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Sample records for bears ursus arctos

  1. First report of Taenia arctos (Cestoda: Taeniidae) from grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in North America.

    PubMed

    Catalano, Stefano; Lejeune, Manigandan; Verocai, Guilherme G; Duignan, Pádraig J

    2014-04-01

    The cestode Taenia arctos was found at necropsy in the small intestine of a grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and a black bear (Ursus americanus) from Kananaskis Country in southwestern Alberta, Canada. The autolysis of the tapeworm specimens precluded detailed morphological characterization of the parasites but molecular analysis based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene confirmed their identity as T. arctos. This is the first report of T. arctos from definitive hosts in North America. Its detection in Canadian grizzly and black bears further supports the Holarctic distribution of this tapeworm species and its specificity for ursids as final hosts. Previously, T. arctos was unambiguously described at its adult stage in brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) from Finland, and as larval stages in Eurasian elk (Alces alces) from Finland and moose (Alces americanus) from Alaska, USA. Given the morphological similarity between T. arctos and other Taenia species, the present study underlines the potential for misidentification of tapeworm taxa in previous parasitological reports from bears and moose across North America. The biogeographical history of both definitive and intermediate hosts in the Holarctic suggests an ancient interaction between U. arctos, Alces spp., and T. arctos, and a relatively recent host-switching event in U. americanus. PMID:24382413

  2. Genetic relationships of extant brown bears (Ursus arctos) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Cronin, Matthew A; MacNeil, Michael D

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (Ursus arctos) are closely related species for which extensive mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic comparisons have been made. We used previously published genotype data for 8 microsatellite DNA loci from 930 brown bears in 19 populations and 473 polar bears in 16 populations to compare the population genetic relationships of extant populations of the species. Genetic distances (Nei standard distance = 1.157), the proportion of private alleles (52% of alleles are not shared by the species), and Bayesian cluster analysis are consistent with morphological and life-history characteristics that distinguish polar bears and brown bears as different species with little or no gene flow among extant populations. PMID:23125409

  3. MEDULLOBLASTOMA IN A GRIZZLY BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS HORRIBLIS).

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jeffrey W; Thomovsky, Stephanie A; Chen, Annie V; Layton, Arthur W; Haldorson, Gary; Tucker, Russell L; Roberts, Gregory

    2015-09-01

    A 3-yr-old female spayed grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated for seizure activity along with lethargy, inappetence, dull mentation, and aggressive behavior. Magnetic resonance (MR) examination of the brain revealed a contrast-enhanced right cerebellar mass with multifocal smaller nodules located in the left cerebellum, thalamus, hippocampus, and cerebrum with resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed mild mononuclear pleocytosis, with differentials including inflammatory versus neoplastic processes. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid were also submitted for polymerase chain reaction and agar gel immunodiffusion to rule out infectious causes of meningitis/encephalitis. While awaiting these results, the bear was placed on steroid and antibiotic therapy. Over the next week, the bear deteriorated; she died 1 wk after MR. A complete postmortem examination, including immunohistochemisty, revealed the cerebellar mass to be a medulloblastoma. This is the only case report, to the authors' knowledge, describing a medulloblastoma in a grizzly bear. PMID:26352975

  4. Acquired arteriovenous fistula in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Tuttle, Allison D; MacLean, Robert A; Linder, Keith; Cullen, John M; Wolfe, Barbara A; Loomis, Michael

    2009-03-01

    A captive adult male grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated due to multifocal wounds of the skin and subcutaneous tissues sustained as a result of trauma from another grizzly bear. On presentation, one lesion that was located in the perineal region seemed to be a deep puncture with purple tissue protruding from it. This perineal wound did not heal in the same manner or rate as did the other wounds. Twenty-five days after initial detection, substantial active hemorrhage from the lesion occurred and necessitated anesthesia for examination of the bear. The entire lesion was surgically excised, which later proved curative. An acquired arteriovenous fistula was diagnosed via histopathology. Arteriovenous fistulas can develop after traumatic injury and should be considered as a potential complication in bears with nonhealing wounds. PMID:19368261

  5. Disseminated pleomorphic myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Mete, A; Woods, L; Famini, D; Anderson, M

    2012-01-01

    The pathological and diagnostic features of a widely disseminated pleomorphic high-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma are described in a 23-year-old male brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Firm, solid, white to tan neoplastic nodules, often with cavitated or soft grey-red necrotic centres, were observed throughout most internal organs, subcutaneous tissues and skeletal muscles on gross examination. Microscopically, the tumour consisted of pleomorphic spindle cells forming interlacing fascicles with a focal storiform pattern with large numbers of bizarre polygonal multinucleate cells, frequently within a collagenous stroma. Immunohistochemistry, Masson's trichrome stain and transmission electron microscopy designated the myofibroblast as the cell of origin. This is the first case of a high-grade myofibrosarcoma in a grizzly bear. PMID:22297075

  6. Clostridium sordellii in a brown bear (Ursus arctos) from Spain.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; Oleaga, Álvaro; Polledo, Laura; Aduriz, Gorka; Atxaerandio, Raquel; Kortabarria, Nekane; Marín, Juan F García

    2013-10-01

    Clostridium sordellii is found in the environment and occasionally in animal (including human) intestines and may cause myonecrosis and large outbreaks of enterotoxemia. A few cases of fatal clostridial infection in bears (Ursus spp.) have been described worldwide but none attributed to C. sordellii. We describe a fatal case of septicemia caused by C. sordellii in an illegally trapped brown bear (Ursus arctos). At necropsy, acute gangrenous myositis was the primary lesion. Serohemorrhagic edema was observed in the abdominal cavity, thorax, pericardium, and skeletal muscle, mostly affecting femoral, humeral, and scapular muscles. Hemorrhage was observed in the heart, skeletal muscles, stomach, and intestine. Liver, spleen, and kidney appeared with loss of consistency, hemorrhages, and edema. Microscopically, primary lesions were in skeletal muscle, stomach, and small intestine, with gram-positive, clostridial-like bacilli. Biochemical and molecular tests identified C. sordellii in cultures from liver, muscle, and intestine. Sequences showed a homology of >99% with the 16S rRNA gene sequence of C. sordellii. The severity of effects of the C. sordellii infection reveal the importance of this pathogen as a wildlife health risk with conservation concerns, as well as the need to consider possible infection with this pathogen in management actions involving immobilization, stress, or severe muscular activity of wild brown bears. PMID:24502739

