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Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Though Massachusetts is the third most densely-populated state in the country, black bears have been increasing in numbers and distribution since the s. The statewide population of bears is estimated to be over 4, animals and is growing and expanding eastward. Black bears live and breed in Worcester County, northern Middlesex County, and west to the Berkshires.

Bears, mostly young males and some breeding females, are living in other eastern Massachusetts communities along Route Dispersing young bears and wandering males often find themselves east of Route Black bears are black overall with a brown muzzle and sometimes a white chest patch.

Their feet are large and well-padded, with moderate-sized, curved claws. Male black bears generally range in weight from to pounds and females from to pounds. Black bears have good eyesight and hearing. Their extraordinary sense of smell is used both to locate food and recognize potential danger. They are excellent climbers and use trees to rest, escape threats, and protect their young. Black bears mate between mid-June and mid-July. Depending on food availability and snow cover, bears will den between mid-November and early December and exit between early March and mid-April.

Bears commonly den in brush piles, under fallen trees or jumbles of rocks, or in mountain laurel thickets. A litter of usually two or three cubs is born in the den in mid-to-late January and they remain with the sow adult female for about 17 months. Bears are omnivores, meaning they eat both vegetation and meat.

In spring, bears feed on lush, green emerging plants and are often seen in wetlands. In summer, they take advantage of ripening berries and can often be found in thick regenerating forest stands where berries are often found.

Ripened corn and stands of oak, beech, and hickory trees are favored foods in the fall. Bears also feed on grubs and insects, dead animals, and occasionally young deer. Bears will visit birdfeeders, orchards, and beehives. It is not unusual for bears to use residential areas, and they are often attracted to yards by bird feeders and unsecured trash. Bears have excellent long-term memory and can remember the location of food sources years after the first visit.

Black bears are important and valuable mammals in Massachusetts. They are big game mammals for which regulated hunting seasons and a management program have been established. Bears that have been habituated accustomed and dependent on human-associated foods, such as bird seed, trash, and pet food, are likely to cause damage and become a nuisance.

Removal of food sources and other attractants is key to preventing problems with bears. If you live in an area with bears, it is best to not set out bird feeders. In general, most bears are denned from mid-December through February. If you choose to put out bird feeders, doing so during this time may decrease the chance of a bear coming to your feeder.

In mild winters, some bears may be active year-round. Bring in any feeders at the first sign of bear activity. Put trash barrels out the morning of trash pickup, not the previous evening. Store all garbage in closed containers in a garage or outbuilding. Using double bags or sprinkling with ammonia will help reduce odors. If you compost, do not throw meat scraps, greasy, oily, or sweet materials in your compost pile. Businesses and campgrounds in bear country should invest in bear-proof dumpsters with a locking lid.

Trash should always be placed inside the dumpster, and never left accessible to bears. Always feed pets indoors. Clean greasy barbecues and grills after each use. Do not leave food scraps, grease containers, or spilled grease in your yard. Electric fences are most effective when put up and continuously charged before the first damage occurs. Keep open, mowed areas on all sides of hives and coops and do not locate hives or coops in abandoned areas or close to brushy, overgrown areas.

The bear will usually leave—accompanied by its young. Habituated bears may ignore minor harassment. If you continue to see bears, check your property and remove any potential food sources. Black bears are usually wary of people. Normal trail noise will alert bears to your presence and they will often disappear before you see them.

If you see a bear, it may not immediately recognize you as a human and may be curious until it scents you. Make the animal aware of your presence by clapping, talking, or making other sounds while slowly backing away. Do not approach bears or intrude between a female bear and her cubs. Keep dogs leashed and stay a respectful distance away. More tips for preventing conflicts with black bears.

If you are experiencing problems with black bears or have questions, contact your nearest Masswildlife office. This form only gathers feedback about the website. If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass. An official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Here’s how you know Official websites use. Wild Massachusetts Learn about Wildlife Learn about black bears … This page is located more than 3 levels deep within a topic.

