Black bears

W H 512W Black Bear

The coastal black bear (Ursus americanus) population in particular is becoming more and more fragmented due to highway construction and general development. Black bears need large ranges of bottomland hardwoods, mixed pine-hardwoods, wetlands, and Carolina bays for coverage, food sources, den sites, and water. When food or water is scarce, black bears are forced to travel extensive distances over fragmented habits. Black bears require a diversity of food with 95% of their diet consisting of berries, buds, fruits, nuts, roots, shoots and other plant matter while the remaining 5% consists of carrion, fish, deer, insects and other protein sources. The Refuge is important to black bears as they use this protected habitat not only for denning and adequate food and water sources, but most importantly for travel corridors. These corridors are important for increasing the genetic diversity of the population and maintaining the health of the coastal black bear population.