Geographical Range Alaska, western Canada, northwestern United States
Habitat Forests, shrublands, alpine tundra
Scientific Name Ursus arctos horribilis
Conservation Status Common

Grizzlies are immense bears, weighing up to 1,400 pounds. They eat both plants and animals, and are very adept at fishing for salmon and trout. They rely on their sense of smell more than their hearing or sight, and often stand on their hind legs to sniff their surroundings.

The grizzly is just one subspecies, or type, of brown bear (Ursus arctos). While grizzlies are confined to northwestern North America, other types of brown bears are found in Europe, northern Asia and Japan. The species as a whole is found in fairly healthy numbers worldwide (200,000 or more). But their Conservation Status hides the fact that many brown bear populations are in danger of extinction. This is certainly true of grizzlies. Once found throughout the mountains of western North America, habitat loss and hunting have reduced their numbers to only about 1,000 in the lower 48 states. For this reason, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service considers the grizzly bear (south of Canada) to be threatened with extinction.

Did You Know?

A grizzly bear can sprint 30 to 35 miles an hour over short distances -- faster than many horses.