  7. Cardiac function adaptations in hibernating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T

    2010-03-01

    Research on the cardiovascular physiology of hibernating mammals may provide insight into evolutionary adaptations; however, anesthesia used to handle wild animals may affect the cardiovascular parameters of interest. To overcome these potential biases, we investigated the functional cardiac phenotype of the hibernating grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) during the active, transitional and hibernating phases over a 4 year period in conscious rather than anesthetized bears. The bears were captive born and serially studied from the age of 5 months to 4 years. Heart rate was significantly different from active (82.6 +/- 7.7 beats/min) to hibernating states (17.8 +/- 2.8 beats/min). There was no difference from the active to the hibernating state in diastolic and stroke volume parameters or in left atrial area. Left ventricular volume:mass was significantly increased during hibernation indicating decreased ventricular mass. Ejection fraction of the left ventricle was not different between active and hibernating states. In contrast, total left atrial emptying fraction was significantly reduced during hibernation (17.8 +/- 2.8%) as compared to the active state (40.8 +/- 1.9%). Reduced atrial chamber function was also supported by reduced atrial contraction blood flow velocities and atrial contraction ejection fraction during hibernation; 7.1 +/- 2.8% as compared to 20.7 +/- 3% during the active state. Changes in the diastolic cardiac filling cycle, especially atrial chamber contribution to ventricular filling, appear to be the most prominent macroscopic functional change during hibernation. Thus, we propose that these changes in atrial chamber function constitute a major adaptation during hibernation which allows the myocardium to conserve energy, avoid chamber dilation and remain healthy during a period of extremely low heart rates. These findings will aid in rational approaches to identifying underlying molecular mechanisms. PMID:19940994

  8. Use of ungulates by Yellowstone grizzly bears Ursus arctos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    Previous results of fecal analysis from the Yellowstone area and the known abilities of grizzly bears Ursus arctos to acquire and digest tissue from vertebrates suggested that grizzlies in this ecosystem obtained substantial energy from ungulates. This issue was addressed using observations from radio-marked grizzly bears, 1977a??1992. Ungulates potentially contributed the majority of energy required for activity during the non-denning season for both adult female and male grizzlies. Most of this energy (95%) was estimated to come from the largest-bodied ungulate species (elk Cervus elaphus, bison Bison bison, and moose Alces alces), with greatest proportional contributions by scavenged adult male bison (16%), scavenged calf and yearling elk (10%) and adult female elk that were killed (8%) or scavenged (8%). Grizzlies acquired 30% of total edibles from ungulates by predation, of which 13% (or 4% of the total) came from predation on elk calves. Most scavenging occurred during the spring and was associated with the abundance and relative availability of different types of carrion. Predation and scavenging did not appear to be compensatory. Rather, total consumption of ungulates varied inversely with consumption of whitebark pine Pinus albicaulis seeds. The relative frequency of predation to scavenging increased with ungulate density. Contrary to previous suppositions, neither total ungulate use nor frequency of predation increased during the study, despite large increases in some ungulate populations. As expected by the identified trade-offs, Yellowstone grizzlies seemed to prey selectively upon moose, probably because of their solitary habits and forested surroundings, but otherwise favored vulnerable smaller-bodied ungulates such as elk calves. No predation on adult bison was observed.

  9. Congenital Tracheal Web Malformation in a Wild Brown Bear ( Ursus arctos ), Sweden, 2010.

    PubMed

    Ågren, Erik O; Söderberg, Arne

    2016-04-28

    We describe a congenital tracheal web malformation in a wild female brown bear (Ursus arctos) yearling that was euthanized after being hit by a train in Norrbotten County, Sweden, December 2010. A 3-cm-long, abnormal, longitudinal mucosal fold divided the trachea into two halves, without obviously blocking the airflow. PMID:27054473

  10. Cub adoption by brown bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) on Kodiak Island, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, V., Jr.; Smith, R.

    1993-01-01

    We report three cases where female Brown Bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) with new (1 winter season. The adoptions occurred in a sampling of 104 litters produced by 89 different females on Kodiak Island, Alaska during 1982-1990. A maximum of six cubs were reared from litters that probably would have produced 3-4 subadults if the adoptions had not taken place.

  11. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) prevent trabecular bone loss during disuse (hibernation).

    PubMed

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Wojda, Samantha J; Barlow, Lindsay N; Drummer, Thomas D; Castillo, Alesha B; Kennedy, Oran; Condon, Keith W; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Donahue, Seth W

    2009-12-01

    Disuse typically causes an imbalance in bone formation and bone resorption, leading to losses of cortical and trabecular bone. In contrast, bears maintain balanced intracortical remodeling and prevent cortical bone loss during disuse (hibernation). Trabecular bone, however, is more detrimentally affected than cortical bone in other animal models of disuse. Here we investigated the effects of hibernation on bone remodeling, architectural properties, and mineral density of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bear (Ursus americanus) trabecular bone in several skeletal locations. There were no differences in bone volume fraction or tissue mineral density between hibernating and active bears or between pre- and post-hibernation bears in the ilium, distal femur, or calcaneus. Though indices of cellular activity level (mineral apposition rate, osteoid thickness) decreased, trabecular bone resorption and formation indices remained balanced in hibernating grizzly bears. These data suggest that bears prevent bone loss during disuse by maintaining a balance between bone formation and bone resorption, which consequently preserves bone structure and strength. Further investigation of bone metabolism in hibernating bears may lead to the translation of mechanisms preventing disuse-induced bone loss in bears into novel treatments for osteoporosis. PMID:19703606

