Black Bear

(Ursus americanus)


Primarily in swamps and temperate or boreal forests.


Status: Least Concern

Current estimates of Black Bears in California are between 20,000-30,000, and an estimated 850,000-950,000 throughout North America. They have been classified as a game mammal since 1948.


Current Threats

Human activities that result in habitat loss and fragmentation, which brings them into urban spaces and in direct conflict with humans.


Oakland Zoo's Role

• Through our conservation programs, we educate the public about bear safety and removing possible attractants such as food or garbage while in bear territory.

• We support Keystone Conservation’s Bear Coexistence Program, which educates residents to safely coexist with grizzly and black bears and reduce human-bear conflicts.

• Oakland Zoo co-spearheaded BACAT (Bay Area Cougar Action Team), an alliance that supports the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in humane interactions with local wildlife. This model will one day be used for black bears in California.


How Can You Help?

• Properly store your food and pick up trash when in bear territory.

• Drive safely and slowly to prevent running into bears when they are crossing territories.


{ Animal Profile }