Brown Bears during Salmon Run in Katmai National Park – Live from Alaska

[Video streams have no sound and will be off air when it’s night time in Alaska]

(Ursus arctos) are Caniform (dog-like) mammals. Except the polar bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) who is strictly a carnivore all other brown bears (Grizzly, Kodiak and Siberian brown bear) are omnivores and biologically are the same species. This means they can interbreed when species barriers gets lifted. As Arctic sea ice disappears polar bear habitat shrinks and thus they are forced to move southern latitudes and mate with grizzlies more frequently.

Brown bears need high energy fat reserves before their winter hibernation. Bears in northern-most lattitudes will neither eat nor drink for periods as long as 8 months, relying only on stored body-fat reserves for energy and water. Migrating salmon is a very valuable food source in this respect. One interesting fact is that radio-tracked brown bears in Glacier National Park have been documented to eat army cutworm moth larvae throughout the summer in very large quantities.

Katmai National Preserve harbors largest population of brown bears. Brook Falls is a particularly important location for salmon spawning. Close to 70 brown bear individuals have been documented to hunt in this special stretch of the river system.

Explore.org does a wonderful job to bring these mega-faunal observations straight into our screens. Without further due, you can listen to Q & A sessions with Wildlife biologist Chris Morgan and learn more about these bears while watching the live cam:

 

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