  12. Radiocarbon dates on cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) and brown bear (Ursus arctos) from Late Pleistocene of Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadachowski, Adam; Lipecki, Grzegorz; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Wojtal, Piotr

    2010-05-01

    Although cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is far more abundant in last glacial in Europe than brown bear (Ursus arctos), the co-occurrence of both species during Oxygen Isotope Stage 3 (OIS 3) is not questioned. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) has been an important part of the European large mammal fauna of last glaciation. Most of the remains come from karst areas where larger caves were used as hibernation sites. In Poland caves occur in the Sudetes Mts, Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, Świętokrzyskie Mts and in the Carpathians (especially in Tatra and Pieniny Mts). The AMS 14C dates were obtained for 14 sites (23 dates) distributed in all karst areas of Poland. All samples dated in Poznań Radiocarbon Laboratory (Poz) were subject of pre-treatment procedures (ultrafiltration and removal of consolidants). Dates are given as an uncalibrated radiocarbon dates (BP) and as calendar dates (cal. BP). The Eastern Sudetes sites are represented by two cave bear remains from Niedźwiedzia Cave, Kletno. Most of samples come from several localities located in different parts of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland (Nietoperzowa, Mamutowa, Ciemna, Wylotne and Zawalona caves - all near Kraków; Komarowa, Deszczowa, Stajnia and Niedźwiedzia near Olsztyn caves - all from the middle part of the Upland). Raj Cave is located in Świętokrzyskie Mts. The Carpathians samples come from two caves in Tatra Mts: Magurska and Poszukiwaczy Skarbów. Results obtained suggest that in the early part of OIS 3, ca. 50-33 ka (ca. 54-37,5 cal. ka), when the climate was relatively stable and warm, cave bears occurred probably more or less continuously from Sudetes Mts to Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and in the Carpathians. The available 18 dates range from >52,000 BP (Poz-24205) to 33,000±400 BP (Poz-23655) (cal. 38,571±1,449 BP). Around 33 ka BP (cal. 38,5 ka BP) cave bears probably disappeared, or at least reduced their number, in the area north from Sudetes and the Carpathians for next ca. 4-5 millennia

  13. Interactions of Brown Bears, Ursus arctos, and Gray Wolves, Canis lupus, at Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, T.S.; Partridge, S.T.; Schoen, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    We describe several encounters between Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) and Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) that were observed at Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwest Alaska. Katmai Brown Bears and Gray Wolves were observed interacting in a variety of behavioral modes that ranged from agonistic to tolerant. These observations provide additional insight regarding the behavioral plasticity associated with bear-wolf interactions.

  14. Chewing lice Trichodectes pinguis pinguis in Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Esteruelas, Núria Fandos; Malmsten, Jonas; Bröjer, Caroline; Grandi, Giulio; Lindström, Anders; Brown, Paul; Swenson, Jon E; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M

    2016-08-01

    In April 2014 and 2015, we noted localized alopecia (neck, forelimbs, and chest) and hyperpigmentation on two adult brown bears (Ursus arctos) captured in central-south Sweden for ecological studies under the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. In spring 2015, a brown bear was shot because of human-wildlife conflict in the same region. This bear also had extensive alopecia and hyperpigmentation. Ectoparasites were collected from the affected skin areas in all three individuals and preserved in ethanol for identification. Based on morphological characteristics, the lice were identified as Trichodectes spp. and Trichodectes pinguis pinguis. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of chewing lice in free-ranging brown bears in Scandinavia. PMID:27330984

  15. Exertional myopathy in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) captured by leghold snare.

    PubMed

    Cattet, Marc; Stenhouse, Gordon; Bollinger, Trent

    2008-10-01

    We diagnosed exertional myopathy (EM) in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) that died approximately 10 days after capture by leghold snare in west-central Alberta, Canada, in June 2003. The diagnosis was based on history, post-capture movement data, gross necropsy, histopathology, and serum enzyme levels. We were unable to determine whether EM was the primary cause of death because autolysis precluded accurate evaluation of all tissues. Nevertheless, comparison of serum aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase concentrations and survival between the affected bear and other grizzly bears captured by leghold snare in the same research project suggests EM also occurred in other bears, but that it is not generally a cause of mortality. We propose, however, occurrence of nonfatal EM in grizzly bears after capture by leghold snare has potential implications for use of this capture method, including negative effects on wildlife welfare and research data. PMID:18957653

  16. The "bear" essentials: actualistic research on Ursus arctos arctos in the Spanish Pyrenees and its implications for paleontology and archaeology.

    PubMed

    Arilla, Maite; Rosell, Jordi; Blasco, Ruth; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Pickering, Travis Rayne

    2014-01-01

    Neotaphonomic studies of large carnivores are used to create models in order to explain the formation of terrestrial vertebrate fossil faunas. The research reported here adds to the growing body of knowledge on the taphonomic consequences of large carnivore behavior in temperate habitats and has important implications for paleontology and archaeology. Using photo- and videotrap data, we were able to describe the consumption of 17 ungulate carcasses by wild brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) ranging the Spanish Pyrenees. Further, we analyzed the taphonomic impact of these feeding bouts on the bones recovered from those carcasses. The general sequence of consumption that we charted starts with separation of a carcass's trunk; viscera are generally eaten first, followed by musculature of the humerus and femur. Long limb bones are not broken open for marrow extraction. Bears did not transport carcasses or carcass parts from points of feeding and did not disperse bones appreciably (if at all) from their anatomical positions. The general pattern of damage that resulted from bear feeding includes fracturing, peeling, crenulation, tooth pitting and scoring of axial and girdle elements and furrowing of the upper long limb bones. As predicted from observational data, the taphonomic consequences of bear feeding resemble those of other non-durophagus carnivores, such as felids, and are distinct from those of durophagus carnivores, such as hyenids. Our results have paleontological and archaeological relevance. Specifically, they may prove useful in building analogical models for interpreting the formation of fossil faunas for which bears are suspected bone accumulators and/or modifiers. More generally, our comparative statistical analyses draw precise quantitative distinctions between bone damage patterns imparted respectively by durophagus (modelled here primarily by spotted hyenas [Crocuta crocuta] and wolves [Canis lupus]) and non-durophagus (modelled here by brown bears and

