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Formosan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is native to Taiwan and is found in forests spread across two-thirds of Taiwan ranging from Chatienshan Reserve (the snow mountain area) in Sheipa National Park, and from Taroko National Park south to Tawushan Reserve through Yushan National Park. This endangered species of Asiatic black bear is identified by the V-shaped mark around the neck. It is an endangered and protected species of bear due to the precariously low population levels. Formosan black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are territorial animals hence these wild animals do not enter each other’s territory except during mating season or while caring for their young offspring. These wild animals are caught by using bear traps by hunters to sell their body parts on the black market. During winter, rather than simply hibernating, this wild bear species will move to lower elevations in Taiwan's mountains.
Ursus thibetanus formosanus is also known as the white-throated bear because of the markings on its chest. This Asiatic black bear is also known as the dog bear because they are known to bark like dogs. Read along to know more interesting facts about the Asiatic black bears or Formosan bears. For more relatable content, check out these brown bear facts and sun bear facts for kids.
Formosan black bear (Ursus thibetanus formosanus) is a bear. It is a winter-active species of Asian black bear and is one the largest mammals on the land and the largest mammal in Taiwan.
A Formosan black bear belongs to the mammals class of animals. The Formosan black bear is a subspecies giant of the Asiatic black bears. During winter, rather than hibernating, the Asian black bear moves towards lower elevations to forage for food.
The Formosan black bears' population has greatly decreased in recent decades in Taiwan leading to the need for bear conservation. Estimates are that there are only 200-800 Formosan black bears left in the world, primarily in the mountain forests of Taiwan.
A Formosan black bear lives in the mountain forests of Taiwan. Their largest populations are in Lala mountain in Chatienshan Reserve, the snow mountain area, and south to Tawushan Reserve.
The Formosan black bears' habitat is forests on the mountains of Taiwan. These wild animals make a den in hollow trees. They like to live away from humans. Each of the bears has a separate habitat. They do not cross each other's habitat except during mating.
The Formosan black bears usually live alone in wildlife. But during the breeding season, they are found in groups in their habitat.
A Formosan black bear has a long lifespan in the wildlife. It has a life expectancy of about 30 years.
The mating season of Formosan black bears is from June to August, after winter. The female Formosans reach sexual maturity at the age of three to four years and males at four to five years. The females of this species mate once every two years. Males chase around females until the females agree to mate during the mating season. The gestation period is six to seven months. One to three cubs are born in every litter. The cubs are laid in dens in hollow trees. The nursing period is six months. The cubs live with the mother until they reach approximately two years of age.
The conservation status of the Formosan bear is Vulnerable on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Their population has decreased due to illegal hunting by setting traps. Hence, bear conservation and protection have become important to retain the populations of these subspecies.
Formosan black bears have black-colored fur. They are large animals with a sturdy build. They have a short neck that balances their large head. The ears of this species are long and semi-rounded. Their tail is short and not clearly visible on them. They have a large snout like the dogs. These bears have small eyes. Formosan bears have a V-shaped white-colored mark on their chest which looks like a crescent moon.
Formosan black bears are extremely cute. They are chubby, soft, and tall. They resemble the famous teddy bears and hence have amazing cute features.
Formosan black bears usually live alone. Hence, the need for communication is very little. Females communicate with their mates and cubs by leaving their scent on trees. This species rubs themselves on trees to leave behind a trail for them to be found.
A Formosan black bear is a large-sized mammal. It measures up to be in the range of 51.2-70.9 in (130-180 cm). The Formosan black bears are five to six times bigger than a colobus monkey.
Formosan black bear is a fast runner. It can run as fast as 25 mph (40 kph).
Formosan black bear is a huge animal. It weighs in the range of 110-440 lb (50-200 kg).
Males of the Formosan black bear species are called boars and females of the Formosan black bear species are called sows or she-bears. These bears of Taiwan move to lower elevations in winter.
A baby Formosan black bear is called a cub. In a litter, anywhere from one to three cubs are born. The cubs remain with mothers for a period of one year.
Formosan black bears are omnivorous species of animals. These bears feed on buds, leaves, roots, and fruits. They prey on insects and small animals. These bears of Taiwan also feed on carrion. They search for food in winters.
The Formosan black bears are solitary animals. These bears of Taiwan do not like to interact with humans. Even if they encounter a human they are likely to turn the other way. These bears do not attack unless provoked. Their claws are very sharp and can cause serious injuries.
Formosan black bears are wild animals and are not of social disposition. They are not compatible to live with humans. Their diet requirements cannot be satisfied in a common household. Hence, the Formosan black bears do not make a good pet.
The Formosan black bears are active during the winter unlike other species of bears.
The known predators for Formosan black bears are mountain lions, mountain wolves, and other bears.
The biggest wild black bear ever killed was a 700 lb (317.5 kg) male shot in New Jersey, USA.
The Formosan black bears are not endangered but these bears of Taiwan are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN list. Lots of illegal hunting by the hunters, by setting traps for their body parts to be sold in the black market has resulted in their populations diminish. They were, in 1989, listed as Endangered and Protected by Taiwan's Culture Heritage and Conservation Law and Taiwan’s Wildlife Conservation Law.
The Formosan black bears are called moon bears because of the unique V-shaped patch around the neck. This V-shaped patch is white in color and looks like a crescent moon.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these spider monkey facts and pygmy slow loris facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable formosan black bear coloring pages.
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