Himalayan black bear

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Himalayan black bear
Himalayan bear.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. thibetanus
Subspecies: U. t. laniger
Trinomial name
Ursus thibetanus laniger
Pocock, 1932
Synonyms
  • Selenarctos thibetanus laniger Pocock, 1932[1]

The Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger) is a subspecies of the Asian black bear found in the Himalayas of India, Tibet, Nepal, China and Pakistan.

It is distinguished from U. t. thibetanus by its longer, thicker fur and smaller, whiter chest mark.[2] During the summer, Himalayan black bears can be found in warmer areas in Nepal, China, Russia, and Tibet at altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet up near the timberline. For winter, they descend as low as 5,000 feet, to more tropical forests. On average, they measure from 56 to 65 inches nose to tail and weigh from 200 to 265 pounds, though they may weigh as much as 400 pounds in the fall, when they are fattening up for hibernation.[3]

Diet[edit]

They are omnivorous creatures and will eat just about anything. Their diet consists of acorns, nuts, fruit, honey, roots, and various insects such as termites and beetle larvae. If food is scarce, they may turn to eating livestock such as sheep, goats, and cattle.[3]

Breeding[edit]

They reach sexual maturity at approximately three years. Mating occurs in October with usually two cubs born in February while the mother is still hibernating. The offspring usually stay with their mother into the second year.[3]

Status[edit]

This subspecies is listed as 'vulnerable' due to encroachment of human population, forest fires and the timber industries; these have all reduced the bears' habitat. There is also a high mortality rate among the newborn. And even though hunting of the Himalayan black bear has been forbidden since 1977, there is still a large problem with poaching.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1932). "The Black and Brown Bears of Europe and Asia: Part II". The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 36 (1): 115–116. 
  2. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1941). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. Volume 2. Taylor and Francis, London.
  3. ^ a b c d Bears Of The World. "Himalayan Black Bear". Bears Of The World. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.