  17. Complete Genome Sequence of a Rabies Virus Strain Isolated from a Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) in Primorsky Krai, Russia (November 2014)

    PubMed Central

    Deviatkin, Andrei A.; Ananiev, Vasily Y.; Dedkov, Vladimir G.; Shipulin, German A.; Sokol, Nataliya N.; Dombrovskaya, Irina E.; Galkina, Irina V.; Shmelev, Mikhail E.; Gorelikov, Vladimir N.; Kozhan, Valentina N.; Prosyannikova, Marina N.; Aramilev, Sergei V.; Fomenko, Pavel V.

    2016-01-01

    We report here the complete genome sequence (GenBank KP997032) of rabies virus strain RABV/Ursus arctos/Russia/Primorye/PO-01/2014, isolated in November 2014 from a brown bear (Ursus arctos) that attacked a person in Primorsky Krai (Russian Federation). This strain was clustered into the Eurasian genetic subgroup of genotype 1 (street rage). PMID:27389270

  18. Complete Genome Sequence of a Rabies Virus Strain Isolated from a Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) in Primorsky Krai, Russia (November 2014).

    PubMed

    Shchelkanov, Michael Y; Deviatkin, Andrei A; Ananiev, Vasily Y; Dedkov, Vladimir G; Shipulin, German A; Sokol, Nataliya N; Dombrovskaya, Irina E; Galkina, Irina V; Shmelev, Mikhail E; Gorelikov, Vladimir N; Kozhan, Valentina N; Prosyannikova, Marina N; Aramilev, Sergei V; Fomenko, Pavel V

    2016-01-01

    We report here the complete genome sequence (GenBank KP997032) of rabies virus strain RABV/Ursus arctos/Russia/Primorye/PO-01/2014, isolated in November 2014 from a brown bear (Ursus arctos) that attacked a person in Primorsky Krai (Russian Federation). This strain was clustered into the Eurasian genetic subgroup of genotype 1 (street rage). PMID:27389270

  19. Long-Term Macroevaluation of Environmental Enrichment in Three Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) at Barcelona Zoo.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Ana I; Vinyoles, Dolors; Maté, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    The evaluation of enrichment programs is important to determine their effect on nonhuman animal welfare. The daily activity pattern and use of space of 3 brown bears (Ursus arctos) were used for long-term macroevaluation of enrichment to compare the baseline and enrichment phases. Focal sampling methods were used for data collection, and instantaneous scans were made at 2-min intervals during 15 sessions of 1 hr for each animal during the 2 study periods. The enrichment devices were categorized as feeding, occupational, and sensorial. The long-term macroevaluation in 3 bears showed statistically significant differences in some types of activity but not in others. There were also statistically significant differences for the use of space in 4 of the 8 zones in which the enclosures were divided. A more homogenous pattern in the use of space was only observed during the enrichment phase in the old female. The 3 brown bears followed different patterns concerning the enrichment program. PMID:26709627

  20. Phylogeography of brown bears (Ursus arctos) of Alaska and paraphyly within the Ursidae.

    PubMed

    Talbot, S L; Shields, G F

    1996-06-01

    Complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b, tRNA(prolime), and tRNA(threonine) genes were described for 166 brown bears (Ursus arctos) from 10 geographic regions of Alaska to describe natural genetic variation, construct a molecular phylogeny, and evaluate classical taxonomies. DNA sequences of brown bears were compared to homologous sequences of the polar bear (maritimus) and of the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), which was used as an outgroup. Parsimony and neighbor-joining methods each produced essentially identical phylogenetic trees that suggest two distinct clades of mtDNA for brown bears in Alaska: one composed only of bears that now reside on some of the islands of southeastern Alaska and the other which includes bears from all other regions of Alaska. The very close relationship of the polar bear to brown bears of the islands of southeastern Alaska as previously reported by us and the paraphyletic association of polar bears to brown bears reported by others have been reaffirmed with this much larger data set. A weak correlation is suggested between types of mtDNA and habitat preference by brown bears in Alaska. Our mtDNA data support some, but not all, of the currently designated subspecies of brown bears whose descriptions have been based essentially on morphology. PMID:8744762

  1. Salvaging urospermic ejaculates from brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Gomes-Alves, S; Alvarez, M; Nicolas, M; Martínez-Rodríguez, C; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C A; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2014-11-30

    The objective of this study was to reverse the osmotic stress of sperm in urine contaminated bear ejaculates that were obtained by electroejaculation using pre-freezing washing or density gradient centrifugation isolation. In Experiment 1, ejaculates were divided into six aliquots, five were diluted in each washing extender: 200, 300, 400, 500 and 700 mOsm/kg (prepared from a Tes-Tris-Fructose base, adding water or fructose as corresponds), at a 1:2 ratio (raw semen: washing solution, v/v); and the other aliquot was handled without washing (Control group). Samples were centrifuged at 600 × g for 6 min prior to freezing. In Experiment 2, ejaculates were divided into two aliquots: one was diluted 1:1 with TCG (Tris-Citric acid-Glucose) and centrifuged at 600 × g for 6 min (Centrifugation Control; C-Control); the other was treated with PureSperm density gradient column. After treatments, samples were cryopreserved. Sperm motility, viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide (PI)) and acrosomal status (peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate (PNA-FITC)/PI) were analyzed before and after freezing. Ejaculates with an initial osmolality of less than 120 mOsm/kg treated with pre-freezing washing, and the Control sample had greater pre-freezing sperm motility than the raw ejaculate, but sperm viability was not different among these groups. The samples washed with 700 mOsm/kg solutions had the least pre-freezing viability. In the post-thawing evaluation, pre-freezing washing treatments did not provide any improvement in comparison with the Control sample, and treatment with 700 mOsm/kg extender had deleterious effects in all urospermic samples. PureSperm density gradient centrifugation applied to urospermic raw semen was suitable for improving sperm motility and viability of pre-freezing samples and the selected spermatozoa had greater freezing capacity. PMID:25278437

