Bears belong to the ursid family , a group of omnivorous mammals , but the truth is that their diet differs depending on the species: while the polar bear’s diet is almost exclusively carnivorous, the panda has a mostly herbivorous diet. Others have a more varied diet, based on roots, fruits, insects and also meat.
The Ursid family is made up of 8 species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, almost all of these species are listed as vulnerable or endangered. If you are interested in knowing the endangered species of bears , continue reading this Green Ecology article in which we will tell you everything.
Let’s start with the well-known polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) which, as its name implies, lives at the North Pole. We often hear about why the polar bear is in danger of extinction . In reality, the polar bear is not in danger of extinction but is classified, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as vulnerable to extinction. This means that although it will not become extinct in the short term, conservation efforts are required to prevent the species from becoming extinct in the future. Some of the factors that contribute to their vulnerability are: climate change, pollution, poaching and disturbances in their habitat.
The Tibetan bear, also called the Asiatic black bear or Himalayan bear , inhabits the high-altitude forests of Asia, from Iran to China. This species in particular is one of the bear species that is vulnerable to extinction. The causes that put it in danger are: changes in its habitat, run over on roads and roads, agriculture and aquaculture and poaching.
Although globally it is not in danger of extinction, it is estimated that in certain places it is extinct because certain ancient Chinese medicinal practices demand parts of its body.
There are more than 20 subspecies of brown bear, which are not in danger of extinction. However, the subspecies called Iberian or Cantabrian brown bear, which inhabits the Cantabrian mountain range to the north of the Iberian Peninsula, is classified as endangered . The main threats to which the Iberian brown bear is exposed are: deforestation, changes in land use, diseases transmitted by livestock and climate change.
In China there is the charismatic panda bear which, contrary to what is believed, is not in danger of extinction. However, it is classified as vulnerable to extinction , which implies the need for conservation efforts in order to prevent the situation of the species from worsening. As for the factors that significantly increase their vulnerability, they are related to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.
Learn more about it in these other articles on Panda Bear Habitat and Is the panda going extinct?
The lipped bear or sloth bear, is a bear native to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, although in the latter it is extinct. Currently, globally, it is vulnerable to extinction mainly due to the loss and fragmentation of habitat caused by the development of urbanization and changes in land use. It is also exploited for its usefulness in human and veterinary medicine.
The Malay bear is another species of bear that is vulnerable to extinction . Furthermore, their populations are decreasing in relation to the number of specimens. The vulnerability of the species to extinction is caused by agriculture and aquaculture, poaching and run over on roads and highways. Regarding its distribution, it inhabits the tropical forests of South-East Asia.
Did you know that the spectacled bear is the only bear species in South America? Now you know! Precisely its distribution includes Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela and is characterized by inhabiting the humid forests on the slopes of the mountains of the Andes, for that reason it is also called Andean bear.
Today, the spectacled bear is vulnerable to extinction and the number of specimens in the wild is declining. The factors that threaten their existence are deforestation and change in land use, hunting of their specimens, road accidents and climate change.
How to help endangered bears
As you may have noticed, the different species of bears need us to act now to prevent them from becoming extinct in the future. Fortunately, there are small habits of our daily life that we can incorporate to help the different types of bears in danger of extinction , some of them are:
- It uses less single-use plastics and incorporates reusable and recyclable products; reduces the consumption of chemical products and incorporates biodegradable products. These new habits will reduce the pollution that culminates in rivers and oceans and alters the habitat of bears.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Reducing your personal carbon footprint will help decrease the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere that contribute to climate change. To achieve this you can consume more plant foods than animal products, use bicycles and public transport instead of cars, not turn on lights when it is not necessary and more.
- Avoid the black market. Tourist places usually offer souvenirs that are often made from parts of wild animals. If you enjoy buying these types of souvenirs, feel free to ask what these types of products are made of.