Black Bears 

The bear subspecies Ursus americanus californiensis was identified by American zoologist Gerrit Smith Miller in 1900. The California Black Bear, is one of two recognized black bear subspecies in California. The other is the Olympic Black Bear.

Black Bear

HABITAT
The California Black Bear can be found from the coastal mountains of Southern California to the Cascade Range in Central Oregon. They are usually found at elevations of 3,000 to 7,000 feet. The California Black Bear is thought to be geographically separated from the Olympic Black Bear by the crest of the Klamath Mountains in Northern California.

CHARACTERISTICS
Males can be up to 4 feet at shoulder height, and usually weigh from 300 to 350 pounds. However, they can weigh as much as 550 pounds. Females can be up to 3.5 feet, and can weigh from 160 to 350 pounds. Males are usually from 30 to 40 percent heavier. They can be up to 7 feet tall when standing on their hind legs. Their coats can be either black or cinnamon.

DIET
The California Black Bears are omnivorous and are usually nocturnal. They are occasionally active during twilight, and on rare occasion they may be seen during the day. They feed mainly on plants and insects. They will eat grass, berries, buds, flowers, nuts, grubs, insects, honey, fish and Carrion. They need access to drinking water unless they are feeding heavily on succulent forage or are dormant for the winter.

BREEDING / HIBERNATION
Mating usually occurs in late May or June. Though in northern climates, they may have to wait until July or August. Females give birth to 1 to 4 cubs in a den usually around February or March. Cubs will remain with their mother for 1 to 2 years. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 3, but continue to grow until they are 5.

American Black Bear Cub STATUS
Black bears have lived to be over 35 years old in captivity. However, their average life expectancy in the wild is 15 to 20 years. California Black Bear's population is believed to be stable around 32,000, though they are constantly threatened by habitat loss, conflict with humans, hunting and climate change.

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