Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Asian black bear

Ursus thibetanus

Georges-Frédéric Cuvier, 1823

In Thai: หมีควาย

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

  • German:
    • Kragenbär
    • Asiatische Schwarzbär
    • Mondbär
    • Tibetbär
  • English:
    • Asiatic black bear
    • Himalayan black bear
  • Spanish:
    • Oso de collar
    • Oso negro de Asia
  • French:
    • Ours à collier
    • Ours de l'Himalaya
    • Ours du Tibet
    • Ours noir d'Asie
  • Italian:
    • Orso dal collare
    • Orso tibetano
  • Dutch: Aziatische zwarte beer
  • Russian:
    • Гимала́йский медве́дь
    • белогру́дый медве́дь
    • чёрный гималайский медведь
    • чёрный уссурийский медведь
  • Swedish: Kragbjörn
  • Thai: หมีควาย


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

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)


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Asian black bear
Ursus thibetanus
Asian black bear cub
Asian black bear area

Range Map

Distribution map of Asian black bear, Ursus thibetanus in Thailand
  • Doi Suthep - Pui National Park
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Laem National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
Range map of Ursus thibetanus in Thailand