The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is distributed throughout parts of northern and central Europe and Asia. Within Asia, its distribution extends to the northern, northeastern, and central Asian countries. In Afghanistan, brown bears are distributed in the northeastern parts including the Darwaz region, Badakhshan. However, the actual status and distribution of the species are not known in Afghanistan. We documented brown bears in Darwaz, where there have been no previous records confirming the presence of the species. Brown bear occurrence was confirmed through public reports during personal interviews, field evidence, and documentation of alleged bear depredation cases. Seventy-two percent of the informants stated that brown bears occur in Darwaz, and depredation complaints were recorded from 17 villages across the area. The highest numbers of complaints were from Nusai District. Cattle, especially bulls, were the major victims of alleged brown bear depredation in the region.
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Vol. 23 • No. 2