  2. Surprising migration and population size dynamics in ancient Iberian brown bears (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Valdiosera, Cristina E.; García-Garitagoitia, José Luis; Garcia, Nuria; Doadrio, Ignacio; Thomas, Mark G.; Hänni, Catherine; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Barnes, Ian; Hofreiter, Michael; Orlando, Ludovic; Götherström, Anders

    2008-01-01

    The endangered brown bear populations (Ursus arctos) in Iberia have been suggested to be the last fragments of the brown bear population that served as recolonization stock for large parts of Europe during the Pleistocene. Conservation efforts are intense, and results are closely monitored. However, the efforts are based on the assumption that the Iberian bears are a unique unit that has evolved locally for an extended period. We have sequenced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from ancient Iberian bear remains and analyzed them as a serial dataset, monitoring changes in diversity and occurrence of European haplogroups over time. Using these data, we show that the Iberian bear population has experienced a dynamic, recent evolutionary history. Not only has the population undergone mitochondrial gene flow from other European brown bears, but the effective population size also has fluctuated substantially. We conclude that the Iberian bear population has been a fluid evolutionary unit, developed by gene flow from other populations and population bottlenecks, far from being in genetic equilibrium or isolated from other brown bear populations. Thus, the current situation is highly unusual and the population may in fact be isolated for the first time in its history. PMID:18347332

  3. Serologic evidence of Leptospira spp. serovars in brown bears (Ursus arctos) from Croatia.

    PubMed

    Slavica, Alen; Konjevic, Dean; Huber, Duro; Milas, Zoran; Turk, Nenad; Sindicic, Magda; Severin, Kresimir; Dezdek, Danko; Masek, Tomislav

    2010-01-01

    Serum samples from 52 free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) collected in Croatia over a period of 10 yr (1998-2007) were tested by microscopic agglutination test for specific antibodies (Ab) to 12 Leptospira spp. pathogenic serovars. At titers ranging from 1:100 to 1:2,000, 19 samples (36.5%) were Abpositive to at least one serovar. Antibodies for 10 Leptospira spp. serovars were detected: Icterohaemorrhagiae, Australis, Sejroe, Canicola, Poi, Hardjo, Ballum, Saxkoebing, Pomona, and Grippotyphosa. In comparison to previous reports, the prevalence of Ab to serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae (52.6%) was significantly higher. Other common serovars were Australis (47.4%) and Sejroe (42.1%). High Ab titers for serovars Canicola (1:500) and Grippotyphosa (1:1,000) were detected for the first time in free-ranging bears from Croatia. A significant correlation between the age of the bears and detection of Ab to Leptospira spp. serovars suggested the presence of pathogenic agents in the natural habitats, whereas increasing trends of Ab prevalence for specific serovars (Icter-ohaemorrhagiae, Australis, and Sejroe) confirmed cohabitation of bears with rats and other small terrestrial mammals on garbage dumps and at bear feeding stations. To prevent cohabitation of bears and rodents, improvements in Croatian waste treatment, big game management, and rodent control programs are strongly recommended, especially in Lika and Gorski Kotar, regions that have high-quality natural habitats for brown bears in Croatia. PMID:20090039

  4. Major decline in marine and terrestrial animal consumption by brown bears (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Matsubayashi, Jun; Morimoto, Junko O.; Tayasu, Ichiro; Mano, Tsutomu; Nakajima, Miyuki; Takahashi, Osamu; Kobayashi, Kyoko; Nakamura, Futoshi

    2015-01-01

    Human activities have had the strongest impacts on natural ecosystems since the last glacial period, including the alteration of interspecific relationships such as food webs. In this paper, we present a historical record of major alterations of trophic structure by revealing millennium-scale dietary shifts of brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Hokkaido islands, Japan, using carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotope analysis. Dietary analysis of brown bears revealed that salmon consumption by bears in the eastern region of Hokkaido significantly decreased from 19% to 8%. In addition, consumption of terrestrial animals decreased from 56% to 5% in western region, and 64% to 8% in eastern region. These dietary shifts are likely to have occurred in the last approximately 100–200 years, which coincides with the beginning of modernisation in this region. Our results suggest that human activities have caused an alteration in the trophic structure of brown bears in the Hokkaido islands. This alteration includes a major decline in the marine-terrestrial linkage in eastern region, and a loss of indirect-interactions between bears and wolves, because the interactions potentially enhanced deer predation by brown bears. PMID:25776994

  5. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) locomotion: gaits and ground reaction forces.

