|What are the Reproduction
and Breeding rates?
Grizzlies are different than black bears in their breeding rates.
Black bears will raise a set of cubs every second year, where grizzlies
keep their cubs with them until they are two year old and thus have
cubs every three years. There is a high death rate with cubs so
raising one in three is considered normal. Black bear might raise
two out of three on average.
|Where can Grizzly Bears can be found
today and in the past?
||I don't have access to
a map where I am writing this in Kamchatka, but in the lower forty
eight states, their range only occupies a small portion of what it
once did. Now they are only in the northern part of Montana in the
Rockies and in an island habitat in and around Yellowstone Park. They
were once in much of Idaho, Colorado, California, New Mexico and well
down into Old Mexico.
|What adaptations do
Grizzly Bears have for getting food or defending themselves?
||They are big, strong, intelligent
animals, but they are not really adept predators when it comes to
chasing down running animals. The wolf is much better at this. The
grizzly is a good fisher bear, a great digger for things like mice,
gophers, marmots and roots. Probably its greatest adaptation is that
it can graze all day like a cow on grasses and survive quite well
on them. They are omnivore. They survive mostly because of there size,
strength and being peaceful when give the chance. High powered guns
have been there downfall.
|Are Grizzly Bears endangered because
of a natural cause or human interference?
||They suffer mostly from
human interference, but not all human interference has to continue
to be negative. We have proven that humans can learn to live near
to them and share the same areas and once this is learned the number
of bears you live near to is not very critical. If you can learn to
live with one bear, you can live with hundreds of them almost as easily.
|How many Grizzly Bears
are left in the world today?
||About 1200 in the Lower
Forty Eight, 25,000 in all of Canada, 30,000 in Alaska, 15,000 in
of Western and Eastern Europe, not including any part of Russia, and
probably 150,000 in Russia. This adds up to my very approximate estimate
of 232,000 in the whole world. If it sounds like a lot to you, think
of it in human terms. This is the population of the city where I live,
Calgary Alberta - one rather small city among thousands of cities
in the world.
|How long has the Grizzly Bear population
This is a difficult because estimate rely on a uneven and sporadic
population build up of people and their firearms. About 300 BC the
crossbow was developed in China with enough power to easily kill bears.
My guess is that this is also when bears began to be killed rather
freely and often. Soon there were areas in China that there were a
lot fewer bears. It was not until the late 1800's that guns with bullets
could penetrate with more power that crossbows, but the earlier guns
could still kill bears. It didn't take firearms to kill big grizzlies.
During the 1700's in California there was and estimated 10,000 grizzlies.
Spanish conquistadors made a sport of killing them from horseback
with only their lariats. Mostly because of guns, by 1908 there were
no grizzly bears left in California. I would estimate that bears didn't
really start to decline seriously until the late 1800's, more because
that was when humans really started to thrive.
|What impact would the
Grizzly Bear have if it were to become extinct?
||For me the Grizzly Bear
is a very interesting and wonderful animal and it would be a huge
loss to have none left in the world.
|How long have you studied bears?
||I have been studying grizzlies
for 42 years.
|What do you like most
||That they are peaceful,
and very loving animals that respond in kind to kind treatment form
|I would like to know how long Grizzly
||In captivity they have
lived almost 40 years. In the wild there is a record of a female having
cubs at 28 year. If you don't count cub mortality and hunting, their
average life perhaps would be about 20 years.
|How big does the Grizzly
|| This depends on the area
and the food available and time of year. Where there are lots of salmon
like in coastal Alaska and Kamchatka, males can reach about 1500 lbs.
at denning time, but on average they are about 1000 lbs. Females are
about half that. In the interior, the females and males are about
500 and 250 respectfully, maybe even a bit lighter than that.