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American black bear
American black bear (Ursus americanus) is a medium-sized bear
native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most
widely distributed 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
American black bear is the
world's most common bear species.
It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution
and a large 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.
1 Taxonomy and evolution
2 Distribution and population
5 Behavior and life history
5.1 Reproduction and development
5.2 Longevity and mortality
5.4 Dietary habits
5.5 Interspecific predatory relationships
6 Relationships with humans
6.1 In folklore, mythology and culture
6.2 Attacks on humans
6.3 Livestock and crop predation
6.4 Hunting and exploitation
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Taxonomy and evolution
Detail of head – taken at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Despite living in North America, 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 (mya). American and
Asian black bears are considered sister taxa, and are more closely
related to each other than to other species of bear. According
to recent studies, the sun bear is also a relatively recent split from
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 been placed within U.
The ancestors of American black bears and Asiatic black bears diverged
from sun bears 4.58 mya. The
American black bear
American black bear then split from the
Asian black bear
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.
American black bear
American black bear lived during the same period as short-faced
bears (Arctodus simus and A. pristinus) and the
bear (Tremarctos floridanus). These Tremarctine bears evolved from
bears that had emigrated from Asia to
North America 7–8 ma. The
short-faced bears are thought to have been heavily carnivorous and the
Florida spectacled bear more herbivorous, while the American black
bears remained arboreal omnivores, like their Asian ancestors. The
black bear's generalist behavior allowed it to exploit a wider variety
of foods and has been given as a reason why, of these three genera, it
alone survived climate and vegetative changes through the last ice age
while the other more specialized North American predators became
extinct. However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several
other ice ages. After these prehistoric ursids became extinct during
the last glacial period 10,000 years ago, black bears were
probably the only bear present in much of
North America until the
migration of brown bears to the rest of the continent.
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
Asian black bear
Asian black bear and a male American black bear. In
1859, a black bear and a
Eurasian brown bear
Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the
London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs died before they reached
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 large black bear or grizzly.
American black bear
American black bear sub-species
Ursus americanus altifrontalis
Olympic black bear
Pacific Northwest coast from central
British Columbia through northern
California and inland to the tip of northern
Idaho and British
Ursus americanus amblyceps
New Mexico black bear
Native to Colorado, New Mexico, west Texas, the eastern half of
Arizona into northern Mexico, and southeastern Utah
Ursus americanus americanus
Eastern black bear
Montana to the Atlantic coast, from
Alaska south and east
Maine and south to Texas. Thought to be increasing
in some regions.
Common to Eastern
Canada and U.S. wherever suitable habitat is found.
A large-bodied subspecies, almost all specimens have black fur. May
very rarely sport a white blaze on chest.
Ursus americanus californiensis
California black bear
Mountain ranges of southern California, north through the Central
Valley to southern Oregon
Able to live in varied climates: found in temperate rainforest in the
north and chaparral shrubland in the south. Small numbers may feature
a cinnamon brown fur.
Ursus americanus carlottae
Haida Gwaii black bear, Queen Charlotte black bear
Queen Charlotte Islands
Queen Charlotte Islands and Alaska
Generally larger than its mainland counterparts with a huge skull and
molars, and is found only as a black color phase
Ursus americanus cinnamomum
Colorado, Idaho, western Montana, and Wyoming, eastern Washington and
Oregon, northeastern Utah
Has brown or red-brown fur, reminiscent of cinnamon
Ursus americanus emmonsii
Southeast Alaska. Stable.
Distinguished by the fur of its flanks being silvery gray with a blue
Ursus americanus eremicus
Mexican black bear
Mexico and US borderlands with Texas. Very endangered.
Most often found in
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park and the desert border with
Mexico. Numbers unknown in Mexico, but presumed very low.
Ursus americanus floridanus
Florida black bear
Florida, southern Georgia, and Alabama
Has a light brown nose and shiny black fur. A white chest patch is
also common. An average male weighs 136 kg (300 lb).
Ursus americanus hamiltoni
Newfoundland black bear
Generally bigger than its mainland relatives, ranging in size from 90
to 270 kg (200 to 600 lb) and averaging 135 kg
(298 lb). It has one of the longest hibernation periods of any
bear in North America. Known to favor foraging in fields of
Ursus americanus kermodei
Kermode bear, spirit bear
Central coast of British Columbia
Approximately 10% of the population of this subspecies have white or
cream-colored coats due to a recessive gene and are called "kermodes"
or "spirit bears". The other 90% appear as normal-colored black
Ursus americanus luteolus
Louisiana black bear
Eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi. Threatened (federal
Has relatively long, narrow, and flat skull, and proportionately large
molars Prefers hardwood bottom forests and bayous as habitat
Ursus americanus machetes
Mexico black bear
Ursus americanus perniger
Kenai black bear
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Ursus americanus pugnax
Dall black bear
Alexander Archipelago, Alaska
Ursus americanus vancouveri
Vancouver Island black bear
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Found in the northern section of the island, but occasionally will
appear in the suburbs of Victoria metropolitan area
Distribution and population
Black bear at Grand Teton National Park
Historically, black bears occupied the majority of North America's
forested regions. Today, they are primarily limited to sparsely
settled, forested areas. Black bears currently inhabit much of
their original Canadian range, though they seldom occur in the
southern farmlands of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba; they have
been extinct in
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island since 1937. The total
Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000,
based on surveys taken in the mid-1990s in seven Canadian provinces,
though this estimate excludes black bear populations in New Brunswick,
Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. All provinces
indicated stable populations of black bears over the last decade.
The current range of black bears in the United States is constant
throughout most of the Northeast, and within the Appalachian Mountains
almost continuously from
Maine to north Georgia, the northern Midwest,
the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. However, it
becomes increasingly fragmented or absent in other regions. Despite
this, black bears in those areas seem to have expanded their range
during the last decade, such as with recent sightings in Ohio and
southern Indiana, though these probably do not yet
represent stable breeding populations. Surveys taken from 35 states in
the early 1990s indicate that black bears are either stable or
increasing, except in
Idaho and New Mexico. The overall population of
black bears in the United States has been estimated to range between
339,000 and 465,000, though this excludes populations from Alaska,
Idaho, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, whose population sizes are
unknown. In the state of Maine, there are an estimated 30,000
black bears, making it the largest black bear population in the
Contiguous United States.
