Facts about Formosan Black Bear, Formosan black bear is a sub variety of the Asiatic black bear that belongs to the genus Ursus of the Ursidae family. The scientific name of the bears is Selenarctos thibetanus formosanus or Ursus thibetanus formosanus, and it is also commonly called as the White-throated Bear. These bears are prevalent in Taiwan and they are also the biggest land animals and the only local bears in Taiwan. The Formosan Black Bear attained the nick name, the Dog Bear, owing to its snout that looks like that of a dog. Due to harsh exploitation and home degradation in current decades, populations of these wild bears have been waning. The Formosan Black Bear has been included in the endangered species list of the Wildlife Conservation Act of Taiwan. The geographic distribution of the Formosan Black Bear is limited to remote, rocky regions at an altitude that ranges from 3,300 feet to 11,500 feet (1,000 m to 3,500 m).
Features of Formosan Black Bear
The Formosan black bear has a well-built body. This bear has a circular head, petite neck, tiny eyes, and elongated snout. The head of the Formosan Black Bear has a length that ranges from 10 3/8 inches to 14 inches (26 cm to 35 cm), with a circumference, ranging from 16 inches to 24 inches (40 cm to 60 cm). The ears of this bear vary in length from 3 1/4 inches to 4 3/4 inches (8 cm to 12 cm).
The tail of the Formosan black bear is subtle and short, typically with the length of less than 4 inches (10 cm). The body of this bear is well covered with coarse, silky, black color hair that can grow in length of more than 4 inches (10 cm) around its neck. The tip of the chin of the bear is white in color, and there is a unique whitish or yellowish mark on its chest that assumes the shape of the letter "V" or a crescent moon. This feature of the Formosan Black Bear makes the it to earn another nickname, called the Moon Bear.
Diet of Formosan Black Bear
In the wilds, the Formosan black bear mostly feeds on leaves, fruits, roots, buds, even though they also feed on small animals, insects, and carrion. Diets of the Formosan Black Bear are monitored in the captive, and they are fed with succulent plants during the spring season, carbohydrate-rich, soft fruits during the summer season, and fat-encumbered hard mast, such as acorn and walnut during the fall or the winter season.
Behavior of Formosan Black Bear
During the winter season, the Formosan Black Bear moves to lower altitudes to locate food. These bears are active during daytime and more active during the summer, fall, or winter season than during the spring season. The Formosan Black Bear are chiefly active during the nighttime in the fall or winter season when acorns are copious. They are lonely animals and they generally move around widely, except when caring for cubs or during the mating season. The Formosan Black Bear are also the solitary animals on the earth that make provisional nests. Even though the Formosan Black Bear appear clumsy and sluggish, they can outrun humans effortlessly, reaching velocities of 30 to 40 km per hour. They are also skilled at climbing and swimming.
The average lifespan of the Formosan Bear ranges from 25 years to 30 years in the wild, whereas in the captive, they can live more than 35 years.