2001).  White-phased animals have long been protected from hunting.  A large system of protected areas was established in 2006 (Great Bear Rainforest Agreement) to ban or severely restrict logging within >200,000 ha of coastal temperate rainforest inhabited by this subspecies of black bear, as well as by brown bears.  Additionally, the spirit bear was selected as the official provincial mammal of British Columbia.

Since 1992 all American black bears have been listed in Appendix II of CITES, under the similarity of appearance provision (Article II, para 2b).  This listing stipulates that documentation of legal harvest is necessary for the import and export of body parts in order to prevent these from being confused as parts from illegally obtained bears.  This listing was not designed to protect American black bears, but rather other species of threatened bears, particularly the Asiatic black bear (U. thibetanus), whose parts might otherwise be sold under the guise of being from American black bear.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.2. Forest - Subarctic
suitability:Marginal  
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.1. Shrubland - Subarctic
suitability:Marginal  
3. Shrubland -> 3.3. Shrubland - Boreal
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
4. Grassland -> 4.1. Grassland - Tundra
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Unknown  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability:Unknown  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability:Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability:Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Marginal  
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

Bibliography [top]

Alt, G. L. 1989. Reproductive biology of female black bears and early growth and development of cubs in northeasern Pennsylvania. West Virginia University.

Atwood, T.C., Young, J.K., Beckmann,J.P., Breck, S.W., Fike, J., Rhodes, O.E., Jr., and Bristow, K.D. 2011. Modeling connectivity of black bears in a desert sky island archipelago. Biological Conservation 144: 2851-2862.

Bales, S.L., Hellgren, E.C., Leslie, D.M., Jr., and Hemphill, J., Jr. 2005. Dynamics of a recolonizing population of black bears in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33: 1342-1351.

Baruch-Mordo S., Wilson, K.R., Lewis, D.L., Broderick, J., Mao, J.S., and Breck, S.W. 2014. Stochasticity in natural forage production affects use of urban areas by black bears: implications to management of human-bear conflicts. PloS ONE 9(1).

Beck, T.D.I. 1991. Black bears of west-central Colorado. Technical Publication No. 39. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

Beecham, J.J., and Rohlman, J. 1994. A shadow in the forest. Idaho’s black bear. University of Idaho Press, Moscow, Idaho, USA.

Belant, J.L., Etter, D.R., Mayhew, S.L., Visser, L.G., and Friedrich, P.D. 2011. Improving large scale mark–recapture estimates for American black bear populations. Ursus 22: 9–23.

Benson, J.F., and Chamberlain, M.J. 2006. Food habits of Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus) in two subpopulations of the Tensas River Basin. American Midland Naturalist 156: 118-127.

Benson, J.F., and Chamberlain, M.J. 2007. Space use, survival, movements, and reproduction of reintroduced Louisiana black bears. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2393-2403.

Beringer, J., Seibert, S. G., Reagan, S., Brody, A. J., Pelton, M. R. and Vangilder, L. D. 1998. The influence of a small sanctuary on survival rates of black bears in North Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Management 62: 727-734.

Bertram, M.R., and Vivion, M.T. 2002. Black bear monitoring in eastern interior Alaska. Ursus 13: 69-77.

Bierwagen, B.G., Theobald, D.M., Pyke, C.R., Choate, A., Groth, P., Thomas, J.V., and Morefield, P. 2010. National housing and impervious surface scenarios for integrated climate impact assessment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 107: 20887–20892.

Bowker, B. and Jacobson, T. 1995. Louisiana black bear Ursus americanus luteolus recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Widlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Bridges, A.S., Vaughan, M.R., and Fox, J.A. 2011. Reproductive ecology of American black bears in the Alleghany Mountains of Virginia, USA. Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 1137-1144.

Cardoza, J.E. 1976. The history and status of the black bear in Massachusetts and adjacent New England states. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Research Bulletin 18, Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project W35R, Job VI-2, Westborough, Massachusetts, USA.

Chaulk, K., Bondrup-Nielsen, S., and Harrington, F. 2005. Black bear, Ursus americanus, ecology on the northeast coast of Labrador. Canadian Field-Naturalist 119: 164-174.

Clark, J. D., Huber, D. and Servheen, C. 2002. Bear reintroductions: Lessons and challenges. Ursus 13: 335-345.

Costello, C.M., Jones, D.E., Inman, R.M., Inman, K.H., Thompson, B.C., and Quigley, H.B. 2003. Relationship of variable mast production to American black bear reproductive parameters in New Mexico. Ursus 14: 1-16.

