Eurasian Brown Bear

"A Relaxing Moment in the Pond" by Mike Wiesmeier (digital)

 
The Brown Bear has such a commanding presence, especially in movement. I love the contrast of that with the moments when they are relaxed and seem very much to be enjoying themselves, such as the one in this image.
— Mike Wiesmeier

Also known as the European Brown Bear and Brown Bear.

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Habitat

Brown bears are the most widely dispersed out of all bears. Their range spans across western North America, Europe and northern Asia. They are found in 45 unique countries and can live in a large variety of habitats, from deserts to high mountain forests to ice fields. They are able to survive in the widest range of habitats of all other bear species.

Family Life

Eurasian brown bears are solitary creatures, with the exception of females and their young and mating pairs. Offspring are born during the months of hibernation except for mothers with cubs or during mating season. Sexually mature females generally breed every two to three years. Cubs remain with the mother at least two years, but usually three or four. Brown bears communicate through smell and sound primarily, as they have poor eyesight.

Lifespan

Eurasian brown bears can live from 20 to 30 years in the wild, but many die much earlier. They can live up to 50 years in captivity.

Hunting Habits/Diet

Eurasian brown bears are omnivores and eat a wide variety of plants and animals. Their diet changes seasonally, eating more fruits, nuts and berries during the summer when they readily available. They also eat other plants, roots, insects, fish and animals depending on the season and their prevalence. Moth larvae are particularly beneficial during the fall as a source of protein and fat in preparation for hibernation.

Population

The total population of brown bears most likely exceeds 200,000, with specific population data available for all ranges except for Asia. Their IUCN status is Least Concern.

Fun Facts

The Eurasian brown bear is also known as the European brown bear or simply, the brown bear. These massive creatures are some of the largest terrestrial omnivores. They can outrun a horse, drag a dead elk up a hill and were used as a means of execution during the Roman empire. The national animal of Finland is the Eurasian brown bear.

Why Are They Endangered?

Brown bears are particularly drawn to areas that humans use due to their wide range of food preferences. Human and bear conflict can threaten these individuals, as brown bears are notoriously aggressive towards human beings. Habitat destruction is another serious threat to brown bear populations; population expansion into their territory significantly fragments their habitat.

Status

Least Concern

Sources

Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) in forest