There are eight bear species in all and a number of sub-species. Let us introduce you to them, including two bears on the edge of extinction.

North American Black Bear

Ursus americanus - a medium-sized bear found across North America.

Brown bear

Ursus arctos - the most successful of all bears, found across northern Eurasia and North America

Polar Bear

Ursus maritimus - the largest of all bears still alive, found across the Arctic Circle 

Andean (or Spectacled) Bear

Tremarctos ornatus - the last remaining short-faced bear and the only bear native to South America

Giant Panda

Ailuropoda melanoleuca - with a diet of 99% bamboo this bear native to south central China is almost totally vegetarian

Sloth Bear

Melursus ursinus - an insectivorous bear native to the Indian subcontinent.

Sun Bear

Helarctos malayanus - classified as Vulnerable this bear is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and is also knows as the Honey Bear

Asiatic Black Bear

Ursus thibetanus - also known as the moon bear, this is a tree-climbing bear found in the Himalayas, India, Korea, China, Russia and islands off Japan and Taiwan.

Brown bear sub species: 

Of the 15 known Brown bear sub-species, the Atlas bear, Mexican Grizzly and Bergman's bear are extinct, with the Himalayan Blue Bear practically gone from the wild, and less than 2 dozen Gobi bears left in existence. 

Himalayan blue bear - possibly extinct in the wild

Ursus arctos pruinosus - a subspecies of brown bear, this bear is rarely sighted in the wild and may be extinct in the wild.

Gobi bear - the rarest bear in the world

Ursus arctos gobiensis - found in the Gobi desert or Mongolia, this subspecies of brown bear has only 30-40 adults remaining in the wild.  If you'd like to get involved in saving this bear, you can learn more and donate at the Gobi Bear Project here

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