Côté, S. D. 2005. Extirpation of a large black bear population by introduced white-tailed deer. Conservation Biology 19: 1668-1671.

Csiki, I., Lam, C., Key, A., Coulter, E., Clark, J.D., Pace III, R.M., Smith, K.G., Rhoads., D.D. 2003. Genetic variation in black bears in Arkansas and Louisiana using microsatellite DNA markers. Journal of Mammalogy 84: 691-701.

Davis, H., Hamilton, A.N., Harestad, A.S., and Weir, R.D. 2012. Longevity and reuse of black bear dens in managed forests of coastal British Columbia. Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 523-527.

Delfín-Alfonso, C.A., López-González, C.A., and Equihua, M. 2012. Potential distribution of American black bears in northwest Mexico and implications for their conservation. Ursus 23: 65-77.

Ditmer, M.A., Garshelis, D.L., Noyce, K.V., Haveles, A.W. and Fieberg, J.R. 2015. Are American black bears in an agricultural landscape being sustained by crops? Journal of Mammalogy 26: 40-52.

Dixon, J. D., Oli, M. K., Wooten, M. C., Eason, T. H. M. J. W. and Paetkau, D. 2006. Effectiveness of a regional corridor in connecting two Florida black bear populations. Conservation Biology 20: 155-162.

Doan-Crider, D. L. 2003. Movements and spaciotemporal variation in relation to food productivity and distribution, and population dynamics of the Mexican black bear in the Serranias Burro, Coahuila, Mexico. Ph.D. Thesis, Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Doan Crider, D. L. and Hellgren, E. C. 1996. Population characteristics and winter ecology of black bears in Coahuila, Mexico. Journal of Wildlife Management 60: 398-407.

Dreher, B.P., Winterstein, S.R., Scribner, K.M., Lukacs, P.M., Etter, D.R., Rosa, G.J.M., Lopez, V.A., Libants, S., and Filcek, K.B. 2007. Noninvasive estimation of black bear abundance incorporating genotyping errors and harvested bear. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2684-2693.

Drewry, M.J., van Manen, F.T. and Ruth, D.M. 2012. Density and genetic structure of black bears in coastal South Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Management 77: 153-164.

Faries, K.M., Kristensen, T.V, Beringer, J., Clark, J.D., White, D., Jr., and Eggert, L.S. 2013. Origins and genetic structure of black bears in the Interior Highlands of North America. Journal of Mammalogy 94: 369-377.

Fieberg J.R., Shertzer, K.W., Conn, P.B., Noyce, K.V., and Garshelis, D.L. 2010. Integrated population modeling of black bears in Minnesota: Implications for monitoring and management. PLoS ONE 5(8).

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2012. Florida black bear management plan. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

Fuller, D. 2015. Removal of the Louisiana black bear from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and removal of similarity-of-appearance protections for the American black bear; proposed rule. Federal Register 80(98): 29394–29429.

Garshelis, D.L. 1994. Density dependent population regulation of black bears. In: M. Taylor (ed.), Density dependent regulation of North American bears, pp. 3-14. International Conference on Bear Research and Management Monograph Series 3.

Garshelis, D.L., and Hellgren, E.C. 1994. Variation in reproductive biology of male black bears. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 175-188.

Garshelis, D.L. and Hristienko H. 2006. State and provincial estimates of American black bear numbers versus assessments of population trend. Ursus 17: 1-7.

Garshelis, D.L., and Noyce, K.V. 2006. Discerning biases in a large scale mark–recapture population estimate for black bears. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 1634–1643.

Garshelis, D.L., and Pelton, M.R. 1981. Movements of black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Journal of Wildlife Management 45: 912–925.

Garshelis, D.L., and Visser, L.G. 1997. Enumerating megapopulations of wild bears with an ingested biomarker. Journal of Wildlife Management 61: 466-480.

Goldstein, I. 2006. Programa de Investigación y Conservación del Oso Andino de Wildlife Conservation Society Andes del Norte. Portal Informativo sobre el Programa de Investigación y Conservación del Oso Andino de WCS Andes del Norte. Mérida, Parque Tecnológico Universidad de los Andes.

Graber, D.M. 1990. Winter behavior of black bears in the Sierra Nevada, California. International Conference on Bear Research and Management 8: 269–272.

Hall, B., Motzkin, G., Foster, D.R., Syfert, M., and Burk, J. 2002. Three hundred years of forest and land-use change in Massachusetts, USA. Journal of Biogeography 29: 1319–1335.

