Brown Bears

A brown bear drinks from a river in Gates of the Arctic National park and Preserve.
A brown bear, or grizzly bear, walks along a river in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in the fall.

Carl Johnson

Brown bears occupy 43 countries, but are most abundant in Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Alaska accounts for more than 50% of the remaining North American brown bears and has the second largest population worldwide. Brown bears use a broad range of habitats and require large areas free from human threats. For this reason, they are considered an “umbrella species” that confers protection to other co-occurring species with smaller habitat requirements. Human activities pose a threat to the long-term viability of brown bear populations worldwide because of habitat loss and fragmentation and human-caused mortality.

We monitor brown bears in all the Arctic parks specifically to understand:

  • Long-term trends in bear abundance and density.
  • Trends in bear occupancy.
  • Estimated, total annual human-caused mortality within each park.
  • Acceptable harvest rates.
  • Probability of population decline as a function of total annual mortality.

Contact: Hillary Robison

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