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European brown bear

Ursus arctos arctos

CHARACTERISTICS

Family
Ursidae

Weight
80 kg - 150 kg

Habitat
Forests, tundra

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Conserving energy during hibernation

Brown bears hibernate in order to bridge the cold winters without food. The brown giants enjoy up to six months beauty sleep - without eating or drinking - by slowing down their heartbeat and breathing rate, and relying on their stored body-fat reserves. Their body temperature drops only by a few degrees.

Extinct in Germany
Up until the Middle Ages, brown bears were commonplace in the forests and mountains across the entire European continent. However, intensive hunting and deforestation has led to the extinction of the species in many countries, with small populations still surviving in Northern and Eastern Europe. Since 1835, only one brown bear has ever been spotted in Germany: in May 2006, a bear wandered across from the Austrian Alps into Bavaria (Brown bears are loners). Austria then had a population of 35 brown bears, but has since declared the species extinct.

Up until the Middle Ages, brown bears were commonplace in the forests and mountains across the entire European continent. However, intensive hunting and deforestation has led to the extinction of the species in many countries, with small populations still surviving in Northern and Eastern Europe. Since 1835, only one brown bear has ever been spotted in Germany: in May 2006, a bear wandered across from the Austrian Alps into Bavaria (Brown bears are loners). Austria then had a population of 35 brown bears, but has since declared the species extinct.