Alaska Peninsula Brown Bears

Alaska Peninsula brown bears also known as the peninsular grizzly (Ursus arctos gyas) typically live along the southern coast of Alaska where there’s an abundance of seasonally spawning salmon.

Female Alaska Peninsula brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Female Alaska Peninsula brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Habitat

These types of brown bears live along coastal Alaska from the Aleutian Islands as far west as Unimak, the Alaska Peninsula to the Kenai Peninsula.

Description

Alaska Peninsula brown bears are very large. They usually weigh anywhere between 800 to 1,200 pounds. The size of the bear is highly dependant on the availability of food in surrounding areas.

These bears can reach 8 feet in length and usually have a shoulder height of about 4-4-1/2 feet. They also have a pronounced hump that appears on or between their shoulders.

Diet

The brown bears that live on the Alaskan Peninsula have access to seasonal spawning salmon. They usually wait at the bottom of the falls waiting for the fish to jump before catching them. When salmon is not available, these bears turn to eating berries and grass.

Interesting Facts About Alaska Peninsula Brown Bears

  • They are the second-largest brown bear species in the world.
  • The hump on a brown bear’s shoulder is a good way to distinguish a black bear from a grizzly bear, as black bears do not have a hump.
  • The Alaska Peninsula brown bear’s name most likely arose because, until 1975, they were considered a different species from the inland grizzly bear.
  • According to some sources, it is a population of the mainland grizzly bear subspecies (Ursus arctos horribilis).
  • Alaskan bears usually hibernate from October or November until April or May
  • The Alaskan brown bears’ average lifespan is between 20 to 30 years in the wild.
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