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Endangered Species

Grizzly or Brown Bear

Scientific Name: Ursus horribilis

 

Description: The Grizzly or Brown Bear once lived in much of northern Europe and Asia, in Morocco and Algeria, and northwestern North America. It roamed the mountains of Alaska, the Yukon, the tundra east to Hudsonís Bay, and south through the Rockies and the Canadian Prairies and US Great Plains to northern Mexico. Along the west coast of North America, Grizzlies are most numerous in river drainages that support large salmon spawning runs.

 

Grizzlies are recognizable by their large head, dish-shaped face profile, long claws, small round ears, small eyes and muscular hump on the back. The coat colour is mostly brown but varies from tan through dark brown to nearly black. The silvery tips to guard hairs of Canadian and interior Alaskan bears has given them the name grizzly. Male grizzlies are about 10 percent larger than females. For example, males in Yellowstone Park measured 1.64 meters on average and females measured 1.51 meters. Male bears in Alaska weigh on average 389 kilograms and females tip the scale at 207 kilograms.

 

Behaviour: Grizzlies are generally solitary individuals except females with cubs. They range widely in search of prey and often gather along salmon spawning streams in large numbers. Adult males dominate all other age classes.

 

Biology: Adult grizzlies den in chambers. Breeding occurs about mid-May through July. Oestrus lasts 10-30 days when a female will mate with several males in succession. The foetus implants soon after the female enters a winter dormancy period in November. Gestation continues for about two months and two to three young are born in late winter. Young cubs weigh about 340 to 680 grams at birth and reach 15 kilograms by three months of age. At six months, they weigh about 25 kilograms and achieve about 37 kilograms in weight at their first birthday.

 

Grizzlies are omnivores, eating many herbaceous plants and animals. Coastal populations spend the late summer and fall catching fish in salmon spawning rivers.

 

Status: As of May 2002, the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada listed the Grizzly as extirpated from the Canadian prairies by 1880. The population of Grizzly known as Ursus arctos in British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut, Manitoba,, Ontario and Quebec was listed as special concern in May 2002.

 

 

For more information: Wilson, D.E. and S. Ruff (eds.). 1999.  The Smithsonian Book of North American mammals. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver.

 

Grizzly Bear Photos

 

Sea Otter Photos by Tom Middleton

Grizzly Bear Photos by Tom Middleton

Killer Whale Photos by Tom Middleton

Blue Whale Photos by Tom Middleton

 

       

 

Grizzly Bear Photos by Tom Middleton. Large, clear  images without copyright text are available for sale by the artist by contacting Ecobeetle.

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