Activities and Social Organization

Daily Activity Period: Most bears become active a half-hour before sunrise, take a nap or two during the day, and bed down for the night an hour or two after sunset. However, some bears are active at night to avoid people or bears.

Home Range Diameter: Typically: Yearlings: 1-2 miles. Adult females: 2-6 miles. Adult males: 8-15 miles. Excursions to 126 miles recorded.

Social Organization: Matriarchal territoriality. Females hold territories. Males have mating ranges that usually include over 7 female territories. Male mating ranges are indefensibly large, so there is overlap among males as well as overlap of the female territories within male mating ranges. Females allow their offspring to remain in their territories. Young males voluntarily disperse from their mothers’ territories when the males approach sexual maturity. This may be between 1 and 4 years of age, depending upon food and rate of development. Mothers attempt to expand their territories at the expense of non-kin neighbors.

Late summer activities: In northeastern Minnesota, 40% of the females and 67% of the males traveled 4 to 125 miles outside their usual areas before returning for hibernation.

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