Hall, E.R. 1981. The mammals of North America. Second edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Hellgren, E.C., and Vaughan, M.R. 1987. Home range and movements of winter-active black bears in the Great Dismal Swamp. International Conference on Bear Research and Management 7: 227–234.

Hellgren, E. C., Onorato, D. P. and Skiles, J. R. 2005. Dynamics of a black bear population within a desert metapopulation. Biological Conservation 122: 131-140.

Hightower, D.A., Wagner, R.O., Pace III, R.M. 2002. Denning ecology of female American black bears in south central Louisiana. Ursus 13: 11-17.

Hostetler, J.A., McCown, J.W., Garrison, E.P., Neils, A.M., Barrett, M.A., Sunquist, M.E., Simek, S.L., and Oli, M.K. 2009. Demographic consequences of anthropogenic influences: Florida black bears in north-central Florida. Biological Conservation 142: 2456–2463.

Howe, E.J., Obbard, M.E., and Kyle, C.J. 2013. Combining data from 43 standardized surveys to estimate densities of female American black bears by spatially explicit capture–recapture. Population Ecology 55: 595–607.

Howe, E.J., Obbard, M.E., Black, R., and Wall, L.L. 2010. Do public complaints reflect trends in human–bear conflict? Ursus: 131–142.

Howe, E.J., Obbard, M.W., and Schaefer, J.A. 2007. Extirpation risk of an isolated black bear population under different management scenarios. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 603-612.

Hristienko, H. and McDonald, J.E., Jr. 2007. Going into the 21st century: a perspective on trends and controversies in the management of the American black bear. Ursus 18: 72–88.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Jonkel, C.J., and Miller, F.L. 1970. Recent records of black bears (Ursus americanus) on the barren grounds of Canada. Journal of Mammalogy 51: 826‒828.

Kaminski, D.J., Comer, C., Garner, N.P., Hung I-K, and Calkins, G. 2013. Using GIS-based, regional extent habitat suitability modeling to identify conservation priority areas: a case study of the Louisiana black bear in east Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management 77: 1639–1649.

Keech, M.A., Taras, B.D., Boudreau,T.A., and Boertje, R.D. 2014. Black bear population reduction and recovery in western interior Alaska. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38: 71-77.

Kennedy, M.L., Kennedy, P.K., Bogan, M.A., and Waits, J.L. 2002. Taxonomic assessment of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the eastern United States. Southwestern Naturalist 47: 335‒347.

Lackey, C.W., Beckmann, J.P., and Sedinger, J. 2013. Bear historical ranges revisited: documenting the increase of a once-extirpated population in Nevada. Journal of Wildlife Management 77: 812–820.

Laliberte, A.S., and Ripple, W.J. 2003. Wildlife encounters by Lewis and Clark: a spatial analysis of interactions between Native Americans and wildlife. BioScience 53: 994–1003.

Larkin, J. L., Maehr, D. S., Orlando, M. A., Hoctor, T. S. and Whitney, K. 2004. Landscape linkages and conservation planning for the black bear in west-central Florida. Animal Conservation 7: 23-34.

Laufenberg, J.S., and Clark, J.D. 2014. Population viability and connectivity of the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus). U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report.

Mattson, D.J., Herrero, S., and Merrill, T. 2005. Are black bears a factor in the restoration of North American grizzly bear populations? Ursus 16: 11-30.

McCall, B.S., Mitchell, M.S., Schwartz, M.K., Hatden, J., Cushman, S.A., Zager, P., and Kasworm, W. 2013. Combined use of mark-recapture and genetic analyses reveals response of a black bear population to changes in food productivity. Journal of Wildlife Management 77: 1572–1582.

McShea, W.J., Healy, W.M., Devers, P., Fearer, T., Koch, F.H., Stauffer, D., and Waldon, J. 2007. Forestry matters: decline of oaks will impact wildlife in hardwood forests. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 1717–1728.

McTaggart Cowan, I. 1938. Geographic distribution of color phases of the red fox and black bear in the Pacific Northwest. Journal of Mammalogy 19: 202–206.

Miller, S. D. 1990. Population management of bears in North America. International Conference on Bear Research and Management 8: 357-373.

Miller, S.D., White, G.C., Sellers, R.A., Reynolds, H.V., Schoen, J.W., Titus, K., Barnes, V.G., Jr., Smith, R.B., Nelson, R.R., Ballard, W.B. and Schwartz, C.C. 1997. Brown and black bear density estimation in Alaska using radiotelemetry and replicated mark-resight techniques. Wildlife Monographs 133: 1-55.