As of 1993, known Mexican black bear populations existed in four
areas, though knowledge on the distribution of populations outside
those areas has not been updated since 1959.
Mexico is the only
country where the black bear is classified as "endangered".
There have been several sightings quite far away from where the black
bear is normally found, such as Union County, North Carolina,
and western Nebraska.
Throughout their range, habitats preferred by American black bears
have a few shared characteristics. They are often found in areas with
relatively inaccessible terrain, thick understory vegetation and large
quantities of edible material (especially masts). The adaptation to
woodlands and thick vegetation in this species may have originally
been due to the black bear having evolved alongside larger, more
aggressive bear species, such as the extinct short-faced bear and the
still living grizzly bear, that monopolized more open habitats 
and the historic presence of larger predators such as smilodon and the
American lion that could have preyed on black bears. Although found in
the largest numbers in wild, undisturbed areas and rural regions,
black bears can adapt to surviving in some numbers in peri-urban
regions as long as they contain easily accessible foods and some
In most of the contiguous United States, black bears today are usually
found in heavily vegetated mountainous areas, from 400 to 3,000 m
(1,300 to 9,800 ft) in elevation. For bears living in the
American Southwest and Mexico, habitat usually consists of stands of
chaparral and pinyon juniper woods. In this region, bears occasionally
move to more open areas to feed on prickly pear cactus. At least two
distinct, prime habitat types are inhabited in the Southeastern United
States. Black bears in the southern
Appalachian Mountains survive in
predominantly oak-hickory and mixed mesophytic forests. In the coastal
areas of the Southeast (such as Florida, the Carolinas, and
Louisiana), bears inhabit a mixture of flatwoods, bays, and swampy
In the northeast part of the range (United States and Canada), prime
habitat consists of a forest canopy of hardwoods such as beech, maple,
and birch, and coniferous species.
Corn crops and oak-hickory mast are
also common sources of food in some sections of the Northeast; small,
thick swampy areas provide excellent refuge cover largely in stands of
white cedar. Along the Pacific coast, redwood, Sitka spruce, and
hemlocks predominate as overstory cover. Within these northern forest
types are early successional areas important for black bears, such as
fields of brush, wet and dry meadows, high tidelands, riparian areas,
and a variety of mast-producing hardwood species. The spruce-fir
forest dominates much of the range of the black bear in the Rockies.
Important nonforested areas here are wet meadows, riparian areas,
avalanche chutes, roadsides, burns, sidehill parks, and subalpine
In areas where human development is relatively low, such as stretches
Canada and Alaska, American black bears tend to be found more
regularly in lowland regions. In parts of northeastern Canada,
especially Labrador, black bears have adapted exclusively to semi-open
areas that are more typical habitat in
North America for brown bears
(likely due to the absence here of brown and polar bears as well as
other large carnivore species).
American black bears can be distinguished from brown bears by their
smaller size, their less concave skull profiles, their shorter claws
and the lack of a shoulder hump
Some specimens may develop a white "crescent moon" mark on the chest.
This white mark, which is constant in Asian black bears, occurs in
only 25% of American black bears.
The skulls of American black bears are broad, with narrow muzzles and
large jaw hinges. In Virginia, the total length of adult bear skulls
was found to average 262 to 317 mm (10.3 to 12.5 in).
Across its range, greatest skull length for the species has been
reportedly measured from 23.5 to 35 cm (9.3 to 13.8 in).
Females tend to have slenderer and more 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 paws of the species
are relatively large, with a rear foot length of 13.7 to 22.5 cm
(5.4 to 8.9 in), which is proportionately larger than other
medium-sized bear species but much smaller than the paws of large
adult brown, and especially polar, bears. The soles of the feet are
black or brownish, and are naked, leathery, and deeply wrinkled. The
hind legs are relatively longer than those of Asiatic black bears. The
vestigial tail is usually 4.8 inches (120 mm) long. The ears are
small and rounded, and are set well back on the head.
Black bears are highly dexterous, being capable of opening screw-top
jars and manipulating door latches. They also have great physical
strength. They have been known to turn over flat-shaped rocks weighing
310 to 325 pounds (141 to 147 kg) by flipping them over with a
single foreleg. They move in a rhythmic, sure-footed way and can
run at speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour (40 to 48 km/h).
Black bears have good eyesight and have been proven experimentally to
be able to learn visual color discrimination tasks 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.
Cinnamon-colored black bear in Yellowstone National Park
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, although black bears
Bergmann's rule and bears from the Northwest are often slightly
heavier than the bears from the Southeast. Adult males typically weigh
between 57–250 kg (126–551 lb), while females weigh 33%
less at 41–170 kg (90–375 lb).
In the state of California, studies have indicated that the average
mass is 86 kg (190 lb) in adult males and 58 kg
(128 lb) in adult females. Adult black bears in Yukon Flats
National Wildlife Refuge in east-central
Alaska were found to average
87.3 kg (192 lb) in males and 63.4 kg (140 lb) in
females, whereas on
Kuiu Island in southeast
Alaska (where nutritious
salmon are readily available) adult bears averaged an estimated
115 kg (254 lb). In Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, adult males averaged 112 kg (247 lb) and adult females
averaged 47 kg (104 lb) per one study. In Yellowstone
National Park, a population study found that adult males averaged
119 kg (262 lb) and adult females averaged 67 kg
(148 lb). In New York state, the two sexes reportedly average
135 kg (298 lb) and 74 kg (163 lb),
respectively. Adults typically range from 120 to 200 cm (47
to 79 in) in head-and-body length, and 70 to 105 cm (28 to
41 in) in shoulder height. The typically small tail is
7.7–17.7 cm (3.0–7.0 in) long. Although
they are the smallest species in North America, large males exceed the
size of other bear species except the brown bear and polar bears.