    PubMed

    Shine, Catherine L; Penberthy, Skylar; Robbins, Charles T; Nelson, O Lynne; McGowan, Craig P

    2015-10-01

    Locomotion of plantigrade generalists has been relatively little studied compared with more specialised postures even though plantigrady is ancestral among quadrupeds. Bears (Ursidae) are a representative family for plantigrade carnivorans, they have the majority of the morphological characteristics identified for plantigrade species, and they have the full range of generalist behaviours. This study compared the locomotion of adult grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis Linnaeus 1758), including stride parameters, gaits and analysis of three-dimensional ground reaction forces, with that of previously studied quadrupeds. At slow to moderate speeds, grizzly bears use walks, running walks and canters. Vertical ground reaction forces demonstrated the typical M-shaped curve for walks; however, this was significantly more pronounced in the hindlimb. The rate of force development was also significantly higher for the hindlimbs than for the forelimbs at all speeds. Mediolateral forces were significantly higher than would be expected for a large erect mammal, almost to the extent of a sprawling crocodilian. There may be morphological or energetic explanations for the use of the running walk rather than the trot. The high medial forces (produced from a lateral push by the animal) could be caused by frontal plane movement of the carpus and elbow by bears. Overall, while grizzly bears share some similarities with large cursorial species, their locomotor kinetics have unique characteristics. Additional studies are needed to determine whether these characters are a feature of all bears or plantigrade species. PMID:26254319

  6. Persistent or not persistent? Polychlorinated biphenyls are readily depurated by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jennie R; Letcher, Robert J; Ross, Peter S

    2009-10-01

    Major pharmacokinetic processes influencing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) accumulation in mammals include uptake, biotransformation, respiration, and excretion. We characterized some of the factors underlying PCB accumulation/loss by evaluating PCB concentrations and patterns in pre- and posthibernation grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and their prey. The PCB congeners with vicinal meta- and para-chlorine unsubstituted hydrogen positions consistently showed loss both before and during hibernation, supporting the idea of a dominant role for biotransformation. Retention of all other studied congeners relative to that of PCB 194 varied widely (from <1 to 100%) and was highly correlated with log octanol-water partition coefficient (p < 0.0001). A lack of loss for most of these other congeners during hibernation supports the notion that excretion (e.g., fecal or urinary) or lack of uptake during the feeding season underlies their lack of accumulation, because hibernating bears do not eat or excrete. We estimate that grizzly bears retain less than 10% of total PCBs taken up from their diet. Our results suggest that for grizzly bears, depuration of PCBs via biotransformation is important (explaining approximately 40% of loss), but that nonbiotransformation processes, such as excretion, may be more important (explaining approximately 60% of loss). These findings, together with the approximately 91% loss of the persistent PCB 153 congener relative to PCB 194 in grizzly bears, raise important questions about how one defines persistence of PCBs in wildlife and may have bearing on the interpretation of food-web biomagnification studies. PMID:19480534

  7. The impacts of human recreation on brown bears (Ursus arctos): A review and new management tool

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fortin-noreus, Jennifer; Rode, Karyn D.; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Wilder, James; Farley, Sean; Jorgensen, Carole; Marcot, Bruce G

    2016-01-01

    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our results suggest that

  8. Role of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the flow of marine nitrogen into a terrestrial ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hilderbrand, G.V.; Hanley, Thomas A.; Robbins, Charles T.; Schwartz, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    We quantified the amount, spatial distribution, and importance of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.)-derived nitrogen (N) by brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. We tested and confirmed the hypothesis that the stable isotope signature (δ15N) of N in foliage of white spruce (Picea glauca) was inversely proportional to the distance from salmon-spawning streams (r=–0.99 and P<0.05 in two separate watersheds). Locations of radio-collared brown bears, relative to their distance from a stream, were highly correlated with δ15N depletion of foliage across the same gradient (r=–0.98 and –0.96 and P<0.05 in the same two separate watersheds). Mean rates of redistribution of salmon-derived N by adult female brown bears were 37.2±2.9 kg/year per bear (range 23.1–56.3), of which 96% (35.7±2.7 kg/year per bear) was excreted in urine, 3% (1.1±0.1 kg/year per bear) was excreted in feces, and <1% (0.3± 0.1 kg/year per bear) was retained in the body. On an area basis, salmon-N redistribution rates were as high as 5.1±0.7 mg/m2 per year per bear within 500 m of the stream but dropped off greatly with increasing distance. We estimated that 15.5–17.8% of the total N in spruce foliage within 500 m of the stream was derived from salmon. Of that, bears had distributed 83–84%. Thus, brown bears can be an important vector of salmon-derived N into riparian ecosystems, but their effects are highly variable spatially and a function of bear density.

  9. Physiological evidence for a human-induced landscape of fear in brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Ordiz, Andres; Evans, Alina L; Laske, Timothy G; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-01

    Human persecution is a major cause of mortality for large carnivores. Consequently, large carnivores avoid humans, but may use human-dominated landscapes by being nocturnal and elusive. Behavioral studies indicate that certain ecological systems are "landscapes of fear", driven by antipredator behavior. Because behavior and physiology are closely interrelated, physiological assessments may provide insight into the behavioral response of large carnivores to human activity. To elucidate changes in brown bears' (Ursus arctos) behavior associated with human activity, we evaluated stress as changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 12 GPS-collared, free-ranging bears, 7 males and 5 females, 3-11 years old, using cardiac-monitoring devices. We applied generalized linear regression models with HR and HRV as response variables and chest activity, time of day, season, distance traveled, and distance to human settlements from GPS positions recorded every 30 min as potential explanatory variables. Bears exhibited lower HRV, an indication of stress, when they were close to human settlements and especially during the berry season, when humans were more often in the forest, picking berries and hunting. Our findings provide evidence of a human-induced landscape of fear in this hunted population of brown bears. PMID:26476156

  10. Endocrine rhythms in the brown bear (Ursus arctos): Evidence supporting selection for decreased pineal gland size

    PubMed Central

    Ware, Jasmine V; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Carter, Patrick A; Sarver, Brice A J; Jansen, Heiko T