Moore, J.A., Draheim, H.M., Etter, D., Winterstein, S., and Scribner, K.T. 2014. Application of large-scale parentage analysis for investigating natal dispersal in highly vagile vertebrates: a case study of American black bears (Ursus americanus). PLoS ONE 9(3).

Morin, R.S., Liebhold, A.M., Tobin, P.C., Gottschalk, K.W., and Luzader, E. 2007. Spread of beech bark disease in the eastern United States and its relationship to regional forest composition. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37: 726–736.

Morzillo, A.T., Mertig, A.G., Hollister, J.W., Garner, N., and Liu, J. 2010. Socioeconomic factors affecting local support for black bear recovery strategies. Environmental Management 45: 1299–1311.

Mowat G, Heard, D.C., and Schwarz, C.J. 2013. Predicting grizzly bear density in western North America. PLoS ONE 8(12).

Noyce, K.V., and Garshelis, D.L. 2011. Seasonal migrations of black bears (Ursus americanus): causes and consequences. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 823–835.

Obbard, M.E. 1987. Fur grading and pelt identification. In: M. Novak, J. A. Baker, M. E. Obbard, and B. Malloch (eds), Wild furbearer management and conservation in North America, pp. 717–826. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Obbard, M.E., and Howe, E.J. 2008. Demography of black bears in hunted and unhunted areas of the boreal forest of Ontario. Journal of Wildlife Management 72: 869–880.

Obbard, M.E., Howe, E.J., Wall, L.L., Allison, B., Black, R., Davis, P., Dix-Gibson, L., Gatt, M., and Hall, M.N. 2014. Relationships among food availability, harvest, and human–bear conflict at landscape scales in Ontario, Canada. Ursus 25: 98–110.

Onorato, D.P., and Hellgren, E.C. 2001. Black bear at the border: the recolonization of the Trans-Pecos. In: D.S. Maehr, R.F. Noss and J.L. LarkiN (eds), Large mammal restoration: ecological and sociological challenges in the 21st Century, pp. 245-259. Island Press, Washington, D.C., USA.

Onorato, D. P., Hellgren, E. C., Van Den Bussche, R. A. and Doan Crider, D. L. 2004. Phylogeographic patterns within a metapopulation of black bears (Ursus americanus) in the American southwest. Journal of Mammalogy 85: 140-147.

Peacock, E., Titus, K., Garshelis, D.L., Peacock, M.M., and Kuc, M. 2011. Mark-recapture using tetracycline and genetics reveal record-high bear density. Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 1513–1520.

Pelton, M.R. 1991. Black bears in the southeast: to list or not to list? Eastern Workshop on Black Bear Research and Management 10: 155–161.

Pelton, M. R. 2003. Black bear (Ursus americanus). In: G. A. Feldhamer, B. C Thompson and J. A. Chapman (eds), Wild mammals of North America: biology, management, and conservation, pp. 547-555. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Pelton, M. R. and Van Manen, F. T. 1997. Status of black bears in the southeastern United States. In: D. F. Williamson and A. L. Gaski (eds), Proceedings of the second international symposium on the trade in bear parts, pp. 31-44. TRAFFIC USA, Washington, DC, USA.

Pelton, M. R., Coley, A. B., Eason, T. H., Doan, D. L., Martinez, Pederson, J. A., van Manen, F. T. and Weaver, K. M. 1999. American black bear conservation action plan. In: C. Servheen, S. Herrero, and B. Peyton (eds), Bears. Status survey and conservation action plan, pp. 144-146. IUCN/SSC Bear and Polar Bear Specialist Groups, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Puckett, E.E., Etter, P.D., Johnson, E.A., and Eggert, L.S. 2015. Phylogeographic analyses of American black bears (Ursus americanus) suggest four glacial refugia and complex patterns of postglacial admixture. . Molecular Biology and EvolutioN 32: 2338–2350.

Puckett, E.E., Kristensen, T.V., Wilton, C.M., Lyda, S.B., Noyce, K.V., Holahan, P.M., Leslie, D.M. , Jr., Beringer, J., Belant, J.L., White, D., Jr., and Eggert, L.S. 2014. Influence of drift and admixture on population structure of American black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Central Interior Highlands, USA, 50 years after translocation. Molecular Ecology 23: 2414–2427.

Raybourne, J.W. 1987. The black bear: home in the highlands. In: H. Kallman, C. P. Agee, G. R. Goforth, and J. P. Linduska (eds), Restoring America’s Wildlife 1937–1987. The first 50 years of the federal aid in wildlife restoration (Pittman-Robertson) act., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C. USA.

