Grizzly Bear

Ursus arctos horribilis

Photo: Nancy Turner

Grizzly Bear

Appearance

Grizzly bears can grow to two and a half metres long. Males can weigh up to 440 kilograms and females can weigh up to 200 kilograms (even more if they feed on salmon). They can walk upright, have an excellent sense of smell, and are extremely intelligent. Grizzly bears can run up to 55 kilometres per hour.

Range & Habitat

Grizzlies once ranged all over North America, but now they are mostly found in the Pacific northwest. Just over 13,000 grizzlies live in B.C. Male grizzlies range over 60 to 700 square kilometres, females range over 25 to 200 square kilometres. They live in wild areas, undisturbed by humans. In B.C., this animal is found in the Coast and Mountains, Central Interior, Sub-Boreal Interior, Southern Interior Mountains and Northern Boreal Mountains ecoprovinces.

Diet & Behaviour

They feed on salmon (can eat 200 salmon a day), carrion, trout, small rodents, insects, berries, leaves and roots. Plants are 80 to 90 percent of their diet. In autumn, a grizzly can eat 200,000 berries in one day, but during the salmon run salmon become about 95 percent of their diet. In winter, they den up in caves, tree hollows, and holes on a steep slope, and enter a deep sleep called torpor (not a true hibernation).

Lifecycle & Threats

Cubs are born in the den with their mother in January to March, while the mother is in torpor. They usually stay with their mother until they are 18 months to three years old. Grizzly bears can live 25 to 30 years in the wild. They are threatened by habitat loss from logging and development, and they are also hunted for their hides and for trophies.

Status

COSEWIC: Special Concern

CDC: Blue

More Information

www.hww.ca

Photo: Vanvalen