Marsican brown bear

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Marsican brown bear
Orso bruno marsicano.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. arctos
Subspecies: U. a. marsicanus
Trinomial name
Ursus arctos marsicanus
Altobello, 1921

The Marsican brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) (Italian: orso bruno marsicano), also known as the Apennine brown bear, is a critically endangered subspecies of the brown bear, with a range restricted to the Abruzzo National Park, and the surrounding region in Italy. Debate exists as to whether it should be considered a subspecies or a taxon of its own.[2]

Range and conservation status[edit]

The Apennine brown bear population is small and isolated. The range of the bear is Italy's Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park, and in the peripheral locations: Sibillini National Park, Gran Sasso-Laga National Park, Majella National Park, Sirente-Velino Regional Park, and Simbruini Regional Park.[3] The population range has significantly reduced over the past 200 years and the remaining population is under threat, particularly from the shift from local agriculture to development in Abruzzo, as well as poaching[4] and poisoning.[5] This has led to a current population size estimated at between 40 and 50 bears living in their respective range.[6]

Biology[edit]

The male Marsican bears can weigh up to 200 kg (440 lb), with an upright height of 1.9 to 2 metres (6 ft 3 in to 6 ft 7 in), while females are typically smaller.[2] The bears are usually very shy, and often only appear at night. Most of the bears are solitary and occupy their own territory, which can be up to 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Djuro Huber (Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe; Bear Specialist Group) (2006). "Ursus arctos". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 3.1 (3.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  2. ^ a b Loy, A.; P. Genov; M. Galfoc; M. G. Jacobonec; A. Vigna Tagliantic (2008), "Cranial morphometrics of the Apennine brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) and preliminary notes on the relationships with other southern European populations", Italian Journal of Zoology, 75 (1): 67–75, doi:10.1080/11250000701689857 
  3. ^ Paolo Ciucci & Luigi Boitani, "The Apennine Brown Bear: A Critical Review of Its Status and Conservation Problems", Ursus, 19: 130–145, doi:10.2192/07per012.1 
  4. ^ Hooper, John (2004-08-24). "Italy battles to save the last of its wild bears". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  5. ^ "Marsican bear found dead in Abruzzo". Italy Magazine. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  6. ^ Alessandra Falcucci; et al. (2008), "Land-Cover Change and the Future of the Apennine Brown Bear: A Perspective from the Past", Journal of Mammalogy, 89 (2): 1502–1511 

Further reading[edit]

  • Loy, A.; P. Genov; M. Galfoc; M. G. Jacobonec; A. Vigna Tagliantic (2008). "Cranial morphometrics of the Apennine brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus) and preliminary notes on the relationships with other southern European populations". Italian Journal of Zoology. 75 (1): 67–75. doi:10.1080/11250000701689857.