    2013-01-01

    Many temperate zone animals adapt to seasonal changes by altering their physiology. This is mediated in large part by endocrine signals that encode day length and regulate energy balance and metabolism. The objectives of this study were to determine if the daily patterns of two important hormones, melatonin and cortisol, varied with day length in captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) under anesthetized and nonanesthetized conditions during the active (March–October) and hibernation periods. Melatonin concentrations varied with time of day and season in nonanesthetized female bears despite exceedingly low nocturnal concentrations (1–4 pg/mL) in the active season. In contrast, melatonin concentrations during hibernation were 7.5-fold greater than those during the summer in anesthetized male bears. Functional assessment of the pineal gland revealed a slight but significant reduction in melatonin following nocturnal light application during hibernation, but no response to beta-adrenergic stimulation was detected in either season. Examination of pineal size in two bear species bears combined with a phylogenetically corrected analysis of pineal glands in 47 other species revealed a strong relationship to brain size. However, pineal gland size of both bear species deviated significantly from the expected pattern. Robust daily plasma cortisol rhythms were observed during the active season but not during hibernation. Cortisol was potently suppressed following injection with a synthetic glucocorticoid. The results suggest that melatonin and cortisol both retain their ability to reflect seasonal changes in day length in brown bears. The exceptionally small pineal gland in bears may be the result of direct or indirect selection. PMID:24303132

  11. Metabolic changes in summer active and anuric hibernating free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Stenvinkel, Peter; Fröbert, Ole; Anderstam, Björn; Palm, Fredrik; Eriksson, Monica; Bragfors-Helin, Ann-Christin; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid; Larsson, Tobias; Friebe, Andrea; Zedrosser, Andreas; Josefsson, Johan; Svensson, My; Sahdo, Berolla; Bankir, Lise; Johnson, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    The brown bear (Ursus arctos) hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease. PMID:24039826

  12. Metabolic Changes in Summer Active and Anuric Hibernating Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Stenvinkel, Peter; Fröbert, Ole; Anderstam, Björn; Palm, Fredrik; Eriksson, Monica; Bragfors-Helin, Ann-Christin; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid; Larsson, Tobias; Friebe, Andrea; Zedrosser, Andreas; Josefsson, Johan; Svensson, My; Sahdo, Berolla; Bankir, Lise; Johnson, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    The brown bear (Ursus arctos) hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease. PMID:24039826

  13. De Novo SNP Discovery in the Scandinavian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Anita J.; Street, Nathaniel R.; Spong, Göran

    2013-01-01

    Information about relatedness between individuals in wild populations is advantageous when studying evolutionary, behavioural and ecological processes. Genomic data can be used to determine relatedness between individuals either when no prior knowledge exists or to confirm suspected relatedness. Here we present a set of 96 SNPs suitable for inferring relatedness for brown bears (Ursus arctos) within Scandinavia. We sequenced reduced representation libraries from nine individuals throughout the geographic range. With consensus reads containing putative SNPs, we applied strict filtering criteria with the aim of finding only high-quality, highly-informative SNPs. We tested 150 putative SNPs of which 96% were validated on a panel of 68 individuals. Ninety-six of the validated SNPs with the highest minor allele frequency were selected. The final SNP panel includes four mitochondrial markers, two monomorphic Y-chromosome sex-determination markers, three X-chromosome SNPs and 87 autosomal SNPs. From our validation sample panel, we identified two previously known parent-offspring dyads with reasonable accuracy. This panel of SNPs is a promising tool for inferring relatedness in the brown bear population in Scandinavia. PMID:24260529

  14. Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos) in Southwestern Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Braid, Andrew C R; Nielsen, Scott E

    2015-01-01

    As the influence of human activities on natural systems continues to expand, there is a growing need to prioritize not only pristine sites for protection, but also degraded sites for restoration. We present an approach for simultaneously prioritizing sites for protection and restoration that considers landscape patterns for a threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in southwestern Alberta, Canada. We considered tradeoffs between bottom-up (food resource supply) and top-down (mortality risk from roads) factors affecting seasonal habitat quality for bears. Simulated annealing was used to prioritize source-like sites (high habitat productivity, low mortality risk) for protection, as well as sink-like sites (high habitat productivity, high mortality risk) for restoration. Priority source-like habitats identified key conservation areas where future developments should be limited, whereas priority sink-like habitats identified key areas for mitigating road-related mortality risk with access management. Systematic conservation planning methods can be used to complement traditional habitat-based methods for individual focal species by identifying habitats where conservation actions (both protection and restoration) have the highest potential utility. PMID:26168055

  15. Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos) in Southwestern Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Braid, Andrew C. R.; Nielsen, Scott E.

    2015-01-01

    As the influence of human activities on natural systems continues to expand, there is a growing need to prioritize not only pristine sites for protection, but also degraded sites for restoration. We present an approach for simultaneously prioritizing sites for protection and restoration that considers landscape patterns for a threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in southwestern Alberta, Canada. We considered tradeoffs between bottom-up (food resource supply) and top-down (mortality risk from roads) factors affecting seasonal habitat quality for bears. Simulated annealing was used to prioritize source-like sites (high habitat productivity, low mortality risk) for protection, as well as sink-like sites (high habitat productivity, high mortality risk) for restoration. Priority source-like habitats identified key conservation areas where future developments should be limited, whereas priority sink-like habitats identified key areas for mitigating road-related mortality risk with access management. Systematic conservation planning methods can be used to complement traditional habitat-based methods for individual focal species by identifying habitats where conservation actions (both protection and restoration) have the highest potential utility. PMID:26168055

  16. Application of DNA fingerprinting in the Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis).

    PubMed

    Tsuruga, H; Ise, S; Hayashi, M; Mizutani, T; Takahashi, Y; Kanagawa, H

    1994-10-01

    DNA fingerprinting employing a minisatellite Myo probe was used for individual identification and paternity determination in Hokkaido brown bears (Ursus arctos yesoensis). We used two restriction enzymes, HinfI and HaeIII to make DNA fingerprints. Band patterns obtained from randomly selected bears were compared with each other, and the probability x that fragment in an individual was also present in the other was 0.69 for HinfI and 0.83 for HaeIII. The value for HinfI (0.69) was similar to that obtained from other species, such as dog and domestic animals, and the mean probability of all fragments was calculated to be 2.5 x 10(-2). The results suggest that DNA fingerprinting applying the combination of HinfI and Myo is available for individual identification. On the other hand, the ability to determine paternity seemed to be insufficient owing to the lack of paternal fragments, although the band patterns reflected the correct relationships between child and father. PMID:7865589

