New Jersey’s adult male black bears, called boars, weigh on average 400 pounds. Their weight can range from 150 pounds to over 600 pounds. Adult females, called sows, weigh on average 175 pounds. Their weight can range from 150 pounds to over 400 pounds.
Adult black bears are about 3 feet high when on all four paws and can range from 5 feet to 7 feet tall when standing. Black bears can be many different colors, ranging from brown to black. Most black bears in New Jersey are black, but there has been one documented black bear in the state that is cinnamon brown in color. About fifteen percent (15%) of New Jersey’s bears also have a white chest blaze. The muzzles of black bears are typically brown.
Black bears live in mixed hardwood forests, dense swamps and forested wetlands. They prefer areas with dense cover. In New Jersey, excellent bear habitat is found primarily within Sussex, Passaic, Warren and Morris counties. However, as the bear population increases, black bears are expanding their range both east and south. Black bear sightings have now been confirmed statewide. Bears are highly adaptable and can live among human development.
Based on recent (2012) population analysis using tag returns received during the 2011 bear season, the population estimate for the area north of I-80 and west of I-287 was 2,800-3,000 bears prior to the 2011 black bear hunting season. This estimate does not take into account the 2011 harvest or the number of cubs born in January, 2012.
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