Asiatic Black Bear

Order:  Carnivorashutterstock_81530668

Family:  Ursidae

Genus:  Ursus

Species:  Ursus thibetanus

Where Found

Southern Asia, Northeast China, Japan and Far Eastern Russia

Other Names

Himalayan Black Bear, Tibetan Black Bear, Moon Bear


The Asiatic black bear is medium-sized, with a black coat and a lightish muzzle, with white on the chin.  There is a distinct white patch on the chest which is sometimes in the shape of a “V.”  The “golden moon bear” represents a color phase.


Adult males range from 220 to 440 pounds (100 to 200 kg), while adult females weight from 110 to 275 pounds (50 to 125 kg). Birth weight is 10.5 ounces (298 grams).


Female Asiatic black bears mature at three to four years of age.  Mating practices and birthing seasons are different between populations.  Cubs are weaned at less than six months, but may stay with their mothers for two to three years.

Social Life

Little is known of the social organization in the wild.


Asiatic black bears eat fruits, nests of bees, insects, invertebrates, small vertebrates, and carrion.


Asiatic black bears inhabit forested areas, especially hills and mountainous areas.  They are distributed through Southern Asia, Northeast China, Japan and Far Eastern Russia.  Their habitat varies by seasons; they spend their summer at higher elevations and descend to lower elevations during the winter.

Wild Population

The population of Asiatic black bears is unknown.  It is estimated that their numbers have declined by 30% in the last 30 years.  They are threatened by habitat destruction and the harvesting of forests.


Asiatic black bears and American black bears are sister taxa; they are more closely related to each other than to the six other living bear species.  In northern parts of their range, Asiatic black bears den to hibernate, but in the in the southern limits of their range they probably do not.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Project Initiatives

Bear trust focuses on 4 primary project initiatives:

  1. Conservation Education
  2. Bear Research & Management
  3. Habitat Conservation
  4. Conservation Policy

Contact Info

PO Box 10850
Bozeman, MT 59719
Phone: (406) 523-7779