The American black bear Ursus americanus , previously known as Euarctos americanus is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores , with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is the world's most common bear species. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN as a least-concern species , due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear , it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered by the IUCN to be globally threatened with extinction. Despite living in North America, American black bears are not closely related to brown bears and polar bears ; genetic studies reveal that they split from a common ancestor 5.
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