American Black Bear

Black Bears

Historically, black bears ranged over most of the forested regions of North America, including all Canadian provinces, Alaska, all states in the contiguous United States, and significant portions of northern Mexico. Black bears can still be found throughout Canada with the exception of Prince Edward Island (extirpated in 1937), and in at least 40 of the 50 states. In the eastern United States, the black bear range is continuous throughout New England but becomes increasingly fragmented from the mid-Atlantic down through the Southeast. In the Southeast, most populations are now restricted to the Appalachian mountain chain or to coastal areas intermittently in all states from Virginia to Louisiana. Their current distribution is generally restricted to regions with extensive forest cover.

The black bear's historic range compared to its 1995 range

Louisiana Black Bear

Taxonomists generally separate black bears into 16 subspecies based on minor differences in appearance and DNA. The Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) is one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear (Ursus americanus).