Newfoundland black bear at Konrad Lake, Labrador, just prior to making a charge (photo Copyright © Joe Brazil, used with permission)

Accepted scientific name: Ursus americanus hamiltoni (Cameron, 1957).

Description:  Generally larger than mainland black bears, males weighing between 90 and 136 kilograms although bears of 290 kgs and above have been recorded..  Females are significantly smaller and averaging between 50 to 80 kgs.

Range:  Found only on the Atlantic island of Newfoundland, Canada.

Habitat:  Mainly found in the black spruce forests and balsam fir forests of the island.

Newfoundland (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Status:  The population is believed to be stable and therefore not in danger.  Estimates of the number of black bears on the island vary but numbers are likely to be in the region of 5,000 to 7,000.

Life span:  Around 20 years but hunting reduces this to an average life expectancy of less than ten years.

Food:  Newfoundland black bears are omnivorous. They eat moose and caribou, grasses, forbs, flowering plants, roots, fir and spruce needles,insects and carrion.  They will also eat small rodents and occasionally prey upon livestock.

Behaviour:.The Newfoundland black bear has on of the longest hibernation periods of any North American bear.

Threats:  Hunting, conflict with humans


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Page updated 16 February 2021