California grizzly (Ursus arctos californicus) in Santa Barbara, Natural History Museum (Vahe Martirosyan – CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are three accepted subspecies of brown bear (Ursus arctos) which are now extinct:

A fourth subspecies, Bergman’s bear (Ursus arctos piscator) is an alleged and, if it ever existed, probably extinct subspecies of in the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula. It was proposed and named by the  Swedish zoologist Sten Bergman in 1920.  He determined that the bear was a separate subspecies after examining a hide (which had fur very different from other bears in the locality) and a series of footprints, measuring 14.5 X 10 inches (34 X 25 cm) he believed indicated a bear much larger than the Kamchatka brown bear (Ursus arctos beringianus).

Page updated 23 April 2020

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