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Great Bear Almanac Paperback – February 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558214747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558214743
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Brown, a recently retired National Park Service ranger and an expert on conservation and bear managment, has written an almanac with many lists, charts, tables, and some text. He compiled data from scientists, bear authorities, naturalists, adventurers, explorers, and laypersons. Although the information will prove useful to specialists, the intended audience is students. The emphasis is upon North American bears, but there is also coverage of bears throughout the world.

The book is in two parts. The first, entitled "Bears in Their World," covers such topics as evolution, names and taxonomy, disposition, and personality. The second part covers a vast array of topics under the title "Bears in the Human World," including bears in religion and in the entertainment world, hunting, eating bear meat, human injuries and fatalities, and the future of bears. Throughout the book more than 300 black-and-white photographs are appropriately placed; there are also two inserts of color photographs. The sources of information in tables is usually cited. Also, there are occasional bibliographies within the text (e.g., "Important Contributions to Bear Literature").

The almanac has three appendixes. The first lists stratigraphic periods, the second includes excerpts from two treaties (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and the third lists 33 "Organizations Involved in the Preservation, Research, and Management of Bears," with mailing addresses and a short annotation giving the emphasis of each organization. This is followed by a glossary listing 35 terms with one-sentence definitions. The bibliography lists a total of 217 books and articles in full bibliographic format. The work concludes with an index.

The Great Bear Almanac is unique in its almanac format and coverage. For example, the excellent book, Bears of the World by Domico (Facts On File, 1988), covers such subjects as bear physiology, social behavior, habitats, and distribution patterns in a manner similar to the book under review, but only The Great Bear Almanac lists endangered bears by state and covers such topics as bears in art and Sherlock Holmes and bears. The Great Bear Almanac is a unique publication that should be considered for purchase by public, middle, and high school libraries and interested academic institutions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The bears of the world, from the polar bear of the Arctic to the grizzlies of Yellowstone and the black bears that roam our eastern woodlands, are among the most studied, and most loved, of all wild creatures.Here in a single volume, The Great Bear Almanac collects what is known about the world's bears, presenting in words and gorgeous photographs, a complete factual compendium of bear knowledge for the amateur naturalist and the bear specialist alike.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Anyone who is ever remotely interested in bears should read this book. It is suitible for all ages. I found it to be very informative and easy to understand. Anything you want to know about bears is in this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Little on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
The information in this book is thorough, accessible, and contains all the information you could possibly want to know about the natural history and lives of bears. All of the information is well documented and thoroughly researched. It is my go-to guide for all bear matters. The only down-side is that at this point, it is rather out-of-date. However, a second edition is about to be released here: The Bear Almanac, 2nd: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bears of the World

If you are not very interested in bears themselves and are looking for ways to prevent "nuisance" bear encounters (bears in your yard/trash/etc.), I would recommend other books instead, such as:
Outwitting Bears: The Essential Handbook for Living with Bears, Avoiding Encounters, and Preventing Attacks on Anyone Living in Bear Country
Living With Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country
Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (revised edition)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best all-around resource for information about the American Black Bear. I work with bears and keep this
book handy for self and staff alike.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By happy chance, I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Bircher who is Curator of large mammals and carnivores at the world-famous and truly wonderful St. Louis Zoo because I am researching European Brown Bears for an upcoming novel. Among many odd questions about tamed bear behavior and background, I asked Mr. Bircher to recommend a scientifically accurate but readable and understandable book about bears to help me know their realities, life cycle, diet, propensities, etc. This book, he said, was an absolute must have.

The Great Bear Almanac is indeed comprehensive and well-illustrated with images. There are chapters on anatomy and physiology, behavior and activities, bears in the human world, their influence on humans, and sadly, how we misuse and hunt them as well as conflicts between us and bears. That may sound dry. But wait, here's the best part, it's stuffed full of fascinating facts about bears, how they get around, parasites and illnesses, digestion, paw-sucking (who can resist a bear when sucking a paw, I ask you?), travel and navigation, climbing, playing, their communication and more. This is a treasure trove for anyone who wants to know anything about bears in general and about specific bear species (Panda, black, brown, asiatic, polar, sloth, sun, speckled and subspecies). I love this book and will be able to incorporate intriguing bear facts in my fiction as a result.

So I will pass on the recommendation of a genuine honest-to-God, hands-down expert: Get this book. It's everything you ever wanted to know about bears. And stuff you didn't realize you wanted to know but will love knowing. Paw sucking, I mean what is not to love.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent overview on many aspects of natural history, biology, behavior and the human/bear relationship. In addition to ample information provided in this volume, there are numerous references for further reading. Highly recommended.
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