Brown bear - Ursus arctos

Brown bear facts

Size
Males 140 – 320 kg
Females 100 – 200 kg

Reproduction
Mating: May - July
Birth: January - February
Litter size: 1-4, normally 2-3

Diet
Omnivorous.
Berries, nuts, ants, green vegetation, carcasses and young of wild ungulates, livestock, honey

Social organisation
Solitary.
Recent evidence indicates complex structure among related females.

Home ranges
Vary from 120 to 1600 km2 for males and 60 to 300 km2 for females.


Brown bear. Photo © Stafan Widstrand

Threats:     

(1) Some populations are very small and isolated. It is unsure if these are viable in the long term from the points of view of both numbers and genetics. Population supplementation may be necesary - for example like in the French Pyrenees.

(2) In many parts of the large populations bears are harvested by hunters. In these areas it is important that quotas are kept within the limits of sustainability.

(3) Depredation on livestock is common throughout Europe. Effective mitigation measures need to be encouraged and applied wherever bears occur.

(4) In many places roads are being built through bear habitat, which can fragment populations and increase mortality. It is important that new infrastructure development takes wide ranging species into account and incorporate mitigation structures (tunnels, green bridges) into their plans. 


Distribution:


 

Population name

Countries

Size (c. 2012)

Trend

Scandinavian

Norway, Sweden

3400

Increasing

Karelian

Norway, Finland

1700

Increasing

Baltic

Estonia, Latvia

710

Increasing

Carpathian

Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Serbia

7200

Stable

Dinaric-Pindos

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Albania, Serbia, Greece

3070

Increase

Alpine

Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia

45-50

Stable

Eastern Balkan

Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia

600

Stable or decrease?

Central Apennine

Italy

40-80

Stable

Cantabrian

Spain

195-210

Increase

Pyrenean

France, Spain

22-27

Increase