The biggest wild
American black bear
American black bear ever recorded was a male from New
Brunswick, shot in November 1972, that weighed 409 kg
(902 lb) after it had been dressed, meaning it weighed an
estimated 500 kg (1,100 lb) in life, and measured
2.41 m (7.9 ft) long. Another notably outsized wild
black bear, weighing in at 408 kg (899 lb) in total, was the
cattle-killer shot in December 1921 on the Moqui Reservation in
Arizona. The record-sized bear from
New Jersey was shot in Morris
County December 2011 and scaled 376.5 kg (830 lb). Even
larger, the most massive black bear recorded in
Pennsylvania (one of
six weighing over 363 kg (800 lb) shot in the last 15 years
in the state) weighed in at 399 kg (880 lb) and was shot in
November 2010 in Pike County. The North American
located in Ely, Minnesota, is home to the world's largest captive male
and female black bears. Ted, the male, weighed 431–453.5 kg
(950–1,000 lb) in the fall of 2006. Honey, the female,
weighed 219.6 kg (484 lb) in the fall of 2007.
White-furred Kermode black bear
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
American black bear
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 southwestern British Columbia.
have also been recorded. Black coats tend to predominate in moist
areas such as Maine, New York, Tennessee,
Michigan and western
Washington. Approximately 70% of all black bears are black, though
only 50% of black bears in the
Rocky Mountains are black. Many
black bears in northwestern
North America are cinnamon, blond or light
brown in color, and thus may sometimes be mistaken for grizzly bears.
Grizzly (and other types of brown) bears can be distinguished by their
shoulder hump, larger size and broader, more concave skull.
In his book The Great
Bear Almanac, Gary Brown summarized the
predominance of black or brown/blond specimens by location:
Color variations of black bears by location
94% black, 6% brown
99% black, 1% brown or blonde
21% black, 79% brown or blonde
Yosemite National Park
9% black, 91% brown or blonde
Behavior and life history
Black bear swimming
A black bear has better eyesight and a better sense of hearing
compared to humans. Their keenest sense is the sense of smell, which
is about seven times greater than a dog's. Black bears are
excellent and strong swimmers, doing so for pleasure and to feed
(largely on fish). They regularly climb trees to feed, escape enemies,
and hibernate. Half of bear species are habitually arboreal (the most
arboreal species, the American and Asian black bears and the sun bear,
being fairly closely related). Their arboreal abilities tend to
decline with age. Black bears may be active at any time of the day
or night although they mainly forage by night. Bears living near human
habitations tend to be more extensively nocturnal, and bears living
near brown bears tend to be more extensively diurnal. Their
social behavior is somewhat similar to that of canids.
American black bears tend to be territorial and non-gregarious in
nature. However, at abundant food sources (i.e. spawning salmon or
garbage dumps) black bears may congregate and dominance hierarchies
form, with the largest, most powerful males dominating the most
fruitful feeding spots. They mark their territories by rubbing
their bodies against trees and clawing at the bark. Annual ranges held
by mature male black bears tend to be very large, but there is some
variation. On Long Island off the coast of Washington, ranges average
5 sq mi (13 km2), whereas on the
Ungava Peninsula in
Canada ranges can average up to 1,000 sq mi
(2,600 km2), with some male bears traveling as far as
4,349 sq mi (11,260 km2) in times of food
Black bears may communicate with various vocal and non-vocal sounds.
Tongue-clicking and grunting are the most common sounds and are made
in cordial situations to conspecifics, offspring, and occasionally
humans. During times of fear or nervousness, bears may moan, huff or
blow air. Warning sounds include jaw-clicking and lip-popping. In
aggressive interactions, black bears produce deep-throated pulsing
sounds. Cubs may squeal, bawl or scream when in distress and make
motor-like humming when comfortable or nursing.
Reproduction and development
Sows usually produce their first litter at the age of
3–5 years, with those living in more developed areas
tending 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 months. Both sexes are promiscuous. Males try to mate with
several females, but large, dominant ones may violently claim a female
if another mature male comes near. Sows tend to be short-tempered
with their mates after copulating. The fertilized eggs undergo delayed
development and do not implant in the female's womb until November.
The gestation period lasts 235 days, and litters are usually born
in late January to early February. Litter size is between one and six
cubs, typically two or three. At birth, cubs weigh
280–450 g (0.62–0.99 lb), and measure 20.5 cm
(8.1 in) in length. They are born with fine, gray, down-like
hair, and their hind quarters are underdeveloped. They typically open
their eyes after 28–40 days, and begin walking after
5 weeks. Cubs are dependent on their mother's milk for
30 weeks, and will reach independence at 16–18 months. At
the age of six weeks, they attain 900 g (2.0 lb), by
8 weeks they reach 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and by the age of
6 months they weigh 18 to 27 kg (40 to 60 lb). They
reach sexual maturity at the age of three years, and attain their full
growth at 5 years.
Longevity and mortality
Female with cubs in Parc Omega, Quebec
The average lifespan in the wild is 18 years, though it is quite
possible for wild specimens to survive for more than 23 years. The
record age of a wild specimen was 39 years, while that in
captivity was 44 years. The average annual survival rate for
adult bears is variable, ranging from 86% in
Florida to 73% in
Virginia and North Carolina. In Minnesota, 99% of wintering adult
bears were able to survive the hibernation cycle in one study.
Remarkably, a study of black bears in
Nevada found that the amount of
annual mortality of a population of bears in wilderness areas was 0%,
whereas in developed areas in the state this figure rose to 83%.
Survival in sub-adults is generally less assured. In Alaska, only
14–17% of sub-adult males and 30–48% of sub-adult females were
found in a study to survive to adulthood. Across the range, the
estimated number of cubs who survive past their first year is 60%.
