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Brown bear

Latin name: Ursus arctos

Areas: | Georgia | Romania |

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Brown bear

Despite its name, the brown bear varies greatly in colour, ranging from very light brown through to black. It is powerfully built with a large head, muscular shoulders and long, tough claws.

Although formally classified as carnivores, brown bears are actually omnivorous and feed on a wide variety of grasses, roots, nuts, berries, insects and larvae, as well as meat (when available).

Brown bear facts:

  • Its scientific name, Ursus arctos, literally means ‘Bear bear’ (in Latin and Greek respectively)
  • Cubs (normally two to three) are born in January or February during hibernation
  • This species has already been lost from many parts of its former range

At a global level the brown bear is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, however this is largely due to its wide distribution.

At a regional level (such as in Europe), many populations are small and isolated, making them vulnerable to human pressures.

The Zarand landscape corridor in Transylvania (Romania) is an important area for brown bear conservation.

Although people have lived there for centuries, it retains an element of wilderness that is essential for large carnivores. It also provides the last remaining habitat link between the main Carpathian population and a separate population in the Apuseni Mountains.

Unfortunately, this important area is under threat from development and intensive exploitation of natural resources. Local small-scale agriculture (which is beneficial to biodiversity) is also in decline, affecting wildlife and habitats and eroding communities.

Fauna & Flora International is working with local partners to protect this important wildlife corridor, and the species that depend on it.

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