The mating period for black bears extends from May to July. Polar bears are already adapted to survive harsh temperatures and hence it is unlikely for them to hibernate. Hibernation is the mechanism that black bears use to conserve energy and reduce their internal fires of metabolism. NPS Photo / Harlan Kredit. However, when biologists discovered the many metabolic changes that let black and grizzly bears hibernate up to 7 ½ months without eating, drinking, urinating, or defecating, they realized that body temperature was only a small part of … Furthermore, the long periods of inactivity would result in degradation of bones and muscles for non-hibernating animals. As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases. The next time someone says black bears do not “hibernate”, please tell them that whatever you wish to call the process, bears do enter a long period of physical inactivity and exhibit some amazing physiological responses to low food availability and temperatures. Do Florida black bears hibernate? Black Bear den . Bears typically den (hibernate) in fall (late October-early December) and emerge in spring (March-April). through fun, informative, and inspiring programs. Make sure to always practice bear safety when storing food. You can learn more about hibernation here. Why do bears hibernate? Even though the female may sleep through the birth process, the cubs know instinctively to snuggle close to her for warmth and find her milk which is approximately 25% fat (human milk is 4% fat). Grizzly/brown bears and black bears hibernate but polar bears usually do not. Most of the time, trouble with black bears arises from their attraction to food. In many ways, their ability to hibernate for long periods without feeding or eliminating waste is more advanced and remarkable than what has been considered “normal” hibernation involving periodic arousal to move about and feed. Wetlands, lowlands, and sunny openings in the forest provide bears with prime sources of food. For some mammals the strategy evolved for coping with this harsh season is hibernation. The build-up of waste that bears somehow process would kill most animals if they did not arouse from hibernation to handle normal bodily functions. Over the course of a hibernating season it is thought that black bears use approximately 4 thousand calories a day, which results in a weight loss of about 20 percent of it body weight by spring. Black bear are not true hibernators. During the summer mating season, fertilized eggs will remain in a female bear’s womb but will not implant until weeks or months later. Throughout the fall, black bears spend nearly all of their time eating, packing in about 20,000 calories a day. Most bears hibernate or den during the winter … This is a question I often hear from the general public and even other wildlife biologists. They will stay in the dens for almost half a year and they will typically wake up during April. Food is scarce, icy winds howl, snow falls, and bitter cold temperatures presist, at least here in the Interior of Alaska they do. Medical doctors are attempting to understand bear hibernation better in order to help patients suffering from kidney dysfunction and bone degradation. Black bears hibernate in many different places. Torpor also involves decreased breathing and heart rates, and lower metabolic rate. Bears do not go into complete hibernation the way rodents do. These same bears exited dens as early as February and as late as April. Body temperature drops from 38°C to 31–34°C, respiration slows and the metabolic rate declines. Rick Stronks, the chief naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park, shares some interesting facts about these seasonal deep sleepers: 1. During fall transition, much like fish and other animals, the bears eat excessively to bulk up for the coming winter. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they hibernate, but they more go into what is known as a lethargic state. Oh, and their cubs are pretty cute, too. They will stay in the dens for almost half a year and they will typically wake up during April. Females typically hibernate longer than males. Conflicts are inevitable, however, it will be to our own benefit to learn how to live in harmony with these wonderful creatures. Bears enter a lighter state of sleep called torpor. In the autumn, Yellowstone bears enter a period of excessive eating called hyperphagia, sort of like humans at Thanksgiving, but lasting several weeks. Ursus americanus, or black bear, is only found on North America and is the continent's most abundant and widely distributed bear species. Females typically hibernate longer than males. The black bears in colder, northern states also enter the same state. Black bears do not have a territory they defend but they will have home ranges. Black bears do not truly hibernate but enter a state of lethargic sleep. What about bears in North Carolina? Polar bears are already adapted to survive harsh temperatures and hence it is unlikely for them to hibernate. According to bear.org, black bears hibernate for up to 7.5 months a year. Bears enter a lighter state of sleep called torpor. An average adult male weighs about 300 pounds while females average about 170 pounds. Black bear are not true hibernators. As black bears in Georgia emerge from hibernation, wildlife management officials are encouraging the public to practice measures in order to keep bears wild … Black bears prefer to excavate or find dens on slopes that are on 20º-40º slopes. Instead they remain in a state of lethargy during their winter's sleep. But normally the bear will wake up when the weather starts to heat up again. They live off of a layer of fat built up prior to hibernation. 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