Endangered Animal Species: Part-2, Marsicanus Bear

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Endangered Animal Species: Part-2, Marsicanus Bear

Marsican brown bear is a species - critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List - endemic to central-southern Italy, in the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise regions. To date, unfortunately, only about fifty bears survive in the wild, plus a few specimens in other protected areas, for a total that could reach about 85 specimens.

These are extremely shy animals with almost completely (probably even totally) nocturnal habits. The various specimens are solitary and rather territorial: each bear defines its own territory that extends from 10 to 200 km², depending on the availability of food inside.

Marsican bears (in particular males) often make movements of considerable magnitude (often in the breeding season), which in some cases lead them to cross inhabited areas and involuntarily enter into conflict with the local population, causing havoc in the community.

During the winter, Marsican bears dig a more or less deep den or occupy cavities in the rock in which they hibernate for a more or less long period depending on the climatic conditions: for this purpose, between summer and autumn.

, they nourish abundantly, storing large fat pads that they will use to survive during the period of inactivity.

Animal species that are on the verge of extinction: Part-2, Marsicanus Bear

It has a fairly stocky and stocky build, even if more slender than that of other larger brown bear subspecies.

The head is large and rounded, with a cylindrical and rather flattened muzzle with a large blackish nose. The coat is uniform tawny-brown all over the body, with a tendency to darken on the distal part of the limbs, which are large and strong.

The eyes are small and hazel in color, while the ears are also small and rounded in shape, placed slightly on the sides of the skull. The tail is reduced to a stump of less than 10 cm. The habitat of the Marsican brown bear is theoretically quite variable: it adapts in fact to a variety of different environments, even if linked to the immediate vicinity of a wood cover, especially beech and oak woods, typical of the forests of the central Apennines.

Due to the human presence, however, these animals have taken refuge in increasingly inaccessible areas with high forest cover. It seems that during the summer they move towards higher altitude areas with grassy and bushy cover, while during the winter they prefer rocky areas, possibly far from any type of human activity.