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The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a large bear distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It can weigh from 300 to 780 kilograms (660 to 1,700 lb) and its largest subspecies, the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family and as the largest land-based predator.
There are several recognized subspecies within the brown bear species. In North America, two types are generally recognized, the coastal brown bear and the inland grizzly, and the two types could broadly define all brown bear subspecies. Grizzlies weigh as little as 350 lb (159 kg) in Yukon, while a brown bear, living on a steady, nutritious diet of spawning salmon, from coastal Alaska and Russia can weigh 1,500 lb (682 kg). The exact number of overall brown subspecies remains in debate.
While the brown bear's range has shrunk, and it has faced local extinctions, it remains listed as a least concern species by the IUCN, with a total population of approximately 200,000. Its principal range countries are Russia, the United States (mostly in Alaska), Canada, the Carpathian region (especially Romania, but also Ukraine, Slovakia, and so on), the Balkans, Sweden and Finland, where it is the national animal. The brown bear is the most widely distributed of all bears.
Location:Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
Photographer:BARRETT HEDGES/National Geographic Stock