American black bear

The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It´s scientific name used to be Euarctos americanus, but it´s current scientific name is Ursus americanus.


The American black bear is smaller than the other bears present in North America. It is an adaptable species that can be found in many different parts of North America and in varying habitat types, where its omnivore and opportunistic eating habits help it make the most of available resources. The standard habitat for the American black bear is forest, but it will leave the forest if necessary to find food.

Unlike many other bear species, the American black bear is not considered endangered.

Scientific classification

Species:Ursus americanus


blackbear cub
Black bear cub


There are 16 subspecies of American black bear.

Scientific name Common English name Information
Ursus americanus altifrontalisOlympic black bearLives along Noth America´s Pacific Northwest coast, from central British Columbia in Canada through northern California in the United States.

The populations found the furthest inland live in British Columiba and in northern Idaho, U.S.

Ursus americanus amblycepsNew Mexico black bearLives in:

– Colorado

– New Mexico

– Texas (western part)

– Arizona (eastern part)

– Utah (south-eastern part)

– Mexico (northern part)

Ursus americanus americanusEastern black bearLives from southern Alaska, through Canada and down to Maine and southern Texas in the US.


It is comparatively common in Eastern Canada och the eastern United States, and can adapt to several habitat types.


Most specimens are black.


Ursus americanus californiensisCalifornia black bearLives in the mountains of southern California, north through the Central Valley to southern Orgeon.


Can adapt to various climates and habitats, including temperate forest and chaparral shurbland.


Most specimens are black, few are cinnamon.

Ursus americanus carlottaeHaida Gwaii black bear

Also known as Queen Charlotte Islands black bear

Lives in Alaska and in the Haida Gwaii archipelago off the northern Pacific coast of Canada.


Tends to grow bigger than its mainland counterparts.

Ursus americanus cinnamomumCinnamon bearLives in the United States; in the states Colorado, Idaho, Montana (western part), Wyoming, Washington (eastern part), Oregon, and Utah (northeastern part).


It is called Cinnamon bear because the fur is typically brown or reddish-brown.

Ursus americanus emmonsiiGlacier bearLives in south-eastern Alaska.


The fur is silvery-gray, with a blue luster on the flanks.

Ursus americanus eremicusEast Mexican black bearLives in north-eastern Mexico and Texas, United States.


Strongly associated wit hthe Big Bend National Park and US/Mexican desert border areas.

Ursus americanus floridanusFlorida black bearLives in the United States; in the states Florida, Georgia (southern part), Alabama, and Mississippi (not in the southernmost part).


Most of the bear i black, but the nose is brown and many individuals have a white blaze on the chest.

Ursus americanus hamiltoniNewfoundland black bearLives in Newfoundland, Canada.


Tends to grow larger than its mainland counterparts.

Ursus americanus kermodeiKermode bearLives along the central coast of British Columbia, Canada.


Approximately 90% of the population looks like normal black bears, but the remaining 10% or so sports white or cream-colored coats caused by a recessive gene. These unusual individuals are known as Spirit bears.


Ursus americanus luteolusLouisiana black bearLives in Lousiana, eastern Texas, and southern Mississippi
Ursus americanus machetesWest Mexican black bearLives in north-central Mexico
Ursus americanus pernigerKenai black bearLives at the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska
Ursus americanus pugnaxDall Island black bearLives at Dall Island in Alaska´s Alexander Archipelago
Ursus americanus vancouveriVancouver Island black bearLives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada