Introduction - Grizzly BearsThe Brown Bear, who is also known as the Grizzly Bear in North America, inhabits a variety of regions worldwide where rivers and streams are plentiful, from the Boreal Forest in Canada, to the mountainous woodlands of Asia. What makes this massive mammal unique is that it has one of the lowest reproductive rates out of all North American mammals. When Grizzly's mate, environmental conditions often interfere in the successful birth of a litter. Reasons why they are listed as a threatened species in the United States as well as other interesting information can be found in the list of facts below. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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General Grizzly Bear Facts
- Grizzly Bears have been put on the list of threatened animals because of the rate at which they are being hunted and killed by humans. Nearly all of the grizzly Bears in the United States that survive past age 2 are shot by humans, mainly for body parts. There are estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,200 Grizzly Bears living in the U.S.
- Grizzly's can live up to the age of 30.
- Plants and berries make up a large percentage of their diet, but they are omnivores. They are known to catch fish such as salmon, bass and trout and hunt deer, moose, elk, sheep, bison, as well as other types of bears. They also feed on insects, particularly moths, ladybugs, ants and bees.
- Grizzly's can run up to 30 miles per hour (48 Kilometers).
- They have muscular bodies which are usually covered in shaggy brown fur, but may also range from cream to black or a mix of colors.
- They weigh between 330 (150 kg) and 800 pounds (363 kg) with the males being bigger and heavier.
- They have very long claws that can easily be 3.5 inches (9 cm) long. They are used for digging and killing animals. They also have big heads, short tails and relatively small feet and ears.
Grizzly Bear Low Reproductive Rate Facts
- Their low reproductive rate is due to several factors.
- Grizzly Bears do not reproduce until they are at least five years old.
- They also only give birth to an average of two cubs at a time which will be cared for, if they survive, until they are two years old. The mother will not mate again until the cubs have become independent.
- It is difficult for male Grizzly Bears to track the females scent because of their large territories and low Grizzly populations.
Grizzly Bear Hibernation Facts
- The Grizzly Bear can gain as much as 400 pounds total (180 kg), or 3 pounds per day before going into hibernation.
- They hibernate in dens made on hillsides or slopes which face to the north at high elevations, usually above 5,000 feet (1,800m).
- To reduce the risk of a predator finding their den, they will wait for a significant snowfall before hibernating for the winter.
- Some Grizzly Bears live where food is readily available all year, in which case they do not hibernate at all.