Reproduction

What Is the Black Bear Reproductive Cycle?

Black bear females typically produce cubs every two years once they become mature. The 2-year reproductive cycle is genetically timed to fit the annual cycle of plant growth and fruiting…

Read More »
reproductive_cycle.jpg

Black Bear Litter Size

How many cubs can black bears have? The record is six in Pennsylvania. Most litters are two or three. Two is most common in western North America. Three is most…

Read More »
black_bear_w_5_cubs_nh_june_2007.jpg

Cub Survival in Litters of 1,2 3, or 4

What size litter contributes the highest number of surviving cubs to the next generation? In northeastern Minnesota, it is litters of three. The litter size (3) that contributed the highest…

Read More »

Can Malnourished Black Bears Reproduce?

Malnourished black bear females do not successfully reproduce. Their offspring are absorbed in utero, are stillborn, or starve from lack of milk. In northeastern Minnesota, black bear females reproduce best…

Read More »
can_malnourished_reproduce.jpg

Courtship and Mating

Black bears in northeastern Minnesota mate between mid May and late June. Males have mating ranges 10-15 miles in diameter. Each mating range contains 7-15 female territories. Some territories contain…

Read More »
june_and_jack_6-30-04.jpg

Mating Battle

Lumpy weighs well over 600 pounds in fall and is the biggest bear in the area. One-eyed Jack was rightfully hesitant about confronting him once he saw who it was…

Read More »
Jack-Lumpy_Fight