With the exception of the rare confrontation with an adult brown bear
or gray wolf pack, adult black bears are not usually subject to
natural predation. However, as evidenced by scats with fur inside
of them and the recently discovered carcass of an adult sow with
puncture marks in the skull, black bears may occasionally have fallen
and still do fall prey to jaguars in the southern parts of their
range. In such scenarios, the big cat would have the advantage if it
ambushed the bear, killing it with a crushing bite to the back of the
skull. Black bear cubs tend to be more vulnerable to predation
than adults. Known predators of bear cubs have included bobcats,
coyotes, cougars, wolves, brown bears and other bears of their own
species. Many of these will stealthily snatch small cubs right
from under the sleeping mother. There is a single record of a golden
eagle snatching a yearling cub. Once out of hibernation, mother
bears may be able to fight off most potential predators. Even
cougars will be displaced by an angry mother bear if they are
discovered stalking the cubs. Flooding of dens after birth may
also occasionally kill newborn cubs. However, in current times,
American black bear
American black bear fatalities are overwhelmingly attributable to
human activities. Seasonally, tens of thousands of black bears are
hunted legally across North America, with many more being illegally
poached or trapped. Auto collisions also may claim many black bear
Mother bear and cubs, hibernating
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. The physiology of
American black bears in the wild is closely related to that of bears
in captivity. Understanding the physiology of bears in the wild is
vital to the bear's success in captivity.
The bears enter their dens in October and November, although in the
southernmost areas of their range (i.e. Florida, Mexico, the
Southeastern United States), only pregnant females and mothers with
yearling cubs will enter hibernation. Prior to that time, they can
put on up to 14 kg (30 lb) of body fat to get them through
the several months during which they fast. Hibernation in black bears
typically lasts 3–8 months, depending on regional
Hibernating bears spend their time in hollowed-out dens in tree
cavities, under logs or rocks, in banks, caves, or culverts, and in
shallow depressions. Although naturally-made dens are occasionally
used, most dens are dug out by the bear itself. Females have been
shown to be pickier in their choice of dens, in comparison to
During their time in hibernation, bears' heart rate drops from 40–50
beats per minute to 8 beats per minute, and metabolic rate can drop to
a quarter of a bear's (non-hibernating) basal metabolic rate (BMR).
These reductions in metabolic rate and heart rate do not appear to
decrease the bear's ability to heal injuries during hibernation.
American black bear
American black bear does not display the same rate of
muscle and bone atrophy relative to other nonhibernatory animals that
are subject to long periods of inactivity, due to ailment or old
age. A hibernating black bear loses approximately half the
muscular strength to that of a well-nourished, inactive human. The
bear's bone mass does not change in geometry or mineral composition
during hibernation, which implies that the bear's conservation of bone
mass during hibernation is due to a biological mechanism. During
hibernation bears retain all excretory waste, leading to the
development of a hardened mass of fecal material in the colon known as
a fecal plug. A special hormone, leptin, is released into the
black bear's systems, to suppress appetite. The retention of waste
during hibernation (specifically in minerals such as calcium) may play
a role in the bear's resistance to atrophy.
The body temperature of the
American black bear
American black bear does not drop
significantly, like other mammalian hibernators (staying around
35 °C (95 °F)) and they remain somewhat alert and active.
If the winter is mild enough, they may wake up and forage for food.
Females also give birth in February and nurture their cubs until the
snow melts. During winter, black bears consume 25–40% of their
body weight. The footpads peel off while they sleep, making room
for new tissue.
Many of the physiological changes a bear exhibits during hibernation
are retained slightly post-hibernation. Upon exiting hibernation,
bears retain a reduced heart rate and basal metabolic rate. The
metabolic rate of a hibernating bear will remain at a reduced level
for up to 21 days after hibernation. After emerging from their
winter dens in spring, they wander their home ranges for two weeks so
that their metabolism accustoms itself to the activity. In mountainous
areas, they seek southerly slopes at lower elevations for forage and
move to northerly and easterly slopes at higher elevations as summer
Taking a dead chum salmon near Hyder, Alaska
With a pink salmon
Feeding on a bush
Generally, American black bears are largely crepuscular in foraging
activity, though may actively feed at any time. 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. When initially emerging from hibernation,
they will seek to feed on carrion from winter-killed animals and
newborn ungulates. As the spring temperature warms, black bears seek
new shoots of many plant species, especially new grasses, wetland
plants and forbs. Young shoots and buds from trees and shrubs
during the spring period are also especially important to black bears
emerging from hibernation, as they assist in rebuilding muscle and
strengthening the skeleton and are often the only digestible foods
available at that time. During summer, the diet largely comprises
fruits, especially berries and soft masts such as buds and drupes.
During the autumn hyperphagia, feeding becomes virtually the full-time
task of black bears. Hard masts become the most important part of the
black bear's diet in autumn and may even partially dictate the species
distribution. Favored masts such as hazelnuts, oak acorns and
whitebark pine nuts may be consumed by the hundreds each day by a
single black bear during fall. During the fall period, American
black bears may also habitually raid the nut caches of tree
squirrels. Also extremely important in fall are berries such as
huckleberries and buffalo berries. Black bears living in areas near
human settlements or around a considerable influx of recreational
human activity often come to rely on foods inadvertently provided by
humans, especially during summertime. These include refuse, birdseed,
agricultural products and honey from apiaries.
The majority of the black bear's animal diet consists of insects such
as bees, yellow jackets, ants and their larvae. Black bears are
also fond of honey, and will gnaw through trees if hives are too
deeply set into the trunks for them to reach them with their paws.
Once the hive is breached, black bears will scrape the honeycombs
together with their paws and eat them, regardless of stings from the
bees. Black bears that live in northern coastal regions
(especially the Pacific coast) will fish for salmon during the night,
as their black fur is easily spotted by salmon in the daytime.
However, the white-furred black bears of the islands of western Canada
have a 30% greater success rate in catching salmon than their
black-furred counterparts. Other fish including suckers, trout and
catfish are readily caught when possible. Although black bears do
not often engage in active predation of other large animals for much
of the year, the species will regularly prey on mule and white-tailed
deer fawns in spring, given the opportunity. Bears may
catch the scent of hiding fawns when foraging for something else and
then sniff them out and pounce. As the fawns reach 10 days of age,
they can outmaneuver the bears and their scent is soon ignored until
the next year. Black bear have also been recorded similarly
preying on elk calves in Idaho and moose calves in Alaska.
Black bear predation on adult deer is rare but has been
recorded. They may even hunt prey up to the size of adult
female moose, which are considerably larger than themselves, by
ambushing them. There is at least one record of a male black bear
killing two bull elk over the course of six days by chasing them into
deep snow banks where their movement is impeded. In Labrador, black
bears are exceptionally carnivorous, living largely off caribou,
usually sickly, young or dead specimens, and rodents such as voles.
This is believed to be due to a paucity of edible plant life in this
sub-Arctic region and a local lack of competing large carnivores
(including other bear species). Like brown bears, black bears try
to use surprise to ambush their prey and target the sickly animals in
herds. Once a deer fawn is captured, it is frequently torn apart alive
while feeding. If able to capture a mother deer in spring, the
bear frequently begins feeding on the udder of lactating females, but
generally prefers meat from the viscera. Black bears often drag their
prey to cover, preferring to feed in seclusion. The skin of large prey
is stripped back and turned inside out with the skeleton usually left
largely intact. Unlike wolves and coyotes, black bears rarely scatter
the remains of their kills. Vegetation around the carcass is usually
matted down by black bears, and their droppings are frequently found
nearby. Black bears may attempt to cover remains of larger carcasses,
though they do not do so with the same frequency as cougars and
grizzly bears. They will readily consume eggs and nestlings of
various birds and can easily access many tree nests, even the huge
nest of the bald eagle. Black bears have been reported stealing
deer and other animals from human hunters.
Interspecific predatory relationships
Over much of their range, black bears are assured scavengers that can
intimidate, using their large size and considerable strength, and if
necessary dominate other predators in confrontations over carcasses.
However, in occasions where they encounter the Kodiak or the grizzly
bears, the larger two brown subspecies dominate them. Black bears tend
to escape competition from brown bears by being more active in the
daytime, and living in more densely forested areas. Violent
interactions resulting in the deaths of black bears have been recorded
in Yellowstone National Park.
Black bears do compete with cougars over carcasses. Like brown bears,
they will sometimes steal kills from cougars. One study found that
both bear species visited 24% of cougar kills in Yellowstone and
Glacier National Parks, usurping 10% of carcasses. Another
study found that black bears visited 48% of cougar kills in summer in
Colorado, and 77% of kills in California. As a result, the cats spend
more time killing and less time feeding on each kill.
Black bear interactions with wolves are much rarer than with brown
bears, due to differences in habitat preferences. The majority of
black bear encounters with wolves occur in the species' northern
range, with no interactions being recorded in Mexico. Despite the
black bear being more powerful on a one-to-one basis, packs of wolves
have been recorded to kill black bears on numerous occasions without
eating them. Unlike brown bears, black bears frequently lose against
wolves in disputes over kills. Wolf packs typically kill black
bears when the large animals are in their hibernation cycle.
There is at least one record of a black bear killing a wolverine in a
dispute over food in Yellowstone National Park. Anecdotal cases
of alligator predation on bears have been reported, though such cases
may involve assaults on cubs.
Relationships with humans
British Columbia a group of black bears were used as guard animals
to protect a marijuana plantation. 
In folklore, mythology and culture
Harry Colebourn and Winnie, the bear from which Winnie the Pooh
derives his name
Black bears feature prominently in the stories of some of America's
indigenous peoples. One tale tells of how the black bear was a
creation of the Great Spirit, while the grizzly was created by the
Evil Spirit. In the mythology of the Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian
people of the Northwest Coast, mankind first learned to respect bears
when a girl married the son of black bear Chieftain. In Kwakiutl
mythology, black and brown bears became enemies when Grizzly Bear
Woman killed Black
Bear Woman for being lazy. Black
children, in turn, killed Grizzly
Bear Woman's own cubs. The
Navajo believed that the Big Black
Bear was chief among the bears of
the four directions surrounding Sun's house, and would pray to it in
order to be granted its protection during raids.
Morris Michtom, the creator of the teddy bear, was inspired to make
the toy when he came across a cartoon of
Theodore Roosevelt refusing
to shoot a black bear cub tied to a tree.
named after Winnipeg, a female black bear cub that lived at London Zoo
from 1915 until her death in 1934. A black bear cub who in the
spring of 1950 was caught in the
Capitan Gap Fire
Capitan Gap Fire was made into the
living representative of Smokey Bear, the mascot of the United States
The bear is the mascot of the University of
Maine and Baylor
University, where the university houses two live black bears on
Bear Dunes in
Michigan is named after a Native American
legend, where a female bear and her cub swam across Lake Michigan.
Exhausted from their journey, the bears rested on the shoreline and
fell sound asleep. Over the years, the sand covered them up, creating
a huge sand dune.
Attacks on humans
Bear attack and
The incidence of bear attacks in parks and campgrounds declined after
the introduction of bear-resistant garbage cans and other reforms.
Although an adult bear is quite capable of killing a human, black
bears typically avoid confronting humans when possible. Unlike grizzly
bears, which became a subject of fearsome legend among the European
settlers of North America, black bears were rarely considered overly
dangerous, even though they lived in areas where the pioneers had
settled. Black bears rarely attack when confronted by humans, and
usually limit themselves to making mock charges, emitting blowing
noises and swatting the ground with their forepaws. The number of
black bear attacks on humans is higher than those of the brown bear in
North America, though this is largely because the black species
considerably outnumbers the brown rather than greater aggressiveness.
Compared to brown bear attacks, aggressive encounters with black bears
rarely lead to serious injury. However, the majority of black bear
attacks tend to be motivated by hunger rather than territoriality, and
thus victims have a higher probability of surviving by fighting back
rather than submitting. Unlike grizzlies, female black bears do not
display the same level of protectiveness to their cubs, and seldom
attack humans in their vicinity. However, occasionally, attacks by
protective mothers do occur. The worst recorded fatality incident
occurred in May 1978, in which a black bear killed three teenagers who
were fishing in
Algonquin Park in Canada. Another exceptional,
spree-like attack occurred in August 1997 in Liard River Hot Springs
Provincial Park in Canada, when an emaciated black bear attacked a
child and mother, killing the mother as well as an adult man who tried
to intervene. This bear was shot while mauling a fourth
The majority of attacks happened in national parks, usually near
campgrounds, where the bears had become habituated to close human
proximity and food-conditioned. Out of 1,028 incidents of
black bears acting aggressively toward people, recorded from 1964 to
1976 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 resulted in
injury, and occurred mainly in tourist hotspots where people regularly
fed the bears handouts. In almost every case where open dumps or
handouts that had previously attracted black bears were ceased, the
number of aggressive encounters with bears has decreased precipitously
over time. However, in the aforementioned case of the spree attack
in Liard River Hot Springs, the attacking bear was believed to have
been previously almost fully dependent on a local garbage dump that
had closed and was starving as a result of the loss of that food
source. Attempts to relocate bears are typically unsuccessful, as
black bears seem to be able to return to their home range even without
familiar landscape cues.
