Are There Black Bears In Maryland? Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Are There Black Bears In Maryland?

Maryland is one of the smallest states in the U.S. However, it has diverse climatic and topographical conditions across its land. So, it comes as no surprise that you can find Bears in Maryland.

It may also surprise you that in any county you visit in Maryland, you will definitely see a bear. Though bears are omnivores, most of their diet consists of plant-based food. As most of the state is covered with forests, Maryland offers itself as one of the best habitats for bears. 

Maryland also has a lower population density as compared to other states. Though this adds to the Bears’ advantage, it is a thing to worry about for people. 

Lower population density means that people are more susceptible to encountering bears. 

Below I’ve explained all the details that you need to know about the Bears in Maryland. 

Are There Black Bears in Maryland?

Yes. There is a healthy population of black bears in Maryland. It was not so 50 years back. But since last decade, the black bear population in Maryland has increased. 

All credit goes to the dedicated efforts of conservation groups and state authorities. Not just officially but even in public, widespread awareness campaigns were organized to bring the issue to the public’s notice. 

Where Are the Maryland Black Bears?

Black bears are small in size and weigh anywhere between 200 to 400 pounds. They have a sharp sense of smell and are exceptionally good climbers.

As about 80% of their diet is plants, fruits, and leaves, these features help them secure food easily. Be it animals or humans, it is always good to live where your food is so that you do not have to travel far to find/hunt it. 

In Maryland, you can find black bears in every county. They avoid human settlements and live near ponds, lakes, and forests where there is an abundance of plants, insects, and meats which are all consumed by Bears. Naturally, black bears are also found in state parks.

How Many Black Bears in Maryland?

Compared to other states in the U.S., people encounter more black bears in Maryland. It’s therefore suffice to say that quite a number of these bears live in Maryland. 

As per official estimates, more than 2000 black bears inhabit the counties of Maryland. Most are found in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties of the state. In general, bears avoid areas where people live, but it is not uncommon to encounter one during trekking. 

As bears will eat anything they find, any food items you keep outside your homes should be secured by lids. Add to this, the powerful sense of smell these bears have. Outdoor garbage and pet foods will be found and consumed by these bears in no time.

Therefore, as Maryland has a healthy population of bears and you may encounter them often, always follow precautions set by communities and the government to stay safe.

Are There Black Bears in Baltimore County?

Are There Black Bears In Maryland?

Baltimore is the capital of Maryland state. Following various initiatives by wildlife conservationists, the population of bears has been good in the state of Maryland.

Compared to other counties though, Baltimore County has a few numbers of Black bears. There are, however, good chances that you may spot one. There have also been various sightings of black bears within the Baltimore Beltway.

Are There Grizzly Bears in Maryland?

Once upon a time, in the early 1800s, there was a good population of Grizzly bears across the state of Maryland. Grizzly bears are larger in size and are known for their aggressiveness.

This is one of the reasons why people loved hunting Grizzlies as a sport as compared to the black bears who roamed Maryland at the same time.

Soon, as more and more grizzlies were hunted, their numbers drastically decreased. Add to this the drastic reduction of their habitat which now were turned into farms or habited by people. By the min 19th century all grizzlies in Maryland state were wiped out. 

Currently, there are no Grizzly bears in Maryland state.

Also Check Out Our Guide On Bears In Arizona

Are Bears Common in Maryland?

There was a time when there were just a few numbers of Bears found all over Maryland. You could count them with your fingers. 

Before Europeans settled in Maryland, you could find bears all over the state. However, as Europeans colonized Maryland and people started moving westwards, bears lost their habitat. As a result, many bears were killed. This was also the time when bears were actively hunted as a sport. This also pushed their population number down.

As conservationists started voicing their displeasure at the drastic decline of bear numbers in the state, authorities took various actions and initiatives to increase the bear population. 

Credits to those people. It is because of those initiatives that we now have a healthy population of black bears in Maryland. And not just in a few counties. You will be able to find at least one black bear in every county.

Do Black Bears Hibernate in Maryland?

The black bear is the largest predator in Maryland. Weighing more than 200 pounds, these beasts reach a height of 6ft when standing. It is important to note that bears’ weight will vary season by season. 

In summer, the black bears consume about 5000 calories per day, enough to sustain. Moreover, food is abundant everywhere. Lush green forests which provide plants, leaves, and fruits help the bear survive. 

However, during fall, the bears consume about 15,000 more calories which increase their weight by 100 pounds overall. 

There is abundant food available but to survive the harsh winter, the bears eat and store food inventory. This act of inventorying food to sustain in leaner winter when the bears live in their den is termed hibernation. Black bears hibernate in Maryland during winter in the months of November and December.

Also Check Our Guide On Bears In US


And that was everything you need to know about the black bears in Maryland. I hope this article was informative enough and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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