Some page levels are currently hidden. Use this button to show and access all levels. This page, Learn about black bears, is offered by Division of Fisheries and Wildlife show more. Learn about black bears Black bears continue to expand their range in Massachusetts. Learn about the lives and habits of these fascinating animals and get tips for avoiding conflicts with bears in your area. Remove bird feeders If you live in an area with bears, it is best to not set out bird feeders. Secure trash Put trash barrels out the morning of trash pickup, not the previous evening.

Remove other attractants Always feed pets indoors. In the woods Black bears are usually wary of people. Open PDF file, Feedback Did you find what you were looking for on this webpage? Do you have anything else to tell us? Please tell us what you were looking for. Do not include sensitive information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers.

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Black Bear Population by State (Recent Reports) – Wildlife Informer – Which states do bears live in?

 

Always feed pets indoors. Clean greasy barbecues and grills after each use. Do not leave food scraps, grease containers, or spilled grease in your yard. Electric fences are most effective when put up and continuously charged before the first damage occurs.

Keep open, mowed areas on all sides of hives and coops and do not locate hives or coops in abandoned areas or close to brushy, overgrown areas. The bear will usually leave—accompanied by its young.

Habituated bears may ignore minor harassment. If you continue to see bears, check your property and remove any potential food sources. Black bears are usually wary of people. Normal trail noise will alert bears to your presence and they will often disappear before you see them.

If you see a bear, it may not immediately recognize you as a human and may be curious until it scents you. Make the animal aware of your presence by clapping, talking, or making other sounds while slowly backing away. Do not approach bears or intrude between a female bear and her cubs.

Keep dogs leashed and stay a respectful distance away. More tips for preventing conflicts with black bears. If you are experiencing problems with black bears or have questions, contact your nearest Masswildlife office. This form only gathers feedback about the website. If you would like to continue helping us improve Mass. An official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Here’s how you know Official websites use.

Think about it. Bears have paws and claws; pigs have hooves. Today, the Carpathian Mountains have the highest population density of brown bears in Europe outside Russia. Major populations also still exist in the Western Balkans and in Scandinavia. Bear populations in the Alps, the Apennines and on the Iberian Peninsula are all highly endangered. Dogs are part of the Canidae family, which includes species like foxes, dingoes, and coyotes.

Meanwhile, bears are part of the Ursidae family. The Louisiana black bear is the state mammal for Louisiana, and it is one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear. While the American black bear can be found across North America, the Louisiana black bear subspecies is only known to occur in Louisiana , east Texas and western Mississippi.

Tennessee has two main black bear populations: the Appalachian Population along the Tennessee-North Carolina border and the Cumberland Population in the northern part of the Cumberland Plateau along the Tennessee-Kentucky border. Grizzly bears had been considered extirpated, or locally extinct, in Colorado since One of the suspected last grizzly bears had been killed 28 years earlier near the same area.

Grizzlies have not been sighted in Colorado since that day. In most cases, black bears are relatively shy, only acting aggressively as a last resort. Nevertheless, the most effective way to avoid a bear attack is by preventing encounters in the first place. The American black bear is the only species of bear found in Missouri. An estimated 30, brown bears live in Alaska. In areas not open to hunting, bait stations, sightings, road kills, and depredation permits are utilized to monitor population trends.

In many areas of Tennessee, it is fairly common for bears near human dwellings during the spring and summer months.

This time of year natural foods may be limited and bears could be looking for an easy meal. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and are likely being lured by some type of food attractant. These attractants typically include garbage, pet food, and birdfeeders. The best thing to do is identify the attractant and remove the source. Bears will move on after realizing there is no food to be obtained. The first thing to realize is that the bear is simply going after an easy meal. Almost all of these types of problems can be eliminated by simply removing the attractant.

Store garbage in a closed structure and put it out the morning of garbage pickup, not the night before. This way, garbage does not sit out overnight and lure bears into your area. Problems may be further addressed by purchasing or constructing a bear-resistant garbage container.

Black bears are normally very elusive and shy animals… and unless they have become accustomed to human food sources, they tend to avoid people. Bears are very curious animals, however, and this should not be mistaken for aggression.

