Species / International Ovis

Glacier Bear

Ursus americanus emmonsii


The location for the Glacier bear is in the Alaskan coastal areas from Prince William Sound to Glacier Bay in southeast Alaska, and between Cross Sound and Cape St. Elias with a few sightings as far east as Juneau, Alaska, and the Taku River that flows between British Columbia and Alaska.


Like other bear species, the black bear is solitary except when mating, or when a sow is with her cubs. It is territorial, tending to avoid others even where territories overlap. It will congregate at a common food source, such as a garbage dump or berry patch, but even so will stay out of each other's way. The female usually gives birth in alternate years. Cubs stay with the mother 11/2 years, sometimes 2 1/2 years. Life expectancy is 25-30 years. The black bear is omnivorous, although more a vegetarian than a meat-eater, favoring grasses, sedges, bark, roots, buds, nuts, berries, honey, insects and rodents. It eats carrion when available, kills small mammals occasionally and sometimes kills domestic livestock. It dens during the winter in colder regions, but may not do so in warmer southern areas. It is an excellent tree climber, the only North American bear that, as an adult, can still climb trees. It is also a powerful swimmer. Senses of smell and hearing are very good, eyesight is adequate. It is intelligent, shy, secretive, yet inquisitive. Black bears are generally harmless to man except when wounded or protecting their young; however, attacks on humans, with some fatalities, occur with some regularity. Unlike the grizzly, the black bear is able to coexist with humans and is commonly found near large metropolitan areas. As grizzly bear range shrinks from expanding civilization, that of the black bear expands to occupy the vacated areas.


Sometimes it is referred to as the "blue bear". It is a subspecies of American black bear and it is known for its rare color phase with colors ranging from a light gray to a steel blue-gray. This coastal black bear has silver-blue or gray hair endemic from Southeast Alaska.


The Glacier bear is only counted towards the GSCO Rex Baker Super 40® milestone.

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