Archive Content

Please note: This page has been archived and its content may no longer be up-to-date. This version of the page will remain live for reference purposes as we work to update the content across our website.

A truly international species

Approximately 100,000 brown bears are estimated to live in Eurasia, and about 70,000 of those are found in the former Soviet Union.

8,000 brown bears are thought to remain in western Europe and the Carpathians (Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania), and they are also thought to be found in Palestine, eastern Siberia and the Himalayan region, possibly the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa, and Hokkaido (Japan).

The species is still fairly common in the mountainous regions of western Canada and Alaska, where its population may reach 30,000 individuals. In other parts of the United States, fewer than 1,000 grizzly bears remain.

Historical Distribution

The brown bear was once distributed in northern and central Europe, Asia, the Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria (northern Africa), and western North America as far south as Mexico.

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, it was found on the Great Plains of North America. The populations of the Sierra Nevada and southern Rockies have been extirpated, while those of Northern Mexico were lost in the 1960s. Grizzly numbers were estimated at 100,000 in the United States in the early 1900s.