Cape Magdalena on Dall Island (NOAA)

To date we have been unable to source a photograph of U. a. pugnax.

Accepted scientific name:  Ursus americanus pugnax (Harry Schelwald Swarth, 1911).

Description:  The skull is broader and heavier than that of other American black bears, with flattened frontal bones.  Black fur.

Range:  Found on Dall Island in the Alexander Archipelago, Alaska, USA.  The Island is just to the west of Prince of Wales Island and has an area of just over 254 square miles.

Location of Dall Island, Alexander Archipelago (Pfly / Bear Conservation – Creative Commons Licence)

Habitat:  Dall island is mainly forested with a peak elevation of 745 metres and a total land area of 657.9 km².

Status:  Not known.

Life span:  Assumed to be between 20 and 30 years in common with most other black bears.

Food: Omnivorous with a diet comprising vegetation, berries, pine nuts, insects, likely small mammals and carrion when found.  Salmon during the spawning run.  May also take fish from lakes.

Behaviour:  The bears typically hibernate for up to five months, most commonly emerging in April or May.  Pregnant females give birth in the den, usually to two or three cubs in January or February.  They will remain with their mother for about one and a half years, during which time she will not become pregnant again.

Threats:  It seems likely that the greatest threats to these bears are the logging and limestone quarrying industries.


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Page updated 19 February 2021