The American Black Bear
(Ursus americanus), also known as simply the black bear or cinnamon
bear, is the most common bear in North America. The black bear
occurs throughout much of North America from northern Canada and
Alaska south into Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
This includes 39 of the 50 U.S. states and all Canadian provinces.
Populations in east-central and the southern United States remain
in the protected mountains and woodlands of parks and preserves.
While there were probably once as many as two million black bears
in North America, estimates in the 1980s put their numbers at
less than 200,000. Some believe that the population has rebounded
to some degree in recent years.
The black bear
is approximately 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. Females typically weight
about 90 pounds (40 kg), while males weigh about 290 pounds (130
kg). However, some can weigh up to 700 pounds (318 kg). Cubs usually
weigh about 1 pound (500 g) at birth. It has small eyes, rounded
ears, a long snout, a large body, and a short tail. The shaggy
hair varies in color from white through chocolate brown, cinnamon
brown, and blonde to black, but most black bears are indeed black
or a darker shade of brown.
Images 1 Through 5 Come From The US Fish & Wildlife Service
Images 6 Through 23 Come From The National Parks Service