Prevent any conflicts by treating bears with respect as they are wild animals whose behaviors can be unpredictable. The first rule is that you want to make your presence known by yelling and shouting at the bear in an attempt to scare it away. If a bear is reluctant to leave then proceed to throw rocks or other objects at the bear while continuing to yell.

Portray yourself as the dominant animal and do not back down. If a bear is close enough that you feel uncomfortable, slowly back away, continuing to yell while watching the bear at all times. Never run from a black bear as this may trigger a natural response to chase. Throwing food will likely only compound the problem and running from a black bear will likely trigger a natural instinct to chase.

In addition, bears are extremely powerful animals that run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour in short distances. Make your presence known by yelling at the bear and slowly back away without turning your back. In the event of an attack, fight back using everything in your power – including fists, sticks, rocks, or any other debris. Do not play dead! Animals exhibiting those behaviors are doing so because they have either been fed or have learned to feed on improperly stored garbage or pet food.

When bears are intentionally fed, they learn to associate people with food and lose their natural fear of humans. The home range of black bears can exceed 80 square miles. If you feed a bear in your backyard, that animal is eventually going to leave and may travel to a house 10 or 20 miles away.

The bear will again expect to be fed… because you have taught it to associate people with food. At that point, the safety of other people becomes a concern because they may have absolutely no interest in having a bear in their yard. While relocation is an option for the immediate issue, it will not solve the underlying problem.

Unless garbage is properly stored, another bear will move in and the problem will start all over again. In addition, black bears have an incredible homing instinct and can travel amazing distances in relatively short periods of time.

Research has shown that even bears that have been trapped and moved 10, 20 even 55 air miles away can still find their way home. Ultimately, relocating bears is not an effective long-term management tool.

Instead, the proper storage of human-related foods and never feeding bears is the key. Black bears den for the winter months and typically emerge in late March or early April.

When they emerge from dens, natural foods are scarce and often bears are lured by the smell of human-related foods. Nuisance reports peak in June and July for two reasons. Number one, that is the breeding season for bears, and males are traveling great distances in search of females. In doing so, they have increased opportunities to encounter human dwellings.

Secondly, yearling bears are now on their own trying to establish a suitable home range. In their travels, young bears may also be lured by the smell of human foods. Fed bears lose their natural fear of people and become habituated to humans. In addition, people who feed bears are teaching those animals to associate people with food.

Would you want a bear like that coming around your house? Go to TN. Print This Page. Go to Search. Black Bears in Tennessee. Have you seen a bear? Report a bear sighting here. Report a Bear Sighting. What does a healthy bear look like? Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Bears Only if the mother is confirmed to be dead or the cub remains alone for more than 36 hours and its estimated weight is less than 30 pounds should the TWRA be contacted.

What does an orphaned cub look like? After reading these descriptions and you are certain the bear is sick, injured, or orphaned, find the appropriate TWRA office to contact in your area by clicking here. Coexisting With Bears What is human-bear conflict?

Examples of human-bear conflicts include: A bear that has attacked or is stalking a human A bear that is unfearful of humans or has caused property damage A bear that has entered a vehicle, dwelling, or inhabited building A bear that is habituated to non-natural foods A bear that does not leave an area when humans are present YOUR Responsibility for Black Bears!

Encountering Black Bears To learn about what to do when encountering a bear while Hiking and Camping visit, bearwise. Black bears are rarely aggressive towards people and typically go out of their way to avoid contact, however as human development continues and bear numbers increase, occasional interactions will be unavoidable. Black bears are extremely powerful animals whose behaviors can be unpredictable.

Black bears are very curious animals and this should not be confused with aggression. Startled bears will often confront intruders by turning sideways to appear larger, make woofing and teeth clacking sounds, salivate, lay their ears back and slap the ground with their paws.

