[39] In parts of northeastern Canada, especially Labrador, American 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). At least two distinct, prime habitat types are inhabited in the Southeastern United States. These reductions in metabolic rate and heart rate do not appear to decrease the bear's ability to heal injuries during hibernation. [119] 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. American black bears are highly dexterous, being capable of opening screw-top jars and manipulating door latches. This medium-sized bear is usually black with a brown muzzle, lacks a shoulder hump, and often has a white patch on the chest. They usually kill by biting the neck and shoulders, though they may break the neck or back of the prey with blows with the paws. Florida, Mexico, the Southeastern United States), only pregnant females and mothers with yearling cubs will enter hibernation. American black bears rarely attack when confronted by humans and usually only make mock charges, emit blowing noises and swat the ground with their forepaws. Weights and Measures: The black bear is about 1.5 m (5 feet) long. Black bears can also be efficient predators of deer fawns and moose calves. [41] The average annual survival rate for adult American black bears is variable, ranging from 86% in Florida to 73% in Virginia and North Carolina. Unlike the hunting of hibernating grizzly bears, which was fraught with danger, hibernating American black bears took longer to awaken and hunting them was thus safer and easier. They are sometimes attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. Bear hunting had been banned in New Jersey for five years before that time. American 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. A black bear's weight fluctuates depending on the availability of food. [39] Across the range, the estimated number of cubs who survive past their first year is 60%. Once the hive is breached, the bears will scrape the honeycombs together with their paws and eat them, regardless of stings from the bees. They are often found in areas with relatively inaccessible terrain, thick understory vegetation and large quantities of edible material (especially masts). Silvery-gray American black bears with a blue luster (this is found mostly on the flanks) occur along a portion of coastal Alaska and British Columbia. Longevity in the wild is 20 to 25 years. Male black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds but average about 250 to 350 pounds, while females grow to only 100 to 200 pounds. Females will weigh between 209-450 pounds (95-205kg). [41] 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). In areas where human development is relatively low, such as stretches of Canada and Alaska, American black bears tend to be found more regularly in lowland regions. Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us relocated a 360 pound female in the fall of 1998 in Central Ontario. In Virginia, the total length of adult bear skulls was found to average 262 to 317 mm (10.3 to 12.5 in). [5][page needed] American black bears can do extensive damage in areas of the northwestern United States by stripping the bark from trees and feeding on the cambium. With unlimited habitat and food supply, like when the first settlers arrived, bears were often much larger and more dangerous. Colorado, Idaho, western Montana and Wyoming, eastern Washington and Oregon and northeastern Utah. [134], In Canada, American black bears are considered as both a big game and furbearer species in all provinces, save for New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories, where they are only classed as a big game species. [5][page needed]. … [24], The current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains almost continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. [97] If it is 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. He has found that the best way to estimate the weight of a bear is using this log method. Approximately 18,000 American black bears were killed annually in the U.S. between 1988 and 1992. Although they occasionally hunt adult cattle and horses, they seem to prefer smaller prey such as sheep, goats, pigs and young calves. There is always 1 or sometimes 2, bears bigger than 250 lbs potentially, during a week hunt. About 170,000-175,000 hunters are expected to buy Pennsylvania bear-hunting licenses this year. Despite living in North America, American 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). Adult males weigh 60–200 kg (130–440 lb) with an average weight of about 135 kg (298 lb). As a result, the cats spend more time killing and less time feeding on each kill. Unlike brown bears, American black bears frequently lose against wolves in disputes over kills. Many of the physiological changes an American black bear exhibits during hibernation are retained slightly post-hibernation. [50] In New York, the two sexes reportedly average 135 kg (298 lb) and 74 kg (163 lb), respectively. [90] 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. (2003). [76] Flooding of dens after birth may also occasionally kill newborn cubs. Black bear fur is usually a uniform color except for a brown muzzle and light markings that sometimes appear on their chests. I believe that our Fish and Game has determined the average California black bear to weight about 225-250 pounds. Exhausted from their journey, the bears rested on the shoreline and fell sound asleep. [109][110] Another study found that American black bears visited 48% of cougar kills in summer in Colorado and 77% of kills in California. Anything over that and we're talking humongous territory. 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