Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

The black bear, North Carolina’s largest mammal and only type of bear, is most commonly found in the mountains and coastal plain. It is an omnivore that eats a variety of berries, nuts and seeds, as well as grubs, insects, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and carrion.


General Information

Bears are woodland mammals that prefer to live in large forested areas or in swampland that has dense cover. Learn more about their range, appearance, habitat requirements and habits.


North Carolina residents have hunted black bear since colonial times, when they relied on its meat for food and its hide for clothes. Today bear hunting is limited to regulated hunting seasons.

Avoiding Conflicts

The black bear tends to be shy and avoids interactions with humans. But as human and bear populations increase in North Carolina, interactions have become more common.