Mongolian brown bear (General) Sept 7, 2011 10:37:20 GMT -9
Post by grrraaahhh on Sept 7, 2011 10:37:20 GMT -9
Above: Mongolian brown bear, Chinese zoo.
Two sub-species of bears occur in Mongolia: brown bears (Ursus arctos jeniseensis), and Gobi bears (U. a isabellinus). This report reviews the status of these two sub-species.
(Ursus arctos jeniseensis), 1758 Biology
The taxonomy of the brown bear on a subspecies level in Mongolia is still unclear In 1953, Russian zoologist A. G. Bannikov first mentioned that U a. baicalensis was distributed in the Khentii, Hovsgol, and Mongolian Altai forests. He also reported that U a. beringianus Middendort may occur in the Khalkh and Nomrog River Valleys of Eastern Mongolia (Bannikov 1954). Later Russian scientists (Stroganov 1962) classified this subspecies as U a. jeniseensis Ognev. Earlier, Lonn-berg (1923) and Allen (1938) had mentioned that the Ikh Khyangan Range Forest (in Eastern Mongolia) may be home to U a beringianus Middendorf (mandshuri-cus or basiotus). This bear is differentiated from U a jeniseensis by a bigger body and a longer skull. Brown bears (U. a. jeniseensis) in Altai, Khangai, Khentii and Hovsgol are differentiated from U a. arctos by then longer, thicker, and softer hair Coloration is variable, but mainly brown. Legs, back and sides are dark-brown. Adult males may weigh 140-400 kg (mean 300 kg) compared with 100-210 kg (mean 200 kg) for females. At birth, cubs weigh 350-700 grams (Bannikov 1954; Bold 1967).
Mating takes place from late June to early July, and young are born from about January to February. Litter sizes of 1-2 are most common (Bold 1967).
In Mongolia, brown bears occupy a wide range of habitats including dense forests, sub-alpine mountain areas, and tundra. Common habitats of browns bear in Mongolia are remote and dense forests with fallen trees, marshes and forest glades. During spring and summer they prefer alpine areas and river valleys with forest glades and nearby reservoirs where they rest in tall grasses and bushes. In the Mongolian Altai, brown bears live in small willow groves or rocks. Depending on climate and location in Mongolia, bears hibernate from October-November until March or even May, i.e., 5-6 months. During years in which food is abundant, bears begin hibernation later, at the end of November. Brown bear dens mainly occur under thick fallen trees or gaps among roots and rocks.
Brown bears in Mongolia mainly eat plants such as grasses, sedges, bulbs, and roots. They also eat insects such as ante, as well as fish and small mammals. In some areas they have become significant predators of ungulates such as moose (Alces alces), caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and red deer (Cervus elaphus) (Bold 1967; Dulamtseren 1970). Foods used depend on landscape, plant condition and plant quality. In early spring, brown bears in Mongolian forests feed on poplar, offshoots of trees, moss, roots, nuts fromthe previous season, and ante. Fromthe beginning of summer, they feed mostly on berries, fruit, nuts, green plants, insects, fish, and often scavenge. They occasionally predate moose, wild boar (Sus scrofa), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer, and musk deer (Moschus moschiferus). At the end of summer and beginning of autumn, bears mainly feed on plants because of the abundance of various ripe berries, nuts and plant roots. Brown bears in the Mongolian Altai feed on pikas (Ochotona spp.), marmots (Marmota spp.), and other rodents. Bears in northern Mongolia often visit oat fields in the fall, where local people sometimes kill them (Bold 1967; Dulamtseren and Ganbat 2000).
Text extract from The Status of Bears in Mongolia; PDF LINK: www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.japanbear.org%2Fuab%2Fpdf%2Fchapter12.pdf&rct=j&q=The%20Status%20of%20Bears%20in%20Mongolia&ei=AsRnTun3FsrE0AHl1fHKCw&usg=AFQjCNGoxE-Wy5FjRvwyzvcE6ZCZS6dpMw&cad=rja