Livestock and crop predation
A limitation of food sources in early spring and wild berry and nut
crop failures during summer months may be contributing factors to
black bears regularly feeding from commercial human-based food
sources. Crops are frequently eaten by these bears, especially during
autumn hyperphagia when natural foods are scarce. Favored crops may
include apples, oats and corns. Black bears can do extensive damage
in some areas of the northwestern United States by stripping the bark
from trees and feeding on the cambium. Livestock depredations by black
bears occur mostly in spring. Though black bears have the capacity to
(and occasionally do) hunt adult cattle and horses, they seem to
prefer smaller, more easily overwhelmed prey such as sheep, goats,
calves, and pigs. They normally kill by biting the neck and shoulders,
though they may break the neck or back of prey with blows from the
paws. Evidence of a bear attack includes claw marks and is frequently
found on the neck, back, and shoulders of larger animals. Surplus
killing of sheep and goats are common. Bears have been known to
frighten livestock herds over cliffs, causing injuries and death to
many animals; whether or not this is intentional is not known.
Occasionally, pets, especially dogs, which are most prone to harass a
bear, are killed by black bears. It is not recommended to use
unleashed dogs as a deterrent from bear attacks. Although large,
aggressive dogs sometimes cause a bear to run, if pressed, angry bears
frequently turn the tables and end up chasing the dog in return. A
bear in pursuit of a pet dog has the potential to threaten both canid
and human lives.
Hunting and exploitation
Historically, black bears were hunted by both Native Americans and
European settlers. Some Native American tribes,[which?] 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, who would compliment the animal for its
Kutchin typically hunted black bears during their
hibernation cycle. Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzlies, which
was fraught with danger, black bears took longer to awaken, and
hunting them 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
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 species. There
are around 80,900 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 U.S. states have black bear hunting seasons.
Nineteen states require a bear hunting license, with some also
requiring a big game license. In eight states, only a big game license
is required to hunt black bears. Overall, over 481,500 black bear
hunting licences are sold per year. The hunting methods and seasons
vary greatly according to state, with some bear hunting seasons
including fall only, spring and fall, or year-round. New Jersey, in
November 2010, approved a six-day bear-hunting season in early
December 2010 to slow the growth of the black bear population.
Bear-hunting had been banned in
New Jersey for five years. A
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found that 53% of New
Jersey voters approved of the new season if scientists concluded black
bears were leaving their usual habitats and destroying private
property. Men, older voters, and those living in rural areas were
more likely to approve of a bear-hunting season in
New Jersey than
women, younger voters, and those living in more developed parts of the
state. In the western states, where there are large black bear
populations, there are spring and year-round seasons. Approximately
18,000 black bears were killed annually in the USA between 1988 and
1992. Within this period, annual kills ranged from six bears in South
Carolina to 2,232 in Maine.
Black bear meat
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
649 kJ (155 kcal)
Vitamin A equiv.
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
According to Dwight Schuh in his Bowhunter's Encyclopedia, black bears
are the third most popular quarry of bowhunters, behind deer and
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
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 minced meat 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 that 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 bears has not been used in recent years
for the purpose of cosmetics.
List of fatal bear attacks in North America
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^ Ozoga, J. J.; Clute, R. K. (1988). "Mortality rates of marked and
unmarked fawns". Journal of Wildlife Management. 52 (3): 549–551.
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^ Schlegel, M. (1976). "Factor affecting calf elk survival in north
central Idaho" (PDF). Western Association of State Game and Fish
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^ Franzmann, Albert W.; Schwartz, Charles C.; Peterson, Rolf O.
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^ Behrend, D.F.; Sage, R.W.; Jr (1974). "Unusual feeding behavior by
black bears". Journal of Wildlife Management. 38 (3): 570.
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^ Svoboda, Nathan J.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Beyer, Dean E.; Duquette,
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^ a b Roosevelt, Theodore (2007). Hunting the Grisly and Other
Sketches. ReadHowYouWant.com. pp. 33–.
^ a b "
Bear Predation — Description". Texnat.tamu.edu. Archived
from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved November 24,
^ Gunther, Kerry A.; Biel, Mark J. "Evidence of grizzly bear predation
on a black bear in Hayden Valley" (PDF). Retrieved February 21,
^ "Probable Grizzly
Bear Predation on an American Black
Yellowstone National Park" (PDF). Retrieved February 21, 2011.
^ COSEWIC. Canadian Wildlife Service (2002). "Assessment and Update
Status Report on the Grizzly
Bear (Ursus arctos)" (PDF). Environment
Canada. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
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Toni K. (1998). "Encounter Competition between Bears and Cougars: Some
Ecological Implications". Ursus. 10: 55. JSTOR 3873109.
^ Elbroch, L. M.; Lendrum, P. E.; Allen, M. L.; Wittmer, H. U. (2014).
"Nowhere to hide: Pumas, black bears, and competition refuges".
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^ ELboch, M. (November 1, 2014). "Mountain Lions Versus Black Bears".
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^ Mech, L. David; Boitani, Luigi (2001). Wolves: Behaviour, Ecology
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ursus americanus.
