The American black bear is the most abundant bear species in Canada.
Wouldn't it be great to spot one from a safe distance during your travel
Although not all black bears are black furred, most are.
Colour variations are brown, cinnamon and blond / white. The latter is called a Kermode bear.
Within Canada present distribution of the black bear is primarily restricted to less settled, forested regions.
The Canadian black bear inhabits 12 out of 13 provinces and territories.
They are absent from Prince Edward Island and from the southern farmlands of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
British Columbia has the highest density of Canadian black bears (approximately 120.000 individuals)
The American black bear is omnivorous; less than 10 % of its diet is based on animal protein, ninety percent consist of vegetation.
Black bears feed on
The black bear is an opportunistic feeder and their diet changes with the season and the individual habitat.
In mountainous regions the black bear prefers the montane zone, the valley floors.
Black bears favour relatively inaccessible terrain, thick understory vegetation, and abundant sources of food.
Black bears are very adaptable, and as opportunistic feeders, they
maintain surprisingly well in the presence of humans. The latter is
their biggest threat, as a black bear that has lost its fear for people
is potentially dangerous.
Habituated bears are more often involved in confrontations compared to their ‘wilder’ specie members.
As a result, habituated bears are often relocated (unfortunately, most of the time, with little success) or shot.
First time I camped in bear country, I didn’t drink anything after 7 pm,
afraid I had to go to the bathroom during the night. Naturally, behind
every tree a bear was waiting for me. Any Canadian black bear would go
wild for a tender piece of me!
Since I learned people are not on the bear’s menu, I enjoy the campfire even more.
Check the bear watching etiquette to prevent dangerous confrontations with bears.
In the summer
During fall black bears are almost non-stop foraging, as they need to fatten up for hibernation.
In wintertime, black bears hibernate. They stay in the forest inside their den. Pregnant females give birth to 2-4 cubs inside the den.
Read more about bear watching
Sources and references
National Audubon Society: Black Bear Diet
American Black Bear Conservation Action Plan, chapter 8 PDF-file