Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi)

The Kodiak bear, also known as the Kodiak brown bear, inhabits the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in southwest Alaska. Its Alutiiq name is taquka-aq. It is the largest recognized subspecies of brown bear, and one of the two largest bears alive today, the other being the polar bear.

There is generally much variation in size between brown bears in different areas, most usually weigh between 115 and 360 kg The Kodiak bear, on the other hand, commonly reaches sizes of 300 to 700 kg. Despite this large variation in size, the diet and lifestyle of the Kodiak bear does not differ greatly from that of other brown bears.

Ever since the first humans arrived in Alaska over the Bering land bridge, encounters between people and Kodiak bears have occurred. Today, these encounters have become relatively more common as a result of the increase in the human population in the region. Such encounters have included the hunting of bears by humans for their fur or meat, and, less commonly, attacks by bears upon humans. More recently, as conservation efforts have become more commonplace, concerns over the sustenance and stability of the Kodiak bear population have arisen. The IUCN classifies Ursus arctos, the species to which the Kodiak belongs, as being of "least concern" in terms of endangerment or extinction. However, the IUCN does not differentiate between subspecies; therefore, it is unknown whether the Kodiak bear population is as healthy as is stated. As a result, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, along with, to a lesser extent, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, closely monitors the number of bears hunted in the state.