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Canada's Species   Mammals

American Black Bear

Ursus americanus

Photo:Jardin botanique de Montreal
American Black Bear. Photo:Jardin botanique de Montreal

There are approximately ten subspecies of black bears in Canada ranging from coast to coast. Black bears enjoy a wide distribution and are found everywhere. Unlike their close relatives, black bears are very adaptable to changing environmental conditions, which explains their wide distribution. Black bears are smaller than their brethren but are still dangerous. They often congregate at garbage dumps to feast on people's castaways, and this has led to many encounters with humans of which the outcome can be lethal. These bears are excellent climbers and good swimmers. Black bears are solitary creatures preferring not to come in contact with other bears; if this does occur fights soon break out. Black bears are omnivorous and will feed on plants, carrion, and smaller mammals. Black bears have a period of dormancy during the winter, and contrary to popular belief, black bears do not fully hibernate as they are in and out consciousness during their sleep.

Map of American Black Bear in Canada
Distribution of American Black Bear in Canada

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