(McLellan et al 2008)
Most widespread bear in the world.
- Middle East
- Western Canada and western U.S.
Historically, distribution much wider.
- In lower 48 U.S., original range reduced by 98% less than 100 years after arrival of Europeans. (Garshelis 2009)
- Local and regional extinctions (extirpations) occurred:
- Northern Mexico (in 1960s) and much of southwestern U.S
- California (last one shot 1922); still on flag as official state mammal
- North Africa (in 1500s in Sinai Peninsula of Egypt; survived untill 1800s in Algeria & Morocco)
- Extinct more than 500 years ago (Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Jordan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Tunisia, United Kingdom)
- Extinct during last 500 years (Algeria, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Palestinian Territory Occupied, Portugal, San Marino, Switzerland)
- May be extinct in Syria & Bhutan.
Very small populations remain in Nepal & Iraq, French and Andorran Pyrenees Mountains.
Ranges of Polar and Grizzly Bears overlap in N. Canada, N. Alaska, and Chukotka, Russia