Grizzly Bear Behaviour in Forested, Clearcut and Non-Forested Areas in Sub-Boreal British Columbia

Posted on Jul 8, 2014

Author

Lana M. CIARNIELLO, Douglas C. HEARD, and Dale R. SEIP

Correspondence: Lana M. Ciarniello, Aklak Wildlife Consulting, 3021 Jody Lynne Way, Campbell River, British Columbia, V9H 1N3, Canada. Email: aklak@telus.net


Abstract

Forestry operations impact the distribution, abundance and diversity of species as well as the processes of succession.  To understand the mechanisms of how forestry afects Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos L.), we need to know how bears use harvested stands and unlogged areas.  To get at that, we visited 311 locations of 28 (16 female, 12 male) Grizzly Bears, 1998-2003, to determine how bears were using those sites. We determined the bears’ primary activity at each site and categorized the cover type as either: (1) clearcut; (2) forested stand; or, (3) non-forested.   Sites were normally visited within 7 days of the bear leaving the area.  Grazing on graminoids and forbs was common in all three stand types.  Bears fed on more ants/larvae in clearcuts than forested stands, whereas they fed on more meat in forested stands than clearcuts.  We did not detect bears foraging more on berries in clearcuts than forested stands.  Twenty percent of the identiied behaviours related to non-foraging activities and resting was the primary non-foraging behaviour with bears resting more in forests than clearcuts or non-forested cover types.  We also showed activity diferences among spring, summer and fall.  Moving/travelling occurred in all three cover types as expected, but bears travelled more in fall than spring or summer.  Resting sites were more common in the forest than in the other landcover types in all three seasons.  Overall, bears tended to feed in clearcuts and rest in forests.

Key Words: Bedding Sites, Behaviour, Clearcut, Food, Forestry, Grizzly Bear, Habitat Use, Ursus arctos.

 

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