Index of Species Information

WILDLIFE SPECIES:  Ursus arctos horribilis

Introductory

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Ursus arctos horribilis
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Snyder, S. A. 1991. Ursus arctos horribilis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].
ABBREVIATION : URARH COMMON NAMES : grizzly bear grizzly brown bear TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for grizzly bear is Ursus arctos horribilis. North American subspecies of brown bear include [6]: Ursus arctos arctos, brown bear Ursus arctos horribilis, grizzly bear Ursus arctos stickeenensis Ursus arctos nelsoni, Mexican grizzly bear, possibly extinct ORDER : Carnivora CLASS : Mammal FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : The grizzly bear is listed as Threatened in most of the conterminous United States. Some popultaions in Idaho and Montana are listed as Experimental Populations (nonessential); populations in the Cabinet-Yaak and Selkirk zones are Candidate populations under review. Populations in the North Cascades are also listed as Candidate populations under review [42]. OTHER STATUS : Information on state- and province-level protection status of animals in the United States and Canada is available at NatureServe, although recent changes in status may not be included.

WILDLIFE DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Ursus arctos horribilis
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The grizzly bear ranges from Alaska east through the Yukon and Northwest Territories, south through British Columbia and through the western half of Alberta.  Isolated populations exist in northwestern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, and northwestern Wyoming. Ursus a. horribilis includes all brown bear of continental North America; U. a. ssp. middendorffi includes brown bear on the Alaskan islands of Kodiak, Afognak, and Shuyak.  U. a. ssp. nelsoni's range is in northern Mexico [6]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES11 Spruce-fir FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES29 Sagebrush FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES44 Alpine STATES :
AK ID MT WA WY AB BC MB YK MEXICO
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :    8  Northern Rocky Mountains    9  Middle Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K001  Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest    K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest    K003  Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest    K004  Fir - hemlock forest    K005  Mixed conifer forest    K008  Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest    K011  Western ponderosa forest    K012  Douglas-fir forest    K013  Cedar - hemlock - pine forest    K014  Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest    K015  Western spruce - fir forest    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest    K050  Fescue - wheatgrass    K052  Alpine meadows and barren    K063  Foothills prairie SAF COVER TYPES :     16  Aspen     18  Paper birch    109  Hawthorn    201  White spruce    202  White spruce - paper birch    203  Balsam poplar    204  Black spruce    205  Mountain hemlock    206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir    208  Whitebark pine    210  Interior Douglas-fir    212  Western larch    213  Grand fir    215  Western white pine    217  Aspen    218  Lodgepole pine    219  Limber pine    221  Red alder    222  Black cottonwood - willow    223  Sitka spruce    224  Western hemlock    225  Western hemlock - Sitka spruce    226  Coastal true fir - hemlock    227  Western redcedar - western hemlock    228  Western redcedar    229  Pacific Douglas-fir    230  Douglas-fir - western hemlock    235  Cottonwood - willow    237  Interior ponderosa pine    251  White spruce - aspen    252  Paper birch    253  Black spruce - white spruce    254  Black spruce - paper birch SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY PLANT COMMUNITIES : Although timber is an important habitat component, grizzly bear prefer more open habitats.  Timbered plant communities most frequented by grizzly bear include subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)-whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), lodgepole pine (P. contorta)-Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and spruce (Picea spp.)-western redcedar (Thuja plicata)-hemlock (Tsuga spp.) forests.  Sedge (Carex spp.)-bluegrass (Poa spp.) meadows are also important, as well as shrubfields and low- and high-elevation riparian communities [3,23,36,39].

