In North America, there are two subspecies of brown bear (Ursus arctos), the Kodiak bear, which occurs only on the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago, and therefore the silver-tip, which occurs everywhere else. Brown bears also appear in Russia, Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia.
Species: U. arctos
Subspecies: U. a. horribilis
Grizzly bears are large and home in color from very light tan, almost white to dark brown. They have a dished face, short, rounded ears, and an outsized shoulder hump. The hump is where a mass of muscles attach to the bear’s backbone and provides the bear additional strength for digging. They have stretched-out claws on their front feet that also give them additional ability to dig after food and their dens. Due to their bulk and long straight claws, these bears rarely climb, as cubs. Their eyesight is poor, and they are known to attack humans without evident provocation. Females with cubs are the foremost aggressive.
Grizzly bears can weigh upward of 700 pounds (315 kilograms). The males are heavier than the females and may weigh up to 1,700 pounds (770 kilograms). An outsized female will weigh up to 800 pounds (360 kilograms). Despite their impressive size, grizzlies have been observed running at 30 miles an hour.
Diet And Behavior
Grizzlies, being omnivores, take advantage of berries, plant roots, and shoots, small mammals, fish, calves of the many hoofed animals like moose, elk, caribou, and deer. Food is usually cached in shallow holes, and grizzlies dig readily and vigorously in search of rodents like ground squirrels, carrion.They’re especially good at catching the young of those hoofed species.
Grizzly bears can even target farm animals like cattle and sheep and cause economically important losses for a few ranchers. The National Wildlife Federation incorporates a program on National Forest lands surrounding Yellowstone Park to forestall attacks on domestic livestock by purchasing the grazing allotments from ranchers.
Grizzly bears use sounds, movement, and smells to interact. They growl, moan, or grunt, especially when females are communicating with their young or during mating season when male bears can fight with one another fiercely for the chance to mate with receptive females. Grizzly bears also rub their bodies on trees to scratch and to let other bears know they’re there. Dramatic gatherings of grizzly bears may be seen at prime Alaskan fishing spots when the salmon run upstream for summer spawning. During this season, dozens of bears may gather to feast on the fish, craving fats that may sustain them through the long winter ahead. Brown bears dig dens for winter hibernation, often holing up during a suitable-looking hillside. Females give birth during the winter rest, generally to twins.
Grizzlies once aligned over forested and open regions of western North America from Alaska to Mexico. Formerly living across the Great Plains, the burin has been the topic of many Native American legends. Control actions and habitat loss extirpated them from 98 percent of their original habitat in the U.S., including the Great Plains and every single habitat south of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Parkland in Wyoming, including California, Idaho, and Washington. Several grizzlies are still roaming in the wilds of Canada and Alaska, where hunters pursue them as game trophies.
At its peak, the grizzly population numbered quite 50,000. But those numbers shrank as westward expansion plunked cities and towns within the middle of the grizzly bear’s habitat. Aggressive hunting within the early 20th century also threatened the survival of the brown bear.
During the 1920s and 1930s, these bears had been reduced to less than 2 percent of their historical range. In the 1960s, it was absolutely estimated that there were only 600 to 800 remaining within the wild. In 1975, they were listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Ever since they gained protection under the U.S. Species Act, the population of grizzly bears has developed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established recovery zones for the bears and taken off to enhance relationships between humans and bears by educating the general public about these animals and initiating programs to reimburse ranchers for livestock bears killed. The National Wildlife Federation also helps connect habitat by advocating and dealing to make wildlife corridors and fight to make sure Congress properly funds conservation programs so that wildlife managers will have the resources they require to help grizzlies and other wildlife.
In addition, we’re leading the charge to ensure global climate change is addressed, and also the wildlife managers are ready to assure that habitats that change in response to global climate change remain up to sustain silver-tip populations.