Black Bear, Ursus americanus, Ecology on the Northeast Coast of Labrador

Keith Chaulk, Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, Fred Harrington


Twenty-three Black Bears (Ursus americanus) were captured, 20 were measured, marked and/or radio collared, in northeastern Labrador, between 1996 and 1997. Bears used sea ice for travel, coastal islands for denning, hunted adult Caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and were the possible cause of Moose (Alces alces) calf mortality. Body sizes were small, median weight of adult females was 48 kg, and the sex ratio for captured subjects was 1:1. Four of six radio-collared females gave birth during the winter of 1997, female reproductive histories suggest delayed sexual maturity. Den entry occurred between October and December 1996; spring emergence occurred between April and May 1997, with estimated denning period ranging from 148-222 days. Visual observations of habitat use by radio collared subjects (n = 10) were not tested statistically but suggest that barren areas are used nearly as much as forest. Location data from three GPS collars deployed on three adult females were analysed using Chi-square goodness-of-fit test with Bonferroni correction; two females appeared to prefer forest habitats (p < 0.05).


Black Bear; Ursus americanus; Labrador; telemetry; home range; morphology; denning; habitat; translocation; activity

Full Text:



Volumes that are more than six years old are freely available courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.


Questions or problems with the website? Contact William Halliday (info -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca).