Species / International Ovis

Barren Ground Grizzly

Ursus arctos richardsoni


Found on the mainland of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut north of the tree line and east of the Mackenzie River Delta, but including the Tuktoyaktuk hunting area. A few are also found on the south coast of Victoria Island, these evidently having crossed from the mainland on winter ice. This is the northern limit of brown bear range in North America. Food is scarce, shelter minimal, and long hibernation a necessity. Thus the barren ground grizzly requires the largest home range and has the lowest density and reproductive rate of any North American brown bear. It occurs in small, thinly scattered populations that are largest in western parts of its range, declining gradually toward the east until it almost disappears east of Chantrey Inlet and north of Wager Bay.


Roughly the same size as a mountain grizzly, though smaller than the lowland grizzlies found along the salmon rivers of Alaska and British Columbia. The barren ground grizzly is a handsome bear that is known for its long, luxurious coat, which can come in a variety of colors.


TAXONOMIC NOTES Consists of the named races andersoni (east branch Dease River), inoptinatus (northeast of Fort Anderson), macfarlani (Anderson River), and richardsoni (Bathurst Inlet), with richardsoni Swainson.

Barren Ground Grizzly Bear is counted towards the GSCO Rex Baker Super 40® milestone.

Source: Safari Club International (SCI).

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