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Bozeman, MT, United States

Hopkins III J.B.,Montana State University | Herrero S.,University of Calgary | Shideler R.T.,Alaska Department of Fish and Game | Gunther K.A.,Bear Management Office | And 2 more authors.
Ursus | Year: 2010

We believe that communication within and among agency personnel in the United States and Canada about the successes and failures of their humanbear (Ursidae) management programs will increase the effectiveness of these programs and of bear research. To communicate more effectively, we suggest agencies clearly define terms and concepts used in humanbear management and use them in a consistent manner. We constructed a humanbear management lexicon of terms and concepts using a modified Delphi method to provide a resource that facilitates more effective communication among humanbear management agencies. Specifically, we defined 40 terms and concepts in humanbear management and suggest definitions based on discussions with 13 other professionals from the United States and Canada. Although new terms and concepts will emerge in the future and definitions will evolve as we learn more about bear behavior and ecology, our purpose is to suggest working definitions for terms and concepts to help guide humanbear management and research activities in North America. Applications or revisions of these definitions may be useful outside of North America. © 2010 International Association for Bear Research and Management. Source

Teisberg J.E.,Washington State University | Teisberg J.E.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Haroldson M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Schwartz C.C.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

Spawning cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) were historically abundant within tributary streams of Yellowstone Lake within Yellowstone National Park and were a highly digestible source of energy and protein for Yellowstone's grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (U. americanus). The cutthroat trout population has subsequently declined since the introduction of non-native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and in response to effects of drought and whirling disease (Myxobolus cerebralis). The trout population, duration of spawning runs, and indices of bear use of spawning streams had declined in some regions of the lake by 1997-2000. We initiated a 3-year study in 2007 to assess whether numbers of spawning fish, black bears, and grizzly bears within and alongside stream corridors had changed since 1997-2000. We estimated numbers of grizzly bears and black bears by first compiling encounter histories of individual bears visiting 48 hair-snag sites along 35 historically fished streams. We analyzed DNA encounter histories with Pradel-recruitment and Jolly-Seber (POPAN) capture-mark-recapture models. When compared to 1997-2000, the current number of spawning cutthroat trout per stream and the number of streams with cutthroat trout has decreased. We estimated that 48 (95% CI = 42-56) male and 23 (95% CI = 21-27) female grizzly bears visited the historically fished tributary streams during our study. In any 1-year, 46 to 59 independent grizzly bears (8-10% of estimated Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population) visited these streams. When compared with estimates from the 1997 to 2000 study and adjusted for equal effort, the number of grizzly bears using the stream corridors decreased by 63%. Additionally, the number of black bears decreased between 64% and 84%. We also document an increased proportion of bears of both species visiting front-country (i.e., near human development) streams. With the recovery of cutthroat trout, we suggest bears that still reside within the Lake basin will readily use this high-quality food resource. © 2014 The Wildlife Society. Source

Gunther K.A.,Yellowstone Center for Resources | Shoemaker R.R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Frey K.L.,Bear Management Office | Haroldson M.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 4 more authors.
Ursus | Year: 2014

Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are opportunistic omnivores that eat a great diversity of plant and animal species. Changes in climate may affect regional vegetation, hydrology, insects, and fire regimes, likely influencing the abundance, range, and elevational distribution of the plants and animals consumed by GYE grizzly bears. Determining the dietary breadth of grizzly bears is important to document future changes in food resources and how those changes may affect the nutritional ecology of grizzlies. However, no synthesis exists of all foods consumed by grizzly bears in the GYE. We conducted a review of available literature and compiled a list of species consumed by grizzly bears in the GYE. We documented ≥266 species within 200 genera from 4 kingdoms, including 175 plant, 37 invertebrate, 34 mammal, 7 fungi, 7 bird, 4 fish, 1 amphibian, and 1 algae species as well as 1 soil type consumed by grizzly bears. The average energy values of the ungulates (6.8 kcal/g), trout (Oncorhynchus spp., 6.1 kcal/g), and small mammals (4.5 kcal/g) eaten by grizzlies were higher than those of the plants (3.0 kcal/g) and invertebrates (2.7 kcal/g) they consumed. The most frequently detected diet items were graminoids, ants (Formicidae), whitebark pine seeds (Pinus albicaulis), clover (Trifolium spp.), and dandelion (Taraxacum spp.). The most consistently used foods on a temporal basis were graminoids, ants, whitebark pine seeds, clover, elk (Cervus elaphus), thistle (Cirsium spp.), and horsetail (Equisetum spp.). Historically, garbage was a significant diet item for grizzlies until refuse dumps were closed. Use of forbs increased after garbage was no longer readily available. The list of foods we compiled will help managers of grizzly bears and their habitat document future changes in grizzly bear food habits and how bears respond to changing food resources. © International Association for Bear Research and Management. Source

Bjornlie D.D.,Large Carnivore Section | Thompson D.J.,Large Carnivore Section | Haroldson M.A.,2327 University Way | Schwartz C.C.,2327 University Way | And 5 more authors.
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2014

The distribution of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population has expanded into areas unoccupied since the early 20th century. Up-to-date information on the area and extent of this distribution is crucial for federal, state, and tribal wildlife and land managers to make informed decisions regarding grizzly bear management. The most recent estimate of grizzly bear distribution (2004) utilized fixed-kernel density estimators to describe distribution. This method was complex and computationally time consuming and excluded observations of unmarked bears. Our objective was to develop a technique to estimate grizzly bear distribution that would allow for the use of all verified grizzly bear location data, as well as provide the simplicity to be updated more frequently. We placed all verified grizzly bear locations from all sources from 1990 to 2004 and 1990 to 2010 onto a 3-km×3-km grid and used zonal analysis and ordinary kriging to develop a predicted surface of grizzly bear distribution. We compared the area and extent of the 2004 kriging surface with the previous 2004 effort and evaluated changes in grizzly bear distribution from 2004 to 2010. The 2004 kriging surface was 2.4% smaller than the previous fixedkernel estimate, but more closely represented the data. Grizzly bear distribution increased 38.3% from 2004 to 2010, with most expansion in the northern and southern regions of the range. This technique can be used to provide a current estimate of grizzly bear distribution for management and conservation applications. © 2013 The Wildlife Society. Source

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