There are eight species of Bears that roam the globe. Today we’re going to look at two species in particular, the black bear and the brown bear. These are the two species that are indigenous to North America. In the following paragraphs we will take a look at their habitat, signs of their presence, and some safety basics when in bear country.
Where they live and what they eat:
Brown bears live throughout the northern portion of North America and require large roadless tracts of land for their habitation. They are opportunistic eaters in omnivorous – this means that they will eat plants, animals, or whatever else provides itself is as a meal. Some of their favorite foods include grasses, roots, berries, nuts, Fish, rodents, beer, insects, and even moose. Brown bears will eat on carcasses and also will kill living animals.
Black bears also live throughout North America, however these bears can be found as far south as northern Mexico. Their diet is very similar to that of the brown bear, as they are also opportunistic omnivores.
Below is a map to help better understand the range of these two species of bears.
Black Bear Range
Brown Bear Range
Signs of their Presence:
It is important to know when you are in the presence of their, especially since they are large animals were easily scare by foreigners in their area. one of the easiest ways to identify nearby bears is buying tracks.
Here is an example of what a bear print looks like.
You can easily see the size of the Bears paw in comparison to an adult’s footprint. Notice the large pad of the paw and the five toes and nails. There are very few other animals in North America whose track is as large and distinguishable as a Bears. Obviously the larger the track, be larger than their.
Another way to identify that you are in bear country, is by identifying their scat, or seeing noticeable signs of disturbance such as overturned rocks and large tree trunks moved.
Basic safety in bear country:
While in bear country there are a few simple rules to follow. The first rule is to realize that you are invading their territory. This means that they will be much more surprised to see you then you are to see them, you left your house expecting to see wildlife, they did not. It is always advisable to wear a bear bell or something that makes some noise.
If you do happen to see a bear be sure to give it plenty of room. Bears like to eat and can be very protective of their food so it is very advisable to stay away when you see a bear eating.
If you find yourself in a close encounter with a bear the best thing to do is to wave your arms and call to it in a normal voice. Bears can be curious, but if you identify yourself the mayor will likely not come any closer. Bears do sometimes make bluff charges. Sometimes these charges can come as close as 10 feet. It is important not to turn and run, you will never outrun a bear. Rather, stand your ground and continue to wave your arms while talking louder. Never make bear noises or high-pitched squeals.
If a bear actually makes contact the best thing to do is to pull the ground and play dead. Lie on your side and curl into a ball with your hands behind your neck. Remain motionless as long as you can. The bear will eventually lose interest and will walk away. In rare instances a bear may perceive a person as food. If the bear continues to attack after you assumed a defensive position, I’m back vigorously.
Bears can be beautiful animals, but it is important to respect them and their habitat. Since 2000 there have only been 29 fatal bear attacks in North America. the animals truly are gentle giants, but when they are threatened they can turn into efficient killers.
Feel free to share any of your experiences or comments about bears.