Grizzly bears are also known as “brown bears.” The video shows grizzlies running in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, but their motives are unclear.
Grizzly bears are gigantic and range in color from dark brown, like the one in the video, to light tan. They weigh around 700 pounds, with males being heavier than females.
Their front foot claws are long to help dig their food and habitats (dens). They mainly use these dens for winter hibernation, and the females give life to young ones during this season.
Grizzly bears don’t eat or drink during hibernation; thus, they don’t defecate or urinate. During denning, these bears’ respiration and heart rate decrease, and their body temperatures drop slightly.
Denning grizzlies’ constant body temperature can cause them to become aroused, causing them to leave their dens whenever disturbed. Surprisingly, these bears often utilize a general area for many years but don’t use the same den site twice.
As grizzly bears prepare for hibernation, they eat excess food. As a result, they may gain up to 3.5 pounds daily, which is deposited as fat. When the bear emerges from the den, when food is still scarce, the excess fat provides energy.
Recently, grizzlies are recording a significant survival success story. Their population has grown significantly since the U.S. government set policies to protect this subspecies.
U.S. bodies, such as the Fish and Wildlife Service, have established various bear recovery zones. These bodies are also educating the public about these creatures, reducing poaching.
The efforts by the Fish and Wildlife Service have shown to reap good results as the number of grizzlies has increased five times more than they were in 1975. There have also been two attempts by this agency to delist grizzly bears, but it hasn’t been successful.
Due to concerns about genetic diversity among this subspecies whose different populations reside so far apart, the second attempt to cross-breed was blocked in federal courts in 2017. Additionally, conservationists feared that delisting grizzlies would result in renewed hunting.
Grizzly bears play a vital role in the environment. They disperse seeds and provide nutrients in manure form to the forest ecosystems. The bear defecates berry seeds whole.
A bear’s activities in an alpine ecosystem include stirring up the soil as he forages for tree roots, bulbs, and ground squirrels, increasing species richness and nitrogen availability. As grizzlies disturb the soil and disperse salmon carcasses, more nitrogen becomes available for use.
Grizzlies also play an essential role in regulating prey populations and preventing overgrazing by ungulates.
The Grand Teton National Park suffered from an increase in herbivorous prey populations due to the removal of wolves and grizzly bears, which decreased the density of plants. Migratory bird populations declined as a result of reduced plant density. Like all carnivores, grizzly bears play a vital role in their ecosystems.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Jess Bray
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