Brown bear

The second largest bear, right after the polar bear. Sadly, it well might top the list soon

Matti Suksi


Brown bear

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The second largest bear, right after the polar bear. Sadly, it well might top the list soon

Population 200,000
1.7% annual growth rate

An emblematic figure of wilderness and strength, it spans various landscapes, from the dense forests of North America to the vast expanses of Siberia. This magnificent creature boasts a thick fur coat that serves not only as insulation but also as a distinctive identifier, with colors that range from deep black to light blonde. The variability in their coat color, complemented by the guard hairs that can have white tips, contributes to their grizzled appearance, making each bear uniquely identifiable.

Brown bears have a robust build, featuring strong, muscular legs equipped with formidable paws. These paws are not mere appendages but vital tools that facilitate their survival. The front paws, adorned with longer claws than those on the hind legs, are precision instruments allowing brown bears to excavate dens where they take refuge during the winter or unearth food buried beneath the soil. This digging capability is crucial, enabling them to access various food sources, from roots and bulbs to small rodents that form part of their omnivorous diet.

The ability of brown bears to stand and walk on their hind legs is a sight to behold, serving multiple purposes in their daily lives. This bipedal stance is not only used for foraging, allowing them to reach higher branches or peer over obstacles, but also plays a critical role in their social interactions and defense mechanisms. By standing tall, they can survey their surroundings, spotting potential threats or prey from a distance. This posture is also a display of stature, used to intimidate rivals or predators and protect their young or territory.

The olfactory capabilities of the brown bear are nothing short of remarkable. Their acute sense of smell enables them to detect cubs, predators, potential mates, or food sources from a considerable distance, guiding them through the dense forests or open landscapes they inhabit. This sensory prowess is integral to their survival, influencing their foraging behaviors, social interactions, and mating patterns.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Albania
2016
Algeria
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1800s
Andorra
2016
Presence Uncertain
Armenia
2016
Austria
2016
Presence Uncertain
Azerbaijan
2016
Belarus
2016
Belgium
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1,500 years ago
Bhutan
2016
Possibly Extinct
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Bulgaria
900-1,200
Official estimate
LC
2016
Canada
25,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
China
2016
Croatia
2016
Czechia
2016
Presence Uncertain
Denmark
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 4,500 years ago
Egypt
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1500s
Estonia
2016
Finland
2016
France
2016
Georgia
2016
Germany
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1800s
Greece
>450
Official estimate
LC
2016
Hungary
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 16th century
India
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Ireland
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 2,500 years ago
Israel
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1930’s
Italy
2016
Japan
2016
Jordan
Official estimate
EX
Extinct locally
Kazakhstan
2016
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Latvia
2016
Lebanon
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1950’s, unconfirmed 2016
Liechtenstein
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 500 years ago
Lithuania
Official estimate
EX
Last killed 1883
Luxembourg
Official estimate
EX
Extinct >500 years ago
Mexico
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1960
Moldova
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 500 years ago
Monaco
Official estimate
EX
Extinct >500 years ago
Mongolia
2016
Montenegro
2016
Morocco
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1800s
Nepal
2016
Netherlands
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1,000 years ago
North Korea
2016
North Macedonia
2016
Norway
2016
Pakistan
2016
Poland
2016
Portugal
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 500 years ago
Romania
5,000-6,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
Russia
120,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
San Marino
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 500 years ago
Serbia
2016
Slovakia
600-800
Official estimate
LC
2016
Slovenia
500-700
Official estimate
LC
2016
Spain
20-25
Official estimate
LC
2016
Pyrenees
Sweden
2016
Switzerland
2016
Presence Uncertain
Syria
2016
Possibly extinct
Tajikistan
2016
Tunisia
Official estimate
EX
Extinct >500 years ago
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
Official estimate
EX
Extinct ~500 AD
United States
32,500
Official estimate
LC
2016
Alaskan population
Uzbekistan
2016

Did you know?

  • Brown bears have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food over long distances. They can smell food up to 20 miles away!
  • They are known for their excellent fishing skills, as they are adept at catching fish with their powerful jaws and sharp claws.
  • They hibernate during the winter months, often going without food or water for several months at a time.

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Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No

Brown bear on banknotes

Belarus 50 Rubles
Lithuania 500 Talonas