The Habitat of the American Black Bear

The American Black bear, which originally inhabited practically all the wooded areas from Central Mexico up to North America, is in much lower numbers, and has been eliminated from much of its original breeding grounds by hunting and removal of their habitats .

However, the Black bear has some legal protection and in National Parks its numbers are now increasing and proving to survive close to human settlements.

It seems that they are found in deciduous, coniferous, or mixed forest regions from sea level to 10,000 feet in elevation, depending on a good supply of food. Some Black bears have found their suitable habit in the swamplands of the south-eastern United States and the scrublands of the south-west. Even some can be found in the frozen regions of Alaska and Canada.

Normally the Black Bear requires a habitat that can provide plenty of escape cover, dispersal corridors between the trees, plus the trees being broad and study enough for the bear to climb high up into the canopy.

Rotting wood from decomposing logging produces a great treat for Black Bears providing them with insects like ants and termites, which are eaten by bears during most of the year.

The forest areas need to be abundant with a diverse range of natural seeds and berries growing the undergrowth, with access fresh flowing clean water, and dense areas for den sites.

The need for escape cover is especially critical for bears that live in National Forests habitats bringing them in close proximity to humans. However, Black bears are adaptable and can thrive if afforded areas of retreat that ensure little chance of close contact or visual encounters with humans.

However, they are very intelligent and have played on the visitors in some National Parks, to supply food to them by begging (just like yogi bear in the cartoons! Maybe)

In the Black Bear habitat, they will need areas that are ripe in grasses, thistles, blackberries, pokeweed, elderberry, mulberries, wild grapes and other fruiting vines are common in managed forest habitats.

They will eat eggs and the young of any ground-nesting birds, small rodents and they have been known to kill porcupines, by flipping them over and attacking their underbellies.

They need heavily dense areas to make their daybeds and dens, in areas that will be hard to access by humans and other predators, hollow tress are a preferred den for the long winter periods.

If you want to learn more about the American Black Bear, the American Bear web site is an ideal place to visit; it will provide you with an in-depth look at these wonderful bears that have survived in modern America.