Data related to Ursus americanus - (American black bear) at
Wildlifeinformation.org: American Black
Bear Conservation Action Plan
Smithsonian Institution—North American Mammals: Ursus americanus
(American black bear)
African palm civet
African palm civet (N. binotata)
Marsh mongoose (A. paludinosus)
Bushy-tailed mongoose (B. crassicauda)
Jackson's mongoose (B. jacksoni)
Black-footed mongoose (B. nigripes)
Alexander's kusimanse (C. alexandri)
Angolan kusimanse (C. ansorgei)
Common kusimanse (C. obscurus)
Flat-headed kusimanse (C. platycephalus)
Yellow mongoose (C. penicillata)
Pousargues's mongoose (D. dybowskii)
Angolan slender mongoose
Angolan slender mongoose (G. flavescens)
Black mongoose (G. nigrata)
Somalian slender mongoose
Somalian slender mongoose (G. ochracea)
Cape gray mongoose
Cape gray mongoose (G. pulverulenta)
Slender mongoose (G. sanguinea)
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose (H. hirtula)
Common dwarf mongoose
Common dwarf mongoose (H. parvula)
Short-tailed mongoose (H. brachyurus)
Indian gray mongoose
Indian gray mongoose (H. edwardsii)
Indian brown mongoose
Indian brown mongoose (H. fuscus)
Egyptian mongoose (H. ichneumon)
Small Asian mongoose
Small Asian mongoose (H. javanicus)
Long-nosed mongoose (H. naso)
Collared mongoose (H. semitorquatus)
Ruddy mongoose (H. smithii)
Crab-eating mongoose (H. urva)
Stripe-necked mongoose (H. vitticollis)
White-tailed mongoose (I. albicauda)
Liberian mongoose (L. kuhni)
Gambian mongoose (M. gambianus)
Banded mongoose (M. mungo)
Selous' mongoose (P. selousi)
Meller's mongoose (R. melleri)
Meerkat (S. suricatta)
Spotted hyena (C. crocuta)
Brown hyena (H. brunnea)
Striped hyena (H. hyaena)
Aardwolf (P. cristatus)
Large family listed below
Large family listed below
Small family listed below
Cheetah (A. jubatus)
Caracal (C. caracal)
African golden cat
African golden cat (C. aurata)
Bay cat (C. badia)
Asian golden cat
Asian golden cat (C. temminckii)
European wildcat (F. silvestris)
African wildcat (F. lybica)
Jungle cat (F. chaus)
Black-footed cat (F. nigripes)
Sand cat (F. margarita)
Chinese mountain cat
Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti)
Domestic cat (F. catus)
Ocelot (L. pardalis)
Margay (L. wiedii)
Pampas cat (L. colocola)
Geoffroy's cat (L. geoffroyi)
Kodkod (L. guigna)
Andean mountain cat
Andean mountain cat (L. jacobita)
Oncilla (L. tigrinus)
Southern tigrina (L. guttulus)
Serval (L. serval)
Canadian lynx (L. canadensis)
Eurasian lynx (L. lynx)
Iberian lynx (L. pardinus)
Bobcat (L. rufus)
Pallas's cat (O. manul)
Marbled cat (P. marmorata)
Fishing cat (P. viverrinus)
Leopard cat (P. bengalensis)
Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis)
Flat-headed cat (P. planiceps)
Rusty-spotted cat (P. rubiginosus)
Cougar (P. concolor)
Jaguarundi (H. yagouaroundi)
Lion (P. leo)
Jaguar (P. onca)
Leopard (P. pardus)
Tiger (P. tigris)
Snow leopard (P. uncia)
Clouded leopard (N. nebulosa)
Sunda clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard (N. diardi)
Viverridae (includes Civets)
Binturong (A. binturong)
Small-toothed palm civet
Small-toothed palm civet (A. trivirgata)
Sulawesi palm civet
Sulawesi palm civet (M. musschenbroekii)
Masked palm civet
Masked palm civet (P. larvata)
Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus)
Asian palm civet
Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)
Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni)
Golden palm civet
Golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)
Owston's palm civet
Owston's palm civet (C. owstoni)
Otter civet (C. bennettii)
Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet (D. hosei)
Banded palm civet
Banded palm civet (H. derbyanus)
Banded linsang (P. linsang)
Spotted linsang (P. pardicolor)
African civet (C. civetta)
Abyssinian genet (G. abyssinica)
Angolan genet (G. angolensis)
Bourlon's genet (G. bourloni)
Crested servaline genet
Crested servaline genet (G. cristata)
Common genet (G. genetta)
Johnston's genet (G. johnstoni)
Rusty-spotted genet (G. maculata)
Pardine genet (G. pardina)
Aquatic genet (G. piscivora)
King genet (G. poensis)
Servaline genet (G. servalina)
Haussa genet (G. thierryi)
Cape genet (G. tigrina)
Giant forest genet
Giant forest genet (G. victoriae)
African linsang (P. richardsonii)
Leighton's linsang (P. leightoni)
Malabar large-spotted civet
Malabar large-spotted civet (V. civettina)
Large-spotted civet (V. megaspila)
Malayan civet (V. tangalunga)
Large Indian civet
Large Indian civet (V. zibetha)
Small Indian civet
Small Indian civet (V. indica)
Fossa (C. ferox)
Eastern falanouc (E. goudotii)
Western falanouc (E. major)
Malagasy civet (F. fossana)
Ring-tailed mongoose (G. elegans)
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose (G. fasciata)
Grandidier's mongoose (G. grandidieri)
Narrow-striped mongoose (M. decemlineata)
Brown-tailed mongoose (S. concolor)
Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)
Caniformia (cont. below)
Giant panda (A. melanoleuca)
Sun bear (H. malayanus)
Sloth bear (M. ursinus)
Spectacled bear (T. ornatus)
American black bear
American black bear (U. americanus)
Brown bear (U. arctos)
Polar bear (U. maritimus)
Asian black bear
Asian black bear (U. thibetanus)
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk (C. chinga)
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk (C. humboldtii)
American hog-nosed skunk
American hog-nosed skunk (C. leuconotus)
Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk (C. semistriatus)
Hooded skunk (M. macroura)
Striped skunk (M. mephitis)
Sunda stink badger
Sunda stink badger (M. javanensis)
Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger (M. marchei)
Southern spotted skunk
Southern spotted skunk (S. angustifrons)
Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk (S. gracilis)
Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk (S. putorius)
Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk (S. pygmaea)
Eastern lowland olingo
Eastern lowland olingo (B. alleni)
Northern olingo (B. gabbii)
Western lowland olingo
Western lowland olingo (B. medius)
Olinguito (B. neblina)
Ring-tailed cat (B. astutus)
Cacomistle (B. sumichrasti)
White-nosed coati (N. narica)
South American coati
South American coati (N. nasua)
Western mountain coati (N. olivacea)
Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)
Kinkajou (P. flavus)
Crab-eating raccoon (P. cancrivorus)
Raccoon (P. lotor)
Cozumel raccoon (P. pygmaeus)
Red panda (A. fulgens)
Caniformia (cont. above)
(includes fur seals
and sea lions)
South American fur seal
South American fur seal (A. australis)
Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri)
Galápagos fur seal
Galápagos fur seal (A. galapagoensis)
Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal (A. gazella)
Juan Fernández fur seal
Juan Fernández fur seal (A. philippii)
Brown fur seal
Brown fur seal (A. pusillus)
Guadalupe fur seal
Guadalupe fur seal (A. townsendi)
Subantarctic fur seal
Subantarctic fur seal (A. tropicalis)
Northern fur seal
Northern fur seal (C. ursinus)
Steller sea lion
Steller sea lion (E. jubatus)
Australian sea lion
Australian sea lion (N. cinerea)
South American sea lion
South American sea lion (O. flavescens)
New Zealand sea lion
New Zealand sea lion (P. hookeri)
California sea lion (Z. californianus)
Galápagos sea lion
Galápagos sea lion (Z. wollebaeki)
Walrus (O. rosmarus)
Hooded seal (C. cristata)
Bearded seal (E. barbatus)
Gray seal (H. grypus)
Ribbon seal (H. fasciata)
Leopard seal (H. leptonyx)
Weddell seal (L. weddellii)
Crabeater seal (L. carcinophagus)
Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal (M. angustirostris)
Southern elephant seal
Southern elephant seal (M. leonina)
Mediterranean monk seal
Mediterranean monk seal (M. monachus)
Hawaiian monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal (M. schauinslandi)
Ross seal (O. rossi)
Harp seal (P. groenlandicus)
Spotted seal (P. largha)
Harbor seal (P. vitulina)
Caspian seal (P. caspica)
Ringed seal (P. hispida)
Baikal seal (P. sibirica)
Large family listed below
Large family listed below
Canidae (includes dogs)
Short-eared dog (A. microtis)
Side-striped jackal (C. adustus)
African golden wolf
African golden wolf (C. anthus)
Golden jackal (C. aureus)
Coyote (C. latrans)
Gray wolf (C. lupus)
Black-backed jackal (C. mesomelas)
Red wolf (C. rufus)
Ethiopian wolf (C. simensis)
Crab-eating fox (C. thous)
Maned wolf (C. brachyurus)
Dhole (C. alpinus)
Culpeo (L. culpaeus)
Darwin's fox (L. fulvipes)
South American gray fox
South American gray fox (L. griseus)
Pampas fox (L. gymnocercus)
Sechuran fox (L. sechurae)
Hoary fox (L. vetulus)
African wild dog
African wild dog (L. pictus)
Raccoon dog (N. procyonoides)
Bat-eared fox (O. megalotis)
Bush dog (S. venaticus)
Gray fox (U. cinereoargenteus)
Island fox (U. littoralis)
Bengal fox (V. bengalensis)
Blanford's fox (V. cana)
Cape fox (V. chama)
Corsac fox (V. corsac)
Tibetan sand fox
Tibetan sand fox (V. ferrilata)
Arctic fox (V. lagopus)
Kit fox (V. macrotis)
Pale fox (V. pallida)
Rüppell's fox (V. rueppelli)
Swift fox (V. velox)
Red fox (V. vulpes)
Fennec fox (V. zerda)
African clawless otter
African clawless otter (A. capensis)
Oriental small-clawed otter
Oriental small-clawed otter (A. cinerea)
Sea otter (E. lutris)
Spotted-necked otter (H. maculicollis)
North American river otter
North American river otter (L. canadensis)
Marine otter (L. felina)
Neotropical otter (L. longicaudis)
Southern river otter
Southern river otter (L. provocax)
Eurasian otter (L. lutra)
Hairy-nosed otter (L. sumatrana)
Smooth-coated otter (L. perspicillata)
Giant otter (P. brasiliensis)
Hog badger (A. collaris)
Tayra (E. barbara)
Lesser grison (G. cuja)
Greater grison (G. vittata)
Wolverine (G. gulo)
Saharan striped polecat
Saharan striped polecat (I. libyca)
Striped polecat (I. striatus)
Patagonian weasel (L. patagonicus)
American marten (M. americana)
Yellow-throated marten (M. flavigula)
Beech marten (M. foina)
Nilgiri marten (M. gwatkinsii)
European pine marten
European pine marten (M. martes)
Japanese marten (M. melampus)
Sable (M. zibellina)
Fisher (P. pennanti)
Japanese badger (M. anakuma)
Asian badger (M. leucurus)
European badger (M. meles)
Honey badger (M. capensis)
Bornean ferret-badger (M. everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (M. moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (M. orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (M. personata)
(Weasels and Ferrets)
Amazon weasel (M. africana)
Mountain weasel (M. altaica)
Stoat (M. erminea)
Steppe polecat (M. eversmannii)
Colombian weasel (M. felipei)
Long-tailed weasel (M. frenata)
Japanese weasel (M. itatsi)
Yellow-bellied weasel (M. kathiah)
European mink (M. lutreola)
Indonesian mountain weasel
Indonesian mountain weasel (M. lutreolina)
Black-footed ferret (M. nigripes)
Least weasel (M. nivalis)
Malayan weasel (M. nudipes)
European polecat (M. putorius)
Siberian weasel (M. sibirica)
Back-striped weasel (M. strigidorsa)
Egyptian weasel (M. subpalmata)
American mink (N. vison)
African striped weasel
African striped weasel (P. albinucha)
American badger (T. taxus)
Marbled polecat (V. peregusna)
Game animals and shooting in North America
Snipe (common snipe)
Cougar (mountain lion)
Big game hunting