Brown Bear Subspecies
Brown bears are fascinating animals and one of my favorite big game species. There are currently eight different subspecies of brown bear that are recognized by Safari Club International. They can be found in the most remote parts of North America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Russia. Four different subspecies occur in Russia alone: Amur Brown Bear, Siberian Brown Bear, Kamchatka Brown Bear, and the Eurasian Brown Bear.
- Siberian Brown Bears range right between the Eurasian and Kamchatka Brown Bear in size. They have larger skulls and are more bold around people than some of the other brown bear varieties.
- Eurasian Brown Bears have a wide range of coloration from brown to blonde to reddish brown and even almost black. There have also been reported cases of albinism . They have round heads, small ears and wide skulls.
- Amur Brown Bears, also known as Ussuri Brown Bears, are hard to tell apart from the Kamchatka Brown Bear. They can be identified by their elongated skull, smaller forehead, and much darker color. Some call them the black grizzly.
- Kamchatka Brown Bears are the largest bears in Eurasia. With a much wider skull than the Alaska Peninsula Brown Bears, they can can grow nearly as large, from 7 feet- 9 feet in length.
- North American Brown Bear are also known as the grizzly bear. There are about 25,000 across Canada and the Northwest Territories; 30,000 in Alaska and about 1,500 in the lower 48.
- Kodiak Brown Bear is considered by many to be the largest subspecies of Brown Bear, They inhabit the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago. They are most active during the day and tend to go into hibernation in late October and leave their dens in early April.
- Alaska Peninsula Brown Bear are some of the biggest bears in the world. They can range from 750-1250 lbs and can reach over 10 ft. They rival even the Kodiak Brown Bear. They’ve reached weights up to 1,500 lbs.
- Sitka Brown Bear can be found in Southeast Alaska and Admiralty Island, Baranof Island and Chichagof Island (ABC Islands). They look a lot like the Alaskan Grizzly bear with a humped back and a nasty reputation.
Each of these subspecies is unique in its own way. They are one of the most interesting, powerful, awe inspiring animals on earth. The more I learn about them the more fascinated I am by them.
by Casey Jensen