Black Bears in Tofino
by Adam Buskard, Tofino
One of the most likely animals to run into in Clayoquot Sound this
time of year is Ursus Americanus, the Black Bear. During fall days
are busy fattening up for the winter season. They are often found on
the banks of salmon spawning rivers or on Tofino's intertidal mudflats
foraging for food.
The Black Bear is omnivorous, but its diet consists
of vegetation, including twigs, buds, leaves, nuts, roots, and fruit.
It balances its diet with small to medium-size mammals or other vertebrates,
fish and seafood. Usually black in appearance they range in weight
from 150 to 400 pounds and stand in the range of 36 to 40 inches in
height and a average length of 5 feet.
Except when breeding and raising
young, black bears are generally solitary animals. They try to avoid
humans and are considered non-aggressive except when injured, protecting
their young, or themselves. Black bear cubs are generally born in mid-winter.
The blind cubs weigh about 3/4 of a pound at birth, and twins are most
common. By spring when the bears start leaving their dens, the cubs
are full of energy, inquisitive and playful. They are weaned between
July and September of their first year, and stay with the mother through
the first full winter. They are usually independent by the second winter.
Black bears are well-equipped to adjust to changing environments and
the population of black bears in BC is at a historic high. The BC Wildlife
Branch estimates that there are between 120,000 and 160,000 black bears
in the province. There are an estimated 803,000 black bears in North
Bears in Tofino
Tofino Bear Articles
Tofino wildlife: Black bears in Clayoquot Sound. Wildlfe profile from Tofino Time Magazine