Thursday, June 9, 2011
The Vancouver Island Black Bear
People seeking an experience to reconnect with nature always delight to view a few black bear. Your chances of viewing wildlife are better when you know about black bear behaviour and habitat.
Black Bears are omnivorous, eating berries, fruits, nuts, flowers, leaves, roots and other vegetation as well as insects and small mammals. During the early spring black bear can be seen grazing on grass near the edge of the roadway. On Vancouver Island during the spring, black bears also eat a large amount of skunk cabbage, horsetail and tree bark.
Summer days Black bear can be in the undergrowth feeding on berries or at the ocean waters edge, turning over the rocks along the shore to gorge on tasty purple shore crab and other seafood delicacies.
In fall, early morning and late afternoon is the most common for sighting of a black bear sauntering along the river to the estuary for a feed of spawning salmon.
Vancouver Island Black Bears have been discovered to be a separate subspecies of Black Bear, now known as the Island Bear / Ursus americanus vancouveri. Vancouver Island Black Bear population estimate is between 7-8 thousand.
Black bears vary in weight up to 600 pounds and are up to nearly 5 feet long. Fur colour varies from black to brown to cinnamon or blond. Sometimes there can be a white patch at the throat.
The most serious treat to Vancouver Island Black bear is from humans in the form of habitat loss from deforestation, development, road kills and Spring bear hunt.