Classification of Black Bears

 Ursus americanus
Ursinae (all living bears except giant panda and the spectacled bear)

Taxonomists currently separate black bears into the following 16 subspecies based on minor differences in appearance and DNA.  Some of them have common names like Kermode bear, cinnamon bear, and glacier bear, but they are all black bears.

Ursus americanus altifrontalis (U.S. Pacific Northwest)
U. a. amblyceps (Southwestern U.S.)
U. a. americanus (widespread from Alaska to the Atlantic)
U. a. californiensis (interior California)
U. a. carlottae (Queen Charlotte islands of British Columbia)
U. a. cinnamomum (the cinnamon bear; WY,  eastern CO, ID, western MT, southwestern Alberta, southeastern BC)
U. a. emmonsii (the glacier bear; Alaska coast from Glacier Bay to Prince William Sound and adjacent inland area)
U. a. eremicus (northeastern Mexico, Big Bend area of Texas)
U. a. floridanus (FL, southern GA, southern AL)
U. a. hamiltoni (Newfoundland)
U. a. kermodei (the Kermode bear; coastal BC from Prince Rupert to Princess Royale Island, and adjacent inland BC)
U. a. luteolus (southern LA, and southern MS)
U. a. machetes (northwestern Mexico)
U. a. perniger (Kenai Peninsula of AK)
U. a. pugnax (southeastern Alaska)
U. a. vancouveri (Vancouver Island)



Basic Bear Facts (article list)