These are warnings for you to leave the area. Bears will often stand on their hind legs to get a better view or a better sense of hearing and smell. Never feed or approach bears! Cubs are born in January with closed eyes and fine, down-like fur. Sows give birth to cubs which remain with the sow for 18 months. After a year and a half, the family unit will break up and the yearling cubs will find their own territory to inhabit. Black bears communicate with sounds, body language, and scent marking.

Typical black bear sounds include grunts and tongue clicks when relaxed. Cubs also make a humming sound similar to a purr when nursing.

When unsettled, black bears will blow and clack their teeth as a warning sign. When threatened, a black bear may also make a bluff charge. Black bears are active throughout the day and sometimes at night.

Right before denning, black bears can actively forage for up to 20 hours per day! Generally, black bears are solitary and spend their days foraging for food. Black bears are not true hibernators, but they do slow down their heart rate and breathing while denning. Typically, Maryland black bears den in late November through December, pending on the weather.

 

Black Bear | Virginia DWR.One moment, please

 
Find Other Topics on Geology. The bears in Michigan are protected by law and the population is managed by The Department of Natural Resources, hunting is allowed with the proper license. Fun Fact: Coastal North Carolina is home to the largest black bears on the planet! They are not afraid to defend themselves against tigers , leopards, or humans. Many people find these chunky, lumbering animals to be cute, but giant pandas can be as dangerous as any other bear. Zoom in the map to take a closer look!

 
 

Maps of where bears live in North America – Vivid Maps.

 
 

Bears may feed up to 20 hours per day, accumulating fat energy prior to winter denning. An adult male can gain over pounds in a few weeks when acorn production is heavy.

Depending on weather and food conditions, black bears enter their winter dens between October and January. In Virginia, most bears in mountainous areas den in large, hollow trees. Other den types include fallen trees, rock cavities, and brush piles in timber cut areas, open ground nests, and man-made structures e. Dens are usually lined with a bed of leaf litter and they have been found up to 96 feet above the ground they are good climbers.

Bears will not eat, drink, urinate or defecate while denning. Bears are easily aroused and may be active during warm winter days. On occasion they may venture from their dens, walk about, and return to denning. They emerge from their dens from mid-March to early May. From to reports were sporadic and primarily focused in the northwestern mountain counties of Frederick and Shenandoah. Since , reports have increased in frequency and geographic spread, and mange has been confirmed in 14 counties.

DWR asks anyone who sees a bear showing signs of mange as described below to take photos, note your exact location take GPS coordinates, if possible , and submit this information to the VA Wildlife Conflict Helpline at vawildlifeconflict usda.

Mange is a highly contagious skin disease, caused by a mite, which affects many wild and domestic mammals. Results to date indicate that the most common cause of mange in Virginia bears is Sarcoptes scabiei , which is a mite that burrows into the skin and can only be seen with the assistance of a microscope.

Currently, there are many unknowns related to the occurrence and spread of mange in bears. Research efforts are underway to understand these processes. Mites can transfer to a new host when an unaffected animal comes into direct physical contact with an infested host. In addition, mites that fall off an infested host can persist in the environment and may infect a new animal that enters a site contaminated with mange mites. Because bears are relatively solitary, the biggest risk for environmental transmission likely occurs under conditions where they congregate, either naturally e.

Clinical signs include:. The extent of these clinical signs is variable, ranging from hairless areas on the ears and face or small patches along the body in mild to moderate cases, to hair loss and lesions covering almost the entire body in severe cases. Severely affected bears are typically emaciated, lethargic, and often found wandering apparently unaware of their surroundings.

Although mange can be a cause of mortality in Virginia black bears, there is currently no clear evidence that the disease is limiting bear populations in Virginia or in any other state, including areas where mange has been present for many years. Additional research is being considered that could provide information on survival, movements, transmission routes, and potential susceptibility of certain populations in Virginia. DWR takes the problem of mange and its potential implications on black bears seriously.

The most important step right now is continuing to work with the public to collect reports of mange-infested bears. Over the past three years, the information gathered from these reports and submission of biological samples has helped DWR to tailor response protocols and provide better information to the public, both of which depend on the severity of the infestation. Accurate data on mange-affected bears is helping us track spread and potential modes of transmission and create procedures to quickly confirm cases in new areas.

