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Where Can Black Bears Be Found

Despite the name, black bears aren't exclusively black. Some black bears can have white fur, while others may range from brown to blonde or even cinnamon. The color of a black bear is often dependent upon the area where the bear makes its habitat.

Black bears can be found primarily throughout North America, from Canada into the United States and all the way down to Mexico. While the lifespan of a bear can be up to 30 years, many of them typically die when they reach their mid-20s. A number of factors play a role in the lifespan of the black bear, but the biggest is habitat. The availability of food will have an impact on the size of a black bear and the length of its life. Hunting also has a major impact on the lifespan of the black bear in certain regions, but each of the 50 states have strict rules and regulations in place to legally hunt them. Only 27 states allow the hunting of black bears.

Based on the areas where ample food sources are most accessible, black bears can reach sizes of three feet high and more than six feet in length. Adult males are often much larger than their female counterparts, with males reaching greater than 600 lbs. and females topping out at approximately 200 lbs. in weight.

Preferred Habitats

Black bears are often found in areas of large dense forests where they can eat from an abundance of nuts, berries, shoots, assorted vegetation, and prey, such as fish and young elk, moose, and deer. Although they prefer thick wooded areas and tundra, they have been forced to contend with human encroachment into these areas. As a result, black bears will scavenge for food that is no longer available and find themselves interacting with humans.


Black bears are the most common species throughout Canada and they are not considered an "at risk" species. There are an estimated 500,000 black bears living in every province and territory with the exception of Prince Edward Island, as well as farming areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The highest concentration of black bears can be found in British Columbia.

United States

American black bears tend to reside in forested areas extending south into Florida and as far north as Alaska. They are prevalent in 40 states throughout the U.S., staying primarily in wooded areas where there are less humans and, as a result, you'll find fewer black bears in the central and north central U.S. Those who still reside in this region typically remain close to rivers and streams where they can feed on a steady diet of fish.


This region of North America has the smallest concentration of black bears as their numbers have steadily decreased in time and are they on the endangered list in the country. According to studies, black bears are primarily found in 11 states in Mexico and there are a variety of preservation efforts in place to protect the black bear in this country.

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