Black Bear General Information

The black bear is an important part of North Carolina’s natural and historic heritage. After years of decline due to over hunting and habitat loss, the black bear is making a comeback and is now found in more than 60 percent of the state.

Black Bear Species Profile (N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
The black bear is the only bear species found in North Carolina or anywhere in the eastern United States and is an important part of our cultural, historical and natural heritage.

History of Black Bears in North Carolina
This publication provides a detailed description of black bears’ physical characteristics, habitat requirements, home range and movements, dispersal, denning behavior and reproduction.

Black Bear: Working With Wildlife
This article by the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service provides information on black bears’ habitat requirements and what landowners can do to improve habitat.

Management of Black Bears in North Carolina
Black bear populations and range have expanded dramatically over the past 30 years. Thanks to changing human attitudes, better wildlife management and enforcement, and the ability of bears to coexist peacefully with people in most circumstances, the comeback of these animals is a true wildlife success story.

North Carolina Black Bear Management Plan 2012-2022 (N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
The recovery of the black bear has created complicated challenges related to a variety of topics including bear hunting, bear/human interactions, management of bear habitat, law enforcement and many others.

Black Bear Hibernation
Bears hibernate throughout North America and certainly in North Carolina.  However, the process is very different from what is considered “normal” hibernation exhibited by rodents and bats.

Black Bears in North Carolina (UNC-TV NC Now video)
Colleen Olfenbuttel, Black Bear and Furbearer Biologist, NC Wildlife Resources Commission discusses the recent rash of black bear sightings in many North Carolina cities and how they are actually more common than people realize.  She also offers advice on what to do if a black bear is encountered.

All About Black Bears
This section of the BearWise website provides information including the color, speed, size and habits of black bears.