Juvenile Coastal Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)
Wolverine Creek, Big River Lakes, Alaska
The Coastal Brown Bears of Big River Lake are only accessible via float plane out of Soldotna, Alaska. The scenic half an hour flight will bring you to a remote, pristine landscape where you transfer to a pontoon boat with an experienced guide. Here you can watch the bears as they search for salmon at the mouth of the creek and around the perimeter of the lake.
Bears are lean in the spring or early summer when they emerge from hibernation. In contrast, they gain weight rapidly during late summer and fall and are very large just prior to denning. Store of fat will bring a male’s weight to between 500- 900 pounds, while a weight of 1,400 pounds is not unheard of in the fall. The size of the home range of an individual brown bear will vary with the concentration of high energy food sources. Brown bears living in salmon-rich coastal areas require only about 10.5 square miles. Brown bears do not normally defend their home ranges from other bears, so it is normal for the home ranges of individual bears to overlap each other.
Brown bears are fast for their size, able to attain speeds of 35 miles per hour for a short distance. They have an especially good sense of smell and under the right conditions may be able to detect odors more than a mile away. Their hearing and eyesight are equivalent to that of humans. They may live to 34 years in the wild, though this is rare, generally males live to 22 years, females 26 years.
AlaskaAntelopeBearsBig River LakeBrown BearJacqueline Deely PhotographyMammalNatureOmnivoreUnited StatesWildlifeWolverine Creekursus arctos