What Do Black Bears in Redwood National Park Eat?

What Do Black Bears in Redwood National Park Eat?
Black bears are the biggest animals in Redwood National Park, and certainly the most fearsome. The park takes rigorous precautions regarding food and its disposal to avoid attracting them to areas frequented by the park's many visitors. The precautions are not always successful. However, the diet of a black bear is mostly plant-based.

Omnivores and Predators

Black bears have a varied omnivorous diet, and can digest meat, insects and plant matter. In Redwood National Park, black bears are the apex predator of the ecosystem.


Every spring, the black bears in the park eat large quantities of western skunk cabbage, horsetail and tree bark. They also eat wild berries as they come into season.


Despite the best efforts of the park, bears often manage to scavenge human refuse for food.


Black bears are known to help themselves to adult insects and especially the larvae of many insect hives: termites, ants, wasps and bees. Bee hives represent a rich find for black bears. They not only get to eat bee larvae, but also gorge on the honey.


Between 10 and 15 percent of a bear's diet must come from fish and animal protein. Bears are scavengers and often eat carrion, but they can and do hunt rodents and deer. They also eat eggs.


The watercourses of Redwood National Park provide a good source of trout, salmon and crayfish for black bears.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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