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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Supplementary ungulate feeding affects movement behaviour of brown bears

Published source details

Selva N., Teitelbaum C.S., Sergiel A., Zwijacz-Kozica T., Zieba F., Bojarska K. & Mueller T. (2017) Supplementary ungulate feeding affects movement behaviour of brown bears. Basic and Applied Ecology, 24, 68–76

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary food to increase reproduction/survival Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 2008–2015 in a mountain forest and grassland site in the northeast Carpathians, Poland (Selva et al. 2017) found that supplementary feeding of ungulates altered brown bear Ursus arctos behaviour. Bears encountered feeding sites more frequently (GPS-tracked bears: 0.15 sites/km; snow-tracked bears: 0.93 sites/km) than expected at random (0.05 sites/km). From 2008–2010, a complete inventory of 212 ungulate feeding sites in the 1,500 km2 study area was compiled through interviews with land managers and field inspections. Feeding occurred regularly, often year-round but especially in autumn and winter, and usually in the same location for decades. In spring and autumn 2008–2009 and 2014–2015, nine bears were captured and fitted with GPS collars. Bear locations were recorded every 30 minutes for five days at the start of each month, and used to create 49 GPS-tracks (average 34 km long). From December–March 2010–2012, 40 snow tracks of unmarked bears longer than 500 m were recorded (average 6 km long). To determine what would be expected if movements were at random, for each of the 49 GPS tracks recorded, 100 random tracks were created using the same start point and number of locations, and by randomly choosing the distance travelled and angle turned between points.

(Summarised by Andrew Bladon)