FWS Focus

Overview

Scientific Name

Ursus arctos middendorffi
Common Name
Kodiak bear
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

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Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

From the dense forests of Sitka spruce on the northern islands, to steep, glaciated mountains that rise to 4,470 feet (1,360 meters) along the central spine of Kodiak Island, to rolling hills and flat tundra on the south end, Kodiak bears are adaptable and use almost all habitat types on the Kodiak Archipelago. They are most commonly seen using seasonal resources on low-elevation salt marshes in the spring and salmon streams or berry patches in the summer. Both lower-elevation salmonberry and elderberry patches, as well as berries in the alpine tundra, are important to bears. They travel along the island’s many flat open beaches patrolling for marine mammal carcasses, clams or invertebrates among the kelp.

In the winter they use dens, with the type varying by location and local conditions. At high elevations they can often be found in hillside burrows or rocky caves covered in snow, and at lower elevations they may be dug in among alder roots.

Although bears do especially well in remote wilderness areas, they are also regularly seen in the town of Kodiak and in outlying villages. Some bears become primarily nocturnal in towns to minimize their interactions with humans. Many people in urban areas, like the town of Kodiak, have learned to live with bears by taking down bird feeders, securing trash or using electric fences to protect chickens and other attractants. With these adaptations to human behavior, people enjoy opportunities to view bears in town. Still, bears are regarded as a nuisance by others, raiding dumpsters or opening car doors looking for an easy meal.

Marine

Having to do with water

Grassland

Ecosystem with large, flat areas of grasses.

Forest

Land covered by evergreen trees in cool, northern latitudes. Also called taiga.

Coastal
Tundra

Cold, treeless region in Arctic and Antarctic climates.

Cave or Karst
Lake
Mountain
Rural
Urban
River or Stream
Wetland
Marine

Having to do with water

Grassland

Ecosystem with large, flat areas of grasses.

Forest

Land covered by evergreen trees in cool, northern latitudes. Also called taiga.

Coastal
Tundra

Cold, treeless region in Arctic and Antarctic climates.

Cave or Karst
Lake
Mountain
Rural
Urban
River or Stream
Wetland
Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

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Food

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Similar Species

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Life Cycle

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Behavior

Geography

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