|Ursus arctos gobiensis|
|Subspecies:||U. a. gobiensis|
|Ursus arctos gobiensis|
Sokolov & Orlov, 1992
The Gobi bear, Ursus arctos gobiensis (known in Mongolian as the mazaalai/Мазаалай), is a subspecies of the brown bear, Ursus arctos, that is found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. It is listed as critically endangered by Mongolian Redbook of Endangered Species and by the Zoological Society of London using IUCN standards. The UN backed Convention of Migratory Species selected Gobi bear for protection in 2017. The population included only around 30 adults in 2009 and is separated by enough distance from other brown bear populations to achieve reproductive isolation.
Break camp about 9.30 a.m. and head for the Atis Mountains. We cross a large open plain and then enter a steep-sided, black, shale-strewn valley. Just before we entered the valley we discovered the footprints of the extremely rare Gobi Bear (ursus gobiensis) [there are presumed to be approximately only thirty-two in the world and there is continuing debate among scientists over whether they are a true species or a sub-species].
Gobi bears mainly eat roots, berries, and other plants, sometimes rodents; there is no evidence that they prey on large mammals. Small compared to other brown bear subspecies, adult males weigh about 96.0–138.0 kg (211.6–304.2 lb) and females about 51.0–78.0 kg (112.4–172.0 lb).
Based on morphology, the Gobi brown bear has sometimes historically been classified as being of the same subspecies as the Tibetan blue bear. However, recent phylogenetic analysis has shown the Gobi bear to instead represent a relict population of the Himalayan brown bear. There are only 45 Gobi bears left in the wild.
- "Chimpanzees among 33 breeds selected for special protection". BBC. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
- "GOBI BEAR CONSERVATION IN MONGOLIA" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- Hare, John (2009). Mysteries of the Gobi: Searching for Wild Camels and Lost Cities in the Heart of Asia. London: I. B. Tauris. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-1-84511-512-8. OCLC 236120414.
- Lan T., Gill S., Bellemain E., Bischof R., Zawaz M.A., Lindqvist C. (2017). "Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284: 20171804. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1804.
- Chadwick, Douglas (April 2014). "Can World's Rarest Bear Be Saved?". National Geographic. Joe Riis (photography).
- "Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis)". Wildscreen Arkive. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- Chadwick, Douglas (2017). Tracking Gobi Grizzlies: Surviving Beyond the Back of Beyond. Joe Riis and Douglas Chadwick (photography). Ventura, Cal.: Patagonia Books. ISBN 9781938340628. OCLC 984164885. Preview.
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