black bear in water

American Black Bear

Ursus americanus

CLASS Mammalia | ORDER Carnivora | FAMILY Ursidae

RANGE North America

HABITAT Any type of woodland; rarely leaves forests

DIET Grasses, fruits, berries, nuts, insects, human foods, and occasionally small vertebrates

Male Weight
Avg. 150 - 350 lbs.
Female Weight
Avg. 120 - 250 lbs.

4 - 6 ft.

Approx. 7 months

1 to 5 cubs

IUCN Status
Least Concern
juvenile black bears

American black bears are the smallest bears in North America. Fur color of the species varies greatly, ranging from blond through beige, cinnamon, blue-white, and dark brown to light black.

Their reasoning ability, long-term memory, omnivorous food habits, dexterity, speed, strength, sense of smell, and elusive behavior have made them one of the world's most adaptable carnivores.

juvenile black bears

Cubs are born in the mother's winter den in January or February. At birth, they weigh about 0.5 pound and are blind. Cubs are weaned at around 8 months but may remain with their mother the first year, den with her the following winter, and search for their own territory in their second summer.

Louisiana black bear

The Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus), Louisiana's state mammal, is one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear.

By 1980, more than 80 percent of the Louisiana black bear's habitat had been modified or destroyed, and on January 7, 1992, the bear was listed as threatened within its historic range. On March 10, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the species from the Lists of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act due to recovery. Recovery was made possible thanks to the active partnerships of many private landowners, state and federal agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations.