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The Ursus americanus pugnax was named in 1911 by ornithologist Harry S. Swarth. It is also known as the Island Black Bear because they are found on Dall Island in the Alexander Archipelago of Alaska. No brown bears are known to reside there.

One of the traits of Ursus americanus pugnax that differs it from other black bears is that its skull is broader and heavier with flattened frontal bones. Their fur is black.

The Dall Black Bear is omnivorous with its diet comprising vegetation, berries, pine nuts, and insects. It will also feed on small mammals and carrion when found, and on Salmon during the spawning run.

The bears in Alaska typically hibernate for up to five months. They usually emerge in either April or May. Pregnant females give birth in the den, usually to two or three cubs in January or February. The cubs will remain with their mother for about a year and a half, during which time the mother will not become pregnant again.

The greatest threats to the Dall Black Bears are industrial logging and limestone quarrying.

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