Bears in Canada

During your visit to Canada and Alaska, you are lucky enough to meet and observe all the bear species native to North America.

In this article, we introduce you to the known and lesser-known species of bears in Canada, as well as a newly emerging species.

The black bear (American black bear)

The Ursus americanus lives in almost all of North America with the exception of the extreme north and the dry southwest of the contiguous US states. The black bear is particularly common in Alaska and Canada. In contrast to the brown bear, the smaller black bear can climb very well and is also considered less dangerous than the grizzly.

While many black bears actually have black fur, there are several other varieties of color in this genus of predator. There is a silver-gray color variant as well as a brown like the grizzlies wear. Reddish brown fur colors also occur.

The fur color of the black bears depends on the habitat, the further north they live, the more likely the fur is black. In the drier habitats they are more reddish brown in color. The whitish color variant of the Kermode bears, also known as ghost bears, of the North American black bear, which lives on the Canadian west coast, is world-famous.

Like most bear species, the black bear is an omnivore, its food spectrum ranges from flowering and green plants to insects and larger game, here mostly young animals or old and weak adults as well as carrion. If the black bears live on salmon rivers, then this fish is also part of their diet.

The black bears have a head body length of about 150 to 190 cm and a shoulder height of up to about 90 cm. The average weight is around 100 kg, with individual specimens weighing only 50 kg or even 250 kg.

Bears in Canada: the brown bear , grizzly bear and Kodiak bear

The brown bear (Ursus arctos belongs to the bear family. It occurs with subspecies in North America and Eurasia. North American subspecies include the grizzly and the Kodiak bear. The brown bear is one of the largest extant land carnivores on earth. It is featured in numerous myths and Say an important part.

According to PRINTERHALL, brown bears go into hibernation when there is little food, contrary to what is often described, they do not really hibernate, the females give birth to their young during the hibernation. In order to survive the sometimes long winter dormancy, they eat a fat belly of bacon in the summer months.

The brown bears are omnivores too, flowers, grasses, mushrooms, berries, but also meat from insects, small mammals and large animals as well as the extremely popular salmon are on their menu.

The grizzly bear a subspecies of the brown bear family, the lives exclusively in North America. The name grizzly is derived from the grayish brown fur with gray tips. The grizzly is a powerful land predator with a stocky, bulky body.

In northern North America, grizzlies can weigh up to 680 kilograms, for example in the bear population in Katmai National Park & ​​Preserve in Alaska. The further south it goes, the lighter the animals become.

The male grizzlies are significantly larger and heavier than the females. The grizzlies are active during the day and at night, they can reach a speed of 60 kilometers per hour despite their body size, so running away is one of the worse ideas when encountering one of these imposing animals.

The Kodiak bear , which occurs on the island of the same name and the neighboring islands of Afognak and Shuyak off the southern coast of Alaska, is considered to be the largest land-based predator on earth, along with the polar bear and the Kamchatka bear.

This subspecies of the brown bear reaches a total length of up to three meters and a weight of up to 780 kilograms, with an average weight of 390 kilograms for males and 210 kilograms for females.

The head body length of brown bears is approx. 200 to 280 cm, the shoulder height 90 to 150 cm. The average weight is 140 to 390 kg for males and 80 to 210 kg for female bears, although there are exceptions with significantly higher weights, as described.

Bears in Canada: the polar bear or polar bear

The polar bear or polar bear (Ursus maritimus) lives in the northern polar regions of the world and is closely related to the brown bears. The polar bear is one of the largest land predators on earth, along with the Kamchatka bear and the Kodiak bear.

Due to the climatic changes on earth and the associated melting of the ice masses, the habitat of these beautiful animals is massively threatened.

Polar bears are very good and persistent swimmers. Their relatively slender physique is ideal for both the rough life on land and for covering long distances in the water. Their thick fur and the thick layer of fat that surrounds them allow them to withstand the icy temperatures of the north.

Polar bears, like all bears, are omnivores, but their special habitat makes them the bears whose diet consists mostly of meat. Seals are their favorite meal, but weakened walruses also prey on them.

On land, rodents and other small mammals, old or weak caribou or birds and bird eggs are also on the menu. Cannibalism is also not uncommon among polar bears, with strong males often eating young bears.

The head body length of a polar bear is 190 to 260 cm, with individual specimens up to 340 cm. The shoulder height is 80 to 160 cm, the average weight about 400 to 500 kg for male and 150 to 300 kg for female polar bears.

All bears, with the exception of mothers with young animals, are loners in terms of their social behavior. Bears are intelligent, curious and mostly harmless to humans. Fear and wrong behavior can end tragically for humans and bears. Many of the extraordinary and interesting predators are unfortunately shot by humans out of fear.

Bears in Canada: the pizzly or grolar bear

Brown bears and polar bears can mate with each other, and the resulting hybrid offspring is also fertile. Researchers have long agreed that these hybrids only occur in zoos. But now this hitherto largely unknown species has also been discovered in wild bears in Canada .

It was on April 16, 2006, when the Idaho-born hunter Jim Martell hunted down a supposed polar bear on Banks Island in the Canadian Northwest Territories, which later turned out to be Pizzly , a hybrid of polar bear and brown bear , after DNA analysis .

Sometimes this newly created species is also called grolar bear, derived from the names polar bear and grizzly bear.

Meanwhile, the pizzlies, the offspring of a polar bear mother and a grizzly father, are a hybrid bear species, the spread of which is of concern to researchers. They blame climate change for the fact that the habitats of both bears, which actually never met before, increasingly overlap.

The fact that the way of life of both bear species are fundamentally different, so grizzlies avoid ice zones and polar bears do not hibernate, the different foods of both species and much more causes headaches. Who will prevail in the end?

Amazingly, DNA analyzes have shown that the previously known hybrids always have a polar bear mother and a grizzly father, never the other way around. So far, this is probably due to the fact that male brown bears are always moving around, while the females tend to be more faithful to their location.

The scientists researching the phenomenon are almost certain, however, that reverse mating, polar bear father and grizzly mother, could mean the end of the polar bear. Another new species among the bears in Canada.

Bears in Canada