BIOLOGICAL DATA AND HABITAT REQUIREMENTS

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Ursus arctos horribilis
TIMING OF MAJOR LIFE HISTORY EVENTS : Mating Season - breed every 2 to 3 years; May through July Birthing Season - late November through February; one to four cubs, two                   is common Gestation - 6 to 7 months with delayed implantation Age of Maturity - 5 to 8 years for females Life Span - 25 years or more in captivity Denning - between October and May; length of time depends on food           availability, weather conditions, and sex of animal; may emerge           if disturbed by human activity [6,17,31] PREFERRED HABITAT : Grizzly bear prefer open, shrub communities, alpine and low elevation meadows, riparian areas, seeps, alpine slabrock areas, and avalanche chutes [32,36,38].  They typically choose low elevation riparian sites, wet meadows, and alluvial plains during spring [28,36].  During summer and fall grizzly bear more frequently use high elevation meadows, ridges, and open, grassy timbered sites [28,32].  Various authors have mapped and evaluated grizzly bear habitat [5,30,35]. COVER REQUIREMENTS : Optimal grizzly bear cover is wooded areas interspersed with grass- and shrubland.  Ruediger and Mealy [29] defined hiding cover as that which is capable of hiding an animal at 200 feet (61 m) or less in an area of 30 to 50 acres (12-20 ha).  Thermal cover was defined as coniferous trees at least 40 feet (12 m) tall with a 70 percent canopy cover in a 7- to 50-acre (3-20 ha) area.  These authors recommended maintaining 30 percent of grizzly bear habitat as cover.  McLellan [22] stated that not enough significance is given to timbered areas as components of grizzly bear habitat.  Graham [13] found that in Yellowstone National Park, grizzly bear preferred open areas that were within 160 feet (50 m) of cover.  McLellan and Shakleton [23] reported that the bears use areas within 300 feet (100 m) of roads during the day, but that darkness is sufficient "cover" for road use at night.  Grizzly bear use daybeds in timbered areas that are near feeding sites [3,28].  Winter dens are usually excavated in hillsides, although dens are also made in rock caves, downfall timber, and beneath trees and stumps [6,31,36]. FOOD HABITS : Grizzly bear primarily eat grasses, forbs, roots, tubers, and fruits. They also eat carrion, grubs, insects, particularly army cutworm moths (Noctuidae) and ladybird beetles (Coccinelidae), fish, small rodents, various bird species, and garbage [39].  Adult males also prey on subordinate grizzly bear and on black bear [14].  Orchards, beehives, and crops may be damaged by grizzly bear; they may also prey on livestock [17,32].  Some of the more common plant foods are russet buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Sitka mountain-ash (Sorbus sitchensis), snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), whitebark pine seeds, pine (Pinaceae) vascular cambium, willow (Salix spp.), dogwood (Cornus spp.), huckleberry and blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), dandelion (Taraxacum spp.), sweetvetch (Hedysarum spp.), clover (Trifolium spp.), cowparsnip (Heracleum spp.), glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), horsetail (Equisetum spp.), lomatium (Lomatium spp.), kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), strawberry (Fragaria spp.), buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.), paintbrush (Castelleja spp.), thistle (Cirsium spp.), fritillary (Fritillaria spp.), boykinia (Boykinia richardsonii), and sheathed cottonsedge (Eriophorum vaginatum) [6,8,13,14,26,29,32,37,39]. PREDATORS : Grizzly bear predators include humans and other grizzly bear [17]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Grizzly bear have a low reproductive rate and late maturation age which makes them susceptible to overharvesting.  Also, many grizzly bear are poached or hit by cars and trains.  Other factors contributing to the bear's decline are habitat use and disturbance by humans, both for commercial and recreational purposes; and fire control, which in some instances can result in reduced acres of food-rich seral shrubfields [17,19,33,38].  Grizzly bear have been known to prey on livestock where their ranges overlap and occasionally kill humans as a result of chance encounters, usually in the backcountry.  Because of conflicts between grizzly bear and humans, grizzly bear habitat should be isolated from developed areas, preferably in areas that receive only light recreational, logging, or livestock use [45]. Logging can benefit grizzly bear populations if silvicultural treatments promote berry-producing shrubs.  However, timber management effects should be considered over the entire rotation because an increase in shrubs may only redistribute grizzly bear and not increase their numbers [27].  Logging can also increase human access to critical grizzly bear habitat, disturbing populations.  Roads should be located away from feeding areas, such as shrubfields, wet meadows, and riparian zones. Road and seasonal trail closures must also be enforced [27,29]. Scarification and dozer pile burning can disturb soil and kill valuable food shrubs [38].  Several authors list timber management recommendations and road construction guidelines in grizzly bear habitat [25,28,37,39,41].

FIRE EFFECTS AND USE

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Ursus arctos horribilis
DIRECT FIRE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS : Direct fire-related mortality probably occurs but may not have a significant impact on the grizzly bear population as a whole [44]. HABITAT RELATED FIRE EFFECTS : Many authors have blamed fire suppression in some areas for the decline of grizzly bear [7,25,35,36].  Fires can promote and maintain many important berry-producing shrubs and forbs, as well as provide a medium for insects and in some cases carrion.  Referring to the Yellowstone National Park fires of 1988, Blanchard and Knight [44] stated: "The most important apparent immediate effect of fires on grizzly bears was the increased availability of some food items, especially carcasses of elk." Studies in western Montana showed that spring burning in Douglas-fir-ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) types promoted huckleberry sprouting [24].  The number of stems present after burning were closely related to the number present before burning.  Grouse whortleberry (Vaccinium scoparium) declined following fire in western Montana because its shallow rhizomes were killed by the heat [37,38].  In the same study most shrubs occurred on sites burned 35 to 70 years previously.  Martin [21] found that huckleberry was most productive on sites burned between 25 to 60 years previously or on sites clearcut and burned 8 to 15 years previously.  Huckleberry on sites left untreated for more than 60 years was least productive.  Other shrubs that respond well to overstory removal and broadcast burning are elderberry (Sambucus spp.), Sitka mountain ash, serviceberry, and buffaloberry [15].  FIRE USE : Fire can be used to create and maintain seral shrub communities for grizzly bear by rejuvenating shrubs, releasing nutrients, and discouraging conifer dominance [25,37].  In the case of postharvest treatment, many authors recommend broadcast burning and discourage dozer pile burning.  The latter method can damage rhizomes, root crowns, and the soil [4,16,29,37,39].  Natural fire programs as well as prescribed burning for improved grizzly habitat are encouraged and practiced by some National Forests [7,11,16,25,35].  Garcia [11] and Holland [16] discuss burning practices on the Kootenai and Flathead National Forests. A fire-induced increase of berry-producing shrubs may only be beneficial if spread over large areas that encompass home ranges of several bears [33].  However, prefire plant composition may dictate postfire composition [24].  Berry-producing shrubs must be provided continually over time to be beneficial [15].  Miller [24] recommends burning huckleberry during spring in Montana Douglas-fir-western larch (Larix occidentalis) communities.  Also, burning should be conducted when duff is damp; fires that remove most of the duff often reduce huckleberry density.

