Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis)

loading
Gobi bear
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Gobi bear fact file

Gobi bear description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyUrsidae
GenusUrsus (1)

This subspecies of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a shy and elusive resident of the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Brown bears characteristically have a robust frame with a powerful shoulder hump of muscle (3). The Gobi bear has longer limbs and a shorter golden coat than its relatives elsewhere (4).

Size
Length: 150 cm (2)
Weight
90 – 100 kg (2)
Top

Gobi bear biology

Very little is known about this shy and intriguing bear. Individuals forage in the dusty desert for the leaves and roots of plants such as wild rhubarb (4) and bajunna, as well as consuming insects and lizards (2).

Top

Gobi bear range

Found only in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia (2), this population is thought to be a relict from previous centuries when the vegetation in the area was less harsh (4). Over recent decades, the population has been observed to fluctuate and the most recent estimates are as few as 30 individuals remaining (5).

Top

Gobi bear habitat

Found in hilly and rocky desert areas, often near to water sources such as ponds and springs (2).

Top

Gobi bear status

Listed as Very Rare in the Red Book of Mongolia (2).

Top

Gobi bear threats

This relict population is believed to have become rare and isolated due to changing climatic conditions in the area (4). The population is thought to be relatively stable but its small size makes it particularly vulnerable to any chance event such as drought (2). Disturbance by people and livestock is also a threat (2), and cubs are at risk from predation by wolves (4).

Top

Gobi bear conservation

Mongolian scientists are undertaking research into the behaviour of this poorly understood bear in the hope that this may hold the key to its survival (4). More information is desperately needed before any conservation measures may be considered. Time is running out for this largely forgotten bear (2) in the strange and inhospitable landscape of the desert.

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
Top

Glossary

Subspecies
A different race of a species, which is geographically separated from other populations of that species.
Top

References

  1. Macdonald, D (2001) The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press.
  2. Save the Gobi Bear (March, 2003) http://www.gobibear.org/index.htm
  3. Burnie, D. [ed.] (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. MOUNTAINS OF THE SNOW LEOPARD (1994. Graham Creelman)
  5. The Red Book of Mongolia (March, 2003) http://www.owc.org.mn/ibook/0019/mammals/gobibear/1mon.html
X
Close

Image credit

Gobi bear  
Gobi bear

© Granada Wild

Granada Wild
c/o ITN Source
200 Gray's Inn Road
London
WC1X 8XZ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7430 4480
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7430 4453
uksales@itnsource.com
http://www.itnsource.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog