Portrait of a black bear

Black bear

Black bears are found only in North America and have a relatively impressive population base - double that of all other bear species combined. Despite the common name, their coats vary from light cinnamon to dark charcoal, variants thought to have evolved from different regional geographical pressures. Black bears are full of curiosity and have complex family relationships which result from the slow maturation of cubs. During this time, mothers impart vital hunting and navigational skills to their offspring.

Did you know?
Black bears are highly efficient hibernators; they can sleep for up to seven months without eating or drinking.

Scientific name: Ursus americanus

Rank: Species

Common names:

North American black bear

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Map showing the distribution of the Black bear taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Black bear can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Black bear distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Increasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Black bear

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