Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version



Ursus (April 2009) 20(1): 69-72.


Published by the International Association for Bear Research and Management.


We report on a young male, cinnamon-phase American black bear (Ursus americanus) that was collected in northwestern Nebraska on May 12, 2008. This specimen represents the first black bear taken in Nebraska since 1907. Cranial characteristics and mass of the individual indicated a 15–16-month old bear. This bear may have dispersed from the Laramie Mountains in southeastern Wyoming along the North Platte River into western Nebraska. This record adds to the growing number of cases where large carnivores are reinvading previously occupied territory in the Great Plains. These reinvasions potentially have broad ecological implications to local prey populations and overall biodiversity.