Thai National Parks

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Mammals of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Asian black bear

Binomial name: Ursus thibetanus, Georges-Frédéric Cuvier, 1823

The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear, is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, seen across much of the Himalayas and the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Taiwan, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian far east and the Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan. It is classed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species, mostly due to deforestation and active hunting for its body parts. The species is morphologically very similar to some prehistoric bears, and is thought by some scientists to be the ancestor of other extant bear species. Though largely herbivorous, Asian black bears can be very aggressive toward humans, and have frequently attacked people without provocation. The species was described by Rudyard Kipling as "the most bizarre of the ursine species."

Local names

  • Abor: Situm
  • Baluch: Mam
  • Bengali: Balak or Bhalluk
  • Bhotia: Thom
  • Burmese: Wekwon
  • Daphla: Sutum
  • Garo: Mapol
  • Hindi: Kala Bhalu (also spelt Bāloo) or Reech (also spelt Rinch) Rikh in many areas of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) and Himachal Pradesh
  • Japanese: ツキノワグマ (tsukinowaguma), literally meaning "crescent bear"
  • Kachari: Miephúr or Musu-bhurma
  • Kannada: Karadi
  • Kashmiri: Seeah harpat
  • Korean: 반달가슴곰 (bandalgaseumgom), literally "half-moon chest bear"

Khasi - Dngiem

  • Kuki: Viempi
  • Khowar: Shra Okhchz, (meaning "Black Bear")
  • Mizo: Savawm or Vawmpui
  • Lepcha: Sona
  • Manchu: najihiyan (ᠨᠠᠵᡳᡥᡳᠶᠠᠰ), mojihiyan(ᠮᠣᠵᡳᡥᡳᠶᠠᠰ), dojihiyan (ᠳᠣᠵᡳᡥᡳᠶᠠᠰ)
  • Manipuri: Sawom
  • Marathi: Aswal
  • Naga: Húghúm, Thagua, Thega, Chúp, Sevam or Sápá
  • Nepali: Sanár or Hingbong
  • Persian: خرس (khers)
  • Russian: Гимала́йский медве́дь (gimalayskiy medved, meaning "Himalayan bear") or белогрудый медве́дь (belogrudiy medved, meaning "white-chested bear")
  • Standard Chinese: 亞洲黑熊 (traditional) 亚洲黑熊 (simplified) Yàzhōu hēixióng, meaning "Asian black bear"
  • Tamil: Karadi
  • Telugu: Elugu Banti
  • Thai: หมีควาย (mǐǐkwaai), literally "buffalo bear"
  • Urdu: ریچھ (reech)
  • Pashto: ايږ (yiẓ̌)
  • Vietnamese: gấu ngựa, lit. "horse bear"

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Scientific classification

Ursus thibetanus

Common names

  • English:
    • Asiatic black bear
    • Himalayan black bear
  • French:
    • Ours à collier
    • Ours de l'Himalaya
    • Ours du Tibet
    • Ours noir d'Asie


  • Ursus torquatus, William Thomas Blanford (1888)
  • Selenarctos thibetanus

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Range map of Ursus thibetanus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

It is free to use this map on various media. See the creative common license terms by clicking "CC" icon below the map. But remember, again; the map may not be accurate or complete.

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