Pennsylvania Black Bear - Research Paper Example

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Ursus Americanus is the scientific name of the bear which mean the American bear and this species is agile. The population of the…
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Pennsylvania Black Bear
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Black bears are the only species found in Pennsylvania and form the most common and smallest of the three species of bear found in North America. Ursus Americanus is the scientific name of the bear which mean the American bear and this species is agile. The population of the bears range from 8000 to 10000 and they are known to be fast climbers, runners and swimmers (Shoemakerb 75)
A bear can run up to 35 miles per hour, climb trees and live for up to 25 years in the wild, even though most do not. Bears are not always black. Some may be cinnamon colored, blond or with white spots on their chests. Those with black color are prevalent in the east while the brown phases from blond to cinnamon are mainly found in the west (Shoemakera 15).An adult male bear weighs between 350 and 500 pounds while a female may have 150 to 250 pounds even though, some male bears go up to 600 pounds occasionally. Black bears rise to about three feet high when standing on all fours and from six to seven feet when upright.
The sounds made by bears are distinctive ranging from growls, woofing and jaw popping. The females communicate with their cub through huffs and low grunts while the cubs whimper, chuckle and bawl. Other distinctive features of a black bear are the tracks. The footprints of the hind legs resemble those of man and the toes are five. The front foot of a bear is shorter than the rear foot which is long and narrow. The claws may at times be visible.
Black bears are herbivores. They maintain movement mainly at night or early hours of the morning in search of food. They feed on a variety of things such as berries, corn, beechnuts, grass, carrion, honey and insects (Fergus 32). They fatten up before winter for hibernation at the summer and the fall periods during which they take most of the time to feed amount to a close of twenty hours a day and consuming close to 20,000 calories. During winter, they remain dormant and choose to remain in their dens which are made up of rock caverns, excavated holes and hollow trees, underneath trees, dead falls and bushy thickets. The heartbeat during hibernation slows down tremendously and the body temperature drops. At this period, bears do not feed drink or pass body fluids such as urine (Gordon 45).
The most prevalent season for mating is between early June and mid- July during which bears become very aggressive to one another. In January, sows give birth mostly to a litter of five. The newly born cubs are toothless, sightless and have less hair that is inadequately distributed on their pink skins. They are nurture in the dens while the sows hibernate and grow from a light weight of 10 ounces to as many as 10 pounds from the nutritious milk of the mothers. The boars do not participate in bringing up the young. The cubs stay with the sows and learn through imitation and are usually protected from any eminent threats.
The population of the black bear has been increasing with time leading to a routine interaction of the animal with human. They represent many things to humanity such as valued game animals, farm pillagers and pets and mainly invade homes because of the easy availability of food. Their lives are not endangered since they mutually correspond to the roles of human. In Pennsylvania, the bears are protected by state laws under the Pennsylvania Game Commission jurisdiction. Hunters are however allowed to kill during the legal bear season on each fall.

Shoemakera Henry & French John. The Black bear of Pennsylvania. Times tribune co, 1921. Web 14 march 2013.
Fergus, Charles & Amelia Hansen. Bears. Stackpole Books,2005. Print
Feeney, cathy & John McGee. Black bears. NorthWord press, 2000. Print
Shoemakerb Henry. The black bear of Pennsylvania: Ursus Americanus. Times Tribune co,1921. Web 15 march 2013
Gordon Seth. The black bear as a game animal in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Game Commission, 1921. Print Read More
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