REFERENCES

WILDLIFE SPECIES: Ursus arctos horribilis
REFERENCES :  1.  Agee, James K.; Stitt, Susan C. F.; Nyquist, Maurice; Root, Ralph. 1989.        A geographic analysis of historical grizzly bear sightings in the North        Cascades. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. 55(11):        1637-1642.  [14672]  2.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]  3.  Blanchard, Bonnie M. 1980. Grizzly bear - habitat relationships in the        Yellowstone area. Int. Conf. Bear Research and Management. 5: 118-123.        [8386]  4.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672]  5.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672]  6.  Craighead, John J.; Mitchell, John A. 1987. Grizzly bear. In: Chapman,        Joseph A.; Feldhamer, George A., eds. Wild mammals of North America.        Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press: 515-556.  [14911]  7.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672]  8.  Edge, W. Daniel; Marcum, C. Les; Olson-Edge, Sally L. 1987. Summer        habitat selection by elk in western Montana: a multivariate approach.        Journal of Wildlife Management. 51(4): 844-851.  [14372]  9.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672] 10.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905] 11.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672] 12.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998] 13.  Graham, Dean Chalmus. 1978. Grizzly bear distribution, use of habitats,        food habits and habitat characterization in Pelican & Hayden Valleys,        Yellowstone National Park. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.        M.S. thesis.  [5165] 14.  Hechtel, John L. 1985. Activity and food habits of barren-ground grizzly        bears in arctic Alaska. Missoula, MT: University of Montana. 74 p.        Thesis.  [14905] 15.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672] 16.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672] 17.  Jonkel, Charles. 1978. Black, brown (grizzly) and polar bears. In:        Schmidt, John L.; Gilbert, Douglas L., eds. Big game of North America.        Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books: 227-248.  [14702] 18.  Jonkel, C. J.; McMurray, Nanka. 1978. The Pacific Northwest Trail and        grizzly bears. Border Grizzly Special Report No. 15. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana, School of Forestry, Border Grizzly Project. 6 p.        [14912] 19.  Knight, Richard R. 1980. Biological considerations in the delineation of        critical habitat. In: Martinka, Clifford J.; McArthur, Katherine L.,        eds. Bears--their biology and management: Proceedings, 4th international        conference on bear research and management; 1977 February 21-24;        Kalispell, MT. Conference Series No. 3. [Place of publication unknown].        Bear Biology Association: 1-3.  [14913] 20.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the        conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored.  [3455] 21.  Martin, Patricia A. E. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium        globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 136 p. Thesis.  [9130] 22.  Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. 1986.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium. General Technical Report        INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Research Station. 252 p.  [672] 23.  McLellan, B. N.; Shackleton, D. M. 1988. Grizzly bears and        resource-extraction industries: effects of roads on behaviour, habitat        use and demography. Journal of Applied Ecology. 25: 451-460.  [14620] 24.  Miller, Melanie. 1977. Response of blue huckleberry to prescribed fires        in a western Montana larch-fir forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-188. Ogden,        UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest        and Range Experiment Station. 33 p.  [6334] 25.  Moss, Mary Beth; LeFranc, Maurice N., Jr. 1987. Management techniques        and strategies. In: LeFranc, Maurice, N., Jr.; Moss, Mary Beth; Patnode,        Kathleen A.; Sugg, William C., III., eds. Grizzly bear compendium.        Washington, DC: The National Wildlife Federation: 137-156.  [14910] 26.  Noble, William. 1985. Shepherdia canadensis: its ecology, distribution,        and utilization by the grizzly bear. Unpublished paper on file at: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT: 28 p.  [14917] 27.  Knighton, M. Dean. 1981. Growth response of speckled alder and willow to        depth of flooding. Res. Pap. NC-198. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service,North Central Forest Experiment Station. 6        p.  [14328] 28.  Reichert, Chris. 1989. Silviculture in grizzly bear habitat. In:        Silviculture for all resources: Proceedings of the national silviculture        workshop; 1987 May 11-14; Sacramento, CA. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 48-60.  [6398] 29.  Ruediger, William; Mealey, Stephen. 1978. Coordination guidelines for        timber harvesting in grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana.        [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]. 44 p. On file at:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT.  [19354] 30.  Scaggs, Gordon B. 1974. Vegetation description of potential grizzly bear        habitat in the Selway- Bitterroot Wilderness Area, Montana and Idaho.        Missoula, MT: Univeristy of Montana. 148 p. Thesis.  [14907] 31.  Servheen, Christopher. 1981. Grizzly bear ecology and management in the        Mission Mountains, Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana. 138 p.        Dissertation.  [14908] 32.  Servheen, Christopher. 1983. Grizzly bear food habits, movements, and        habitat selection in the Mission Mountains, Montana. Journal of Wildlife        Management. 47(4): 1026-1035.  [14499] 33.  Smith, Barney. 1979. Bears and prescribed burning. In: Hoefs, M.;        Russell, D., eds. Wildlife and wildfire: Proceedings of workshop; 1979        November 27-28; Whitehorse, YT. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Wildlife Branch:        177-182.  [14082] 34.  Sullivan, T. P.; Harestad, A. S.; Wikeem, B. M. 1990. Control of mammal        damage. In: Lavender, D. P.; Parish, R.; Johnson, C. M.; [and others],        eds. Regenerating British Columbia's Forests. Vancouver, BC: University        of British Columbia Press: 302-318.  [10722] 35.  Tirmenstein, Debra A. 1983. Grizzly bear habitat and management in the        Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 213 p. Thesis.  [14906] 36.  Willard, E. Earl; Herman, Margaret. 1977. Grizzly bear and its habitat.        Final Report, Cooperative Agreement between U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 1 and University of Montana, Montana        Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 28 p.  [15115] 37.  Zager, Peter Edward. 1980. The influence of logging and wildfire on        grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University        of Montana. 131 p. Dissertation.  [5032] 38.  Zager, Peter; Jonkel, Charles; Habeck, James. 1983. Logging and wildfire        influence on grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana. In: Meslow,        E. Charles, ed. 5th International conference on bear research and        management; [Date of conference unknown]; Madison, WI. [Place of        publication unknown]. International Association for Bear Research and        Management: 124-132.  [5500] 39.  Zager, Peter E.; Jonkel, Charles J. 1983. Managing grizzly bear habitat        in the northern Rocky Mountains. Journal of Forestry. 81(8): 524-526,        536.  [14790] 40.  Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Vol. 2.        New York: John Wiley and Sons. 1271 p.  [14765] 41.  Dood, Arnold R.; Brannon, Robert D.; Mace, Richard D. 1986. Final        programmatic environmental impact statement for the grizzly bear in        northwestern Montana. Helena, MT: Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife        and Parks. 287 p.  [14909] 42.  U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Endangered Species Program, [Online]. Available: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/. [86564] 43.  Montana Natural Heritage Program. 1990. Animal species of special        concern. Helena, MT: Montana Natural Heritage Program. 5 p.  [13751] 44.  Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R. 1990. Reactions of grizzly        bears, Ursus arctos horribilis, to wildfire in Yellowstone National        Park, Wyoming. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 104(4): 592-594.  [15305] 45.  Spowart, Richard A.; Samson, Fred B. 1986. Carnivores. In: Cooperrider,        Allan Y.; Boyd, Raymond J.; Stuart, Hanson R., eds. Inventory and        monitoring of wildlife habitat. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the        Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Service Center: 475-496.  [13526] 46.  U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994.        Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. 50 CFR 17.11 & 17.12.        Washington, DC: [Publisher unknown]. 42 p.  [24413] 47.  Washington Department of Wildlife. 1994. Species of special concern in        Washington - state and federal status. Olympia, WA: Washington        Department of Wildlife. 41 p.  [25414] 48.  Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 1992. Canadian        species at risk. Ottawa, ON. 10 p.  [26183]


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