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Bears: Ursidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, American Black Bear (ursus Americanus;): Species Accounts, Giant Panda (ailuropoda Melanoleuca): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEARS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATU

GIANT PANDA (Ailuropoda melanoleuca): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Spectacled bears are found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Brown bears live in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. American black bears inhabit the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Malayan sun bears, sloth bears, and Asiatic black bears thrive in Asia. Giant pandas live in China, while polar bears occupy the Arctic regions.

Bears live in a variety of habitats. For example, spectacled bears can be found in the dense rainforests of South America, and Malayan sun bears thrive in tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia, while polar bears live on the Arctic tundra.

Bears are generally omnivores, eating both plants and animals. However, the polar bear is almost entirely carnivorous, eating mainly ringed seals, while the giant panda lives exclusively on bamboo. The sloth bear favors termites and ants. The other species, while preferring plant sources, also eat young animals and fish.

People hunt some bear species for meat and trophies. Some Asian cultures use bear parts to treat diseases. In addition, many zoos house bears as exhibit animals.

The giant panda is considered Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction, or dying out, in the wild. The spectacled, sloth, and Asiatic black bears are considered Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. These and other bear species are threatened by declining populations due to losing habitat, as humans clear more land for agriculture, mining, and other activities.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals