In the Southern States, do bears hibernate?True hibernation does not describe black bears. Denning, also known as ursid hibernation or carnivore lethargy, is what they really experience instead.
All black bear populations experience this period of dormancy. Some of the causes of winter dormancy are a drop in reproductive activity, a decrease in food supplies, shorter days, and cooler temperatures.
Bears in the south sleep less deeply and den for shorter amounts of time than their northern counterparts do because of the warmer temperatures. Denned bears in the North are less active and more resistant to human interaction than their Southern counterparts. Also, male bears in the south, such as in Florida, may have a shorter or nonexistent denning time.
What Constitutes a Den
Denning in Florida often lasts little more than a month or two for non-pregnant females and also males
Expectant mothers typically spend the whole winter underground. Because they will be giving birth in the den, they tend to pick safer locations. Common den locations include underground ‘nests’ in dense underbrush, tree cavities, and under blow-downs/fallen logs.