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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Florida Black Bears do not hibernate in winter.......Females "winter den"-holing up somewhere quiet like alarge hollow log or a a tangle of scrub for aobut 5 months before giving birth to 2 to 4 cubs weighing about 10 to 15 ounces each................As in many Eastern States, the Bears have shown resilience and the capacity to rebound from virtual extirpation levels---with the Florida Bruins springing back from about 300 in the 1970's to an estimated 3000 today

Tropicalia wild file: Florida black bear

Ursus americanus floridanus

by: Amy Williams;
A black bear strolls through Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Wednesday 10/10/2007. Even though migrant birds are a little scarce due to drought. Native wildlife can still be seen
A black bear strolls through Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

After dipping to a low of about 300 bears in the state in the 1970s, the population has grown again to about 3,000, biologists estimate — enough that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission recently took the black bear off the state's threatened list.

Black bears are Florida's largest land mammal, with males averaging about 350 pounds, and females roughly half of that. Collier County and the Big Cypress Preserve contain one of Florida's largest populations, since bears prefer deep, thick woods, and can adapt well to wetland conditions.

Their name aside, the most common color for black bears is a rich dark brown. Many have white chests, and a cinnamon color is not uncommon, either. They have rounded short ears, a short tail, big sharp teeth and five-toed feet tipped with 4-inch claws for climbing or fighting.

After bears mate, the females give birth to litters of two to four cubs, each no bigger than a squirrel — about 10 to 15 ounces. By the second summer of the bears' lives, Mama pushes them out of the den and into the world to make their own way.

Florida black bears don't hibernate in the winter, but females do what's called "winter denning" — holing up somewhere quiet like a large hollow log or a deep tangle of scrub, for about five months.

Contrary to what many imagine, the bears' diet consists mostly of plant material such as the hearts of saw palmetto and cabbage palms, and fruits and nuts of all kinds. They add to that both bees and yellow jackets, many insects, and whatever smaller creatures they can catch: armadillos, raccoons, wild hogs and sometimes white-tailed deer.

Shuffling and slow in appearance, black bears should not be underestimated. They can climb well and run 30 miles or more per hour. Plus, they can smell you — literally — more than a mile away.

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