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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Blanco J.C.,Brown Bear Foundation | Ballesteros F.,Brown Bear Foundation | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

Although brown bears (Ursus arctos) are known to be major predators of ungulates in North America and Northern Europe, there is little documentation regarding bear predation on wild ungulates in Southern Europe. We describe search, detection, killing and prey consumption behaviour by brown bears during seven attacks on ltone-month roe deer, red deer and chamois fawns in spring in the Cantabrian Mountains, north-western Spain. As soon as the bears detected a fawn by their smell or their mother's presence, they switched from routine foraging on plants and insects to an intensive search for the fawns, mainly using smell to comb a 0.5-1 ha area for 15-45 min. They killed the fawns either while the latter were resting or after a brief chase. The bears usually took their prey to dense vegetation, consuming it immediately. In four cases, 5-month-old cubs accompanying the female did not participate in the hunt. We also document the apparently non-predatory killing of a 40-kg wild boar by a female bear with cubs surprised by a sudden encounter. They did not eat the boar after the attack. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Palomero G.,Brown Bear Foundation | Ballesteros F.,Brown Bear Foundation | Nores C.,University of Oviedo | Blanco J.C.,Brown Bear Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Ursus | Year: 2010

We reply to the critique from Fernndez-Gil et al. (2010) regarding our study on trends in female brown bears with cubs (FCUB) in the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (Palomero et al. 2007). We discuss the relationship between sampling effort and the number of FCUB, the methods used to collect the data, and the relationship between the FCUB and the whole bear population. © International Association for Bear Research and Management.

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