Reynolds-Hogland, M.J., Pacifici, L.B., and Mitchell, M.S. 2001. Linking resources with demography to understand resource limitation for bears. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 1166–1175.

Ritland, K., Newton, C. and Marshall, H. D. 2001. Inheritance and population structure of the white-phased "Kermode" black bear. Current Biology 11: 1468-1472.

Rojas-Martínez, A.E., and Juárez-Casillas, L.A. 2013. First record of American black bear (Ursus americanus) from Hidalgo, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 84: 1018-1021.

Rounds, R.C. 1987. Distribution and analysis of colourmorphs of the black bear (Ursus americanus). Journal of Biogeography 14: 521–538.

Ryan, C.W., Pack, J.C., Igo, W.K., and Billings, A. 2007. Influence of mast production on black bear non-hunting mortalities in West Virginia. Ursus 18: 46–53.

Scheick, B.K., and McCown, W. 2014. Geographic distribution of American black bears in North America. Ursus 25: 24–33.

Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales and Pesca. 1999. Programa de Conservación de la Vida Silvestre y Diversificación Productive en el Sector Rural. Impresora Grafica Publicitaria., Distrito Federal, Mexico.

Smith, K.G., Clark, J.D., and Gipson, P.S. 1991. History of black bears in Arkansas: over-exploitation, near elimination, and successful reintroduction. Eastern Workshop on Black Bear Research and Management 10: 5-14.

Sobey, D.G. 2007. An analysis of the historical records for the native mammalian fauna of Prince Edward Island. Canadian Field-Naturalist 121: 384–396.

Spady, T.J., Lindburg, D.J. and Durant, B.S. 2007. Evolution of reproductive seasonality in bears. Mammal Review 37(1): 21-53.

Spencer, R.D., Beausoleil, R.A., and Martorello, D.A. 2007. How agencies respond to human–black bear conflicts: a survey of wildlife agencies in North America. . Ursus 18: 217–229.

Thompson, J.R., Carpenter, D.N., Cogbill C.V., and Foster, D.R. 2013. Four centuries of change in northeastern United States forests. PloS ONE 8(9).

Treves, A., Wallace, R.B. and White, S. 2009. Participatory planning of interventions to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. Conservation Biology 23(6): 1577-1587.

Unger, D.E., Cox, J.J., Harris, H.B., Larkin, J.L., Augustine, B., Dobey, S., Guthrie, J.M., Hast, J.T., Jensen, R., Murphy, S., Plaxico, J., and Maehr, D.S. 2013. History and current status of the black bear in Kentucky. Northeastern Naturalist 20: 289–308.

van Manen, F.T., McCollister, M.F., Nicholson, J.M., Thompson, L.M., Kindall J.L., and Jones, M.D. 2012. Short-Term Impacts of a 4-Lane Highway on American Black Bears in Eastern North Carolina. Wildlife Monographs 181: 1–35.

Vaughan, M. R. 2002. Oak trees, acorns, and bears. In: W. J. McShea, and W. M. Healy (eds), Oak forest ecosystems: ecology and management for wildlife, pp. 224-240. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Veitch, A. M. and Harrington, F. H. 1996. Brown bears, black bears, and humans in northern Labrador: an historical perspective and outlook to the future. Journal of Wildlife Research 1: 244-249.

Waller, B.W., Belant, J.L., Young, B.W., Leopold, B.D., and Simek, S.L. 2012. Denning chronology and den characteristics of American black bears in Mississippi. Ursus 23 23: 6-11.

Wear, B.J., Eastridge, R., and Clark, J.D. 2005. Factors affecting settling, survival, and viability of black bears reintroduced to Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33: 1363–1374.

White, T.H., Jr., Bowman, J.L., Jacobson, H.A., Leopold, B.D., and Smith, W.P. 2001. Forest management and female black bear denning. Journal of Wildlife Management 65: 34–40.

Williamson, D. F. 2002. In the black. Status, management, and trade of the American black bear (Ursus americanus) in North America, North America, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, USA.

Wilton, C.M., Belant, J.L., and Beringer, J. 2014. Distribution of American black bear occurrences and human–bear incidents in Missouri. Ursus 25: 53–60.

Wooding, J.B., and Hardisky, T.S. 1992. Denning by black bears in northcentral Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 73: 895–898.

Wooding, J.B., and Maddrey, R.C. 1994. Impacts of roads on black bears. Eastern Workshop on Black Bear Research and Management 12: 124-129.


Citation: Beecham, J., Doan-Crider, D., Garshelis, D., Obbard, M. & Scheick, B. 2016. Ursus americanus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41687A45034604. . Downloaded on 08 December 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided