This document is a guide to activities intended to increase the knowledge of grizzly bears, their evolution, biology, behaviour, population dynamics, and feeding and habitat requirements. Questions are asked and tasks/activities described for each of these topics.
Ursus arctos, the grizzly or brown bear, is a difficult species to study. It is secretive and it leads a complicated life. It needs a lot of habitat and it needs to be free from temptations such as garbage dumps often plunked by humans on its wilderness doorstep. In many ways, the grizzly has human-like attributes. It can stand up tall on its hind legs. Females will nurture and guard their offspring at almost any cost. In its wilderness home it is free; the top-level (omnivorous) predator. It is a symbol of the wilderness, and rightly so, for biologists know that to save the grizzly will safeguard the survival of most animal species that share its wilderness home. But to save the grizzly, we must understand it. We must understand its needs and its adaptations and its evolutionary history.
?The fate of bears in many areas of the world will be decided in the next 10-20 years. The future of several species is in serious doubt. The elimination of bears from 50-75 percent of their historic range has already occurred and the remaining range will decrease unless serious efforts are focused on bear conservation.?
See also associated Teacher Guide.
Denning, David. 1998. Grizzly Bear Biology - Concepts and Activities - Student Guide. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks