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Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus floridanus)
The Florida black bear is one of seventeen subspecies of the American black bear (Myers and Ewel, 1991). It is the largest land mammal in Florida (Myers and Ewel, 1991). The average male weighs about 250 pounds while the average female weighs about 180 pounds (Myers and Ewel, 1991). Black bears are omnivores (they eat both plants and animals). Foods they may eat include fruits and insects.
Black bears are mostly black in color, although they may be brown-colored, also. They can run up to 25 miles per hour and can climb trees.
Black bears are found in forested areas of Florida and throughout North America. Florida black bears may use depressions in the forest leaf litter for a winter rest of a few days or many months (Myers and Ewel, 1991).
Florida's black bear population is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 (Myers and Ewel, 1991). It is a threatened species in Florida, which means it is likely to become endangered if it is not protected. Loss of natural habitat and human interaction are the greatest threat to Florida's black bears. In Florida, most human-related black bear deaths are due to collisions with cars.
"Ecosystems of Florida." Ed. Myers, Ronald L. and John J. Ewel. Gainesville, FL: University of Central Florida Press, 1991.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
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