The Latin name for the Grizzly is Ursus arctos horribilis, but if you ask any bear love there is NOTHING horrible about this majestic bear.
Grizzlies currently have a shrinking habitat, but are found mostly in North America. At one time they the were found throughout Eurasia. There are grizzlies in Kamchatka, which is in Russia.
Grizzly bears are on the endangered species list, but they play an essential part in the world’s ecosystems. Grizzlies eat fruits that have seeds, and when a bear poops in the forest he deposits those seeds in the soil, allowing for new fruits to grow. Something called nitrogen cycling happens when bears stir up the soil looking for food. This is also happening when the bears eat salmon, by allowing for salmon parts to enrich the earth. Grizzlies occasionally do eat other forms of meat and are natural controllers of prey species in places like Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone.
Brown bear is another name for Grizzly. Grizzlies come in various shades of brown and sometimes even in a blond or honey tone. They have a hump above their shoulders which distinguishes them from black bears. Sometimes black bears and grizzlies are hard to tell a part just from their color alone.
The claws on the bear’s front paws can reach up to 4″ long. They can kill a human with one swipe of the paw. However, it is rare that they will attack.
A grizzly bear adorns the flag of California. The state of Missouri has two grizzlies on its state flag.
Subspecies include: Kodiak (also known as the Alaskan Brown Bear), Gobi Desert bear (only 23 are known to exist), Mexican Grizzly(last seen in 1964 ).
There is a grizzly-polar hybrid bear. Experts call this bear the Grolar or Golar Bears.
Grizzlies have the lowest birthrates of the bears of North America. Grizzlies do not reach sexual maturity until they are about 5 years old. Embryo implantation in the female bear’s fallopian tubes does not happen until the time of hibernation. On average, two cubs are born to a sow each reproduction cycle. Unfortunately, sometimes, the stronger of the two cubs is often the one who survives.
Grizzly bears have a better sense of smell than dogs. A grizzly can sniff the air and smell something that is several miles away.
They are solitary animals except when mating and child rearing and of course when it’s time to go salmon fishing. Other wise bears generally keep to themselves. Males and females live separately . In fact male grizzlies can become rather aggressive and kill cubs.
All national parks have to protect their wild life according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, yet it is rare to arrest hunters and/or poachers. The USFWS is also trying to restore six grizzly bear habitats:
Northern Contintental Divide (Montana)
Yellowstone (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho),
Cabinet-Yaak (Montana and Idaho),
Selway-Bitterroot (Montana and Idaho),
Selkirk (Idaho and Washington),
North Cascades (Washington).
In all of these areas combined, there are only 1480 grizzlies. That’s astoundingly low considering that at one time there were at least ten thousand bears in the U.S alone. These aren’t the only places in the US that have grizzly populations, but these are the six that the USFWS is concentrating on. Here is a link to the USFWS’ Endangered Species-Grizzly page… www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/
In 2007, the USFWS removed grizzly bears from the Endangered Species act in the Yellowstone area. Several organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S government to relist the grizzly bear. In 2009, protection was restored to these majestic animals.
People have long feared grizzlies, probably because they are so large. Some males can reach 7 feet tall and weigh 1000 lbs. It is rare for most bears , not just grizzlies, to attack people; just don’t bother them when they are eating, in heat, or guarding their babies. With that said, people do not educate themselves about bears, and often shoot grizzlies for fun, leaving cubs orphaned and starving. This is called trophy hunting. Other times people fear bears so much that even if they aren’t in danger of being attacked, they shoot the bear. Instead it is recommended that a gun be the last resort–in other words, you have to be attacked to use it. You can use something called bear spray, which is like pepper spray for bear. Another problem bears face is that people keep expanding their living spaces and are cutting down vegetation, including trees, and encroaching on the bears’ territories. There is no reason why we cannot live side by side with our ursine friends. They aren’t all that different than us.