This data is also being shared cooperatively with neighboring states where mange is present so that we can work collaboratively to determine long-term solutions and potential impacts on bear populations.

There are still many unknowns about mange in black bears. Bears are resilient animals and some do survive infestations of mange. DWR evaluates each report on a case-by-case basis to determine a response. For many bears that are still in acceptable body condition and behaving normally, DWR does not recommend humane dispatch. Reports of mange in new areas outside of the 14 county zone are responded to in accordance with established field protocols to quickly assess whether an animal is infested with mange or not.

At this time, there is no known, effective, long-acting treatment for mange in wild black bear populations. DWR, in cooperation with The Wildlife Center of Virginia, treated black bears infested with sarcoptic mange during a two-year experimental trial beginning in While hair regrowth and resolution of skin abnormalities were observed in treated bears, upon release back to their home range, the majority of these bears became re-infested with mange and exhibited even more significant clinical signs within approximately one year of their release.

In addition, ongoing research in other states has not demonstrated the long-term effectiveness of treating bears with mange. There are potential negative consequences of treating bears, including human exposure to the drug if a treated bear is consumed by humans before the drug has been metabolized. Therefore, DWR does not consider treatment as a viable option at this time. Minimize the congregation of bears and other animals by removing or securing potential attractants.

Discontinue feeding birds or other wildlife. Move outside garbage or compost containers into a bear resistant shed, garage, or other secured location or prevent access with electric fencing. Continue to report all suspected cases of mange to the Department through the VA Wildlife Conflict Helpline vawildlifeconflict usda. Photos or videos of the suspect animal are extremely helpful. Visit the DWR Black Bear webpage for more information on living with black bears in Virginia as well as additional information on mange in black bears.

A photo of the bear at the time of harvest along with GPS coordinates or specific location should be collected. If you do not have access to email you may call the VA Wildlife Conflict Helpline as soon as possible , however there may be some delays when reporting by phone.

Fact File Scientific Name: Ursus americanus americanus. Conservation Status: There are approximately , black bears in North America. Identifying Characteristics Of the three bear species black, brown, and polar bears in North America, only the black bear lives in Virginia.

Solitary or Social? Daily Activity Time Black bears are typically crepuscular active at dusk and dawn , but can be active any time of day, particularly if there are food resources nearby. Movements Female black bears have smaller home ranges 1 to 50 square miles than males 10 to square miles.

Breeding and Cubs Five-day old black bear cub. Black bears typically breed at 3 years of age. During June and July, boars will travel long distances to mate with a sow. Generally, the fertilized egg will not implant until November aka delayed implantation. If the female does not gain enough weight before hibernation, then her body may reabsorb the eggs. Cubs are born in January with closed eyes and fine, down-like fur. Sows give birth to cubs which remain with the sow for 18 months.

After a year and a half, the family unit will break up and the yearling cubs will find their own territory to inhabit. Black bears communicate with sounds, body language, and scent marking. Typical black bear sounds include grunts and tongue clicks when relaxed. Cubs also make a humming sound similar to a purr when nursing.

When unsettled, black bears will blow and clack their teeth as a warning sign. When threatened, a black bear may also make a bluff charge. Black bears are active throughout the day and sometimes at night. Right before denning, black bears can actively forage for up to 20 hours per day!

Generally, black bears are solitary and spend their days foraging for food. Black bears are not true hibernators, but they do slow down their heart rate and breathing while denning. Typically, Maryland black bears den in late November through December, pending on the weather. Black bears will den under large boulders, within simple depressions, in tree cavities, or even under porches and other human dwellings. Each year, Wildlife and Heritage Service biologists visit dens of radio-collared sows to collect reproduction data.

Here is a sow and tagged cubs in a den in Frederick, MD. Staff carefully work to balance the needs of both the species and a diverse public. Black bear population management is necessary to reduce human-bear conflicts and damage caused by black bears. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server.

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