  17. Genetic and demographic recovery of an isolated population of brown bear Ursus arctos L., 1758

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Elena G.; Ballesteros, Fernando; Alcaraz, Lourdes; Palomero, Guillermo; Doadrio, Ignacio

    2016-01-01

    The brown bear Ursus arctos L., 1758 population of the Cantabrian Mountains (northwestern Spain) became isolated from other bear populations in Europe about 500 years ago and has declined due to hunting and habitat degradation. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Cantabrian population split into eastern and western subpopulations, and genetic exchange between them ceased. In the early 1990s, total population size was estimated to be < 100 bears. Subsequently, reduction in human-caused mortality has brought about an increase in numbers, mainly in the western subpopulation, likely promoting male-mediated migration and gene flow from the western nucleus to the eastern. To evaluate the possible genetic recovery of the small and genetically depauperate eastern subpopulation, in 2013 and 2014 we genotyped hair and faeces samples (116 from the eastern subpopulation and 36 from the western) for 18 microsatellite markers. Data from the annual count of females with cubs of the year (COY) during the past twenty-six years was used to analyze demographic changes. The number of females with COY fell to a minimum of seven in the western and three in eastern subpopulations in the biennium 1993–1994 and reached a respective maximum of 54 and 10 individuals in 2013–2014. We also observed increased bear dispersal and gene flow, mainly from the western to the eastern subpopulation. Of the 26 unique genotypes detected in the eastern subpopulation, 14 (54%) presented an admixture composition, and seven (27%) were determined to be migrants from the western subpopulation. Hence, the two separated and clearly structured subpopulations identified in the past currently show some degree of genetic admixture. This research shows the partial demographic recovery and a change in genetic composition due to migration process in a population of bears that has been isolated for several centuries. PMID:27168963

  18. Defining landscapes suitable for restoration of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merrill, Troy; Mattson, D.J.; Wright, R.G.; Quigley, Howard B.

    1999-01-01

    Informed management of large carnivores depends on the timely and useful presentation of relevant information. We describe an approach to evaluating carnivore habitat that uses pre-existing qualitative and quantitative information on humans and carnivores to generate coarse-scale maps of habitat suitability, habitat productivity, potential reserves, and areas of potential conflict. We use information pertinent to the contemplated reintroduction of grizzly bears Ursus arctos horribilis into central Idaho to demonstrate our approach. The approach uses measures of human numbers, their estimated distribution, road and trail access, and abundance and quality of bear foods to create standardized indices that are analogues of death and birth rates, respectively; the first subtracted from the second indicates habitat suitability (HS). We calibrate HS to sightings of grizzly bears in two ecosystems in northern Idaho and develop an empirical model from these same sightings based on piece-wise treatment of the variables contained in HS. Depending on whether the empirical model or HS is used, we estimate that there is 14 800 km2 of suitable habitat in two blocks or 37 100 km2 in one block in central Idaho, respectively. Both approaches show suitable habitat in the current Evaluation Area and in an area of southeastern Idaho centered on the Palisades Reservoir. Areas of highly productive habitat are concentrated in northern and western Idaho and in the Palisades area. Future conflicts between humans and bears are most likely to occur on the western and northern margins of suitable habitat in central Idaho, rather than to the east, where opposition to reintroduction of grizzly bears is currently strongest.

  19. Capture, Anesthesia, and Disturbance of Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) during Hibernation

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Alina L.; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E.; Arnemo, Jon M.

    2012-01-01

    We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos) weighing 21–66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02–0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9–2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1–3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO2 57–74 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation) 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5–10.5) days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment. PMID:22815757

  20. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation.

    PubMed

    Evans, Alina L; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2012-01-01

    We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos) weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2) 57-74 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation) 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5) days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment. PMID:22815757

  1. The impact of time and field conditions on brown bear (Ursus arctos) faecal DNA amplification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, M.A.; Kendall, K.C.; Robinson, A.; Waits, L.P.

    2007-01-01

    To establish longevity of faecal DNA samples under varying summer field conditions, we collected 53 faeces from captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) on a restricted vegetation diet. Each faeces was divided, and one half was placed on a warm, dry field site while the other half was placed on a cool, wet field site on Moscow Mountain, Idaho, USA. Temperature, relative humidity, and dew point data were collected on each site, and faeces were sampled for DNA extraction at <1, 3, 6, 14, 30, 45, and 60 days. Faecal DNA sample viability was assessed by attempting PCR amplification of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus (???150 bp) and a nuclear DNA (nDNA) microsatellite locus (180-200 bp). Time in the field, temperature, and dew point impacted mtDNA and nDNA amplification success with the greatest drop in success rates occurring between 1 and 3 days. In addition, genotyping errors significantly increased over time at both field sites. Based on these results, we recommend collecting samples at frequent transect intervals and focusing sampling efforts during drier portions of the year when possible. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  2. Impacts of Human Recreation on Brown Bears (Ursus arctos): A Review and New Management Tool

    PubMed Central

    Fortin, Jennifer K.; Rode, Karyn D.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Wilder, James; Farley, Sean; Jorgensen, Carole; Marcot, Bruce G.

    2016-01-01

    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our results suggest that

  3. Impacts of Human Recreation on Brown Bears (Ursus arctos): A Review and New Management Tool.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Jennifer K; Rode, Karyn D; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Wilder, James; Farley, Sean; Jorgensen, Carole; Marcot, Bruce G

    2016-01-01

    Increased popularity of recreational activities in natural areas has led to the need to better understand their impacts on wildlife. The majority of research conducted to date has focused on behavioral effects from individual recreations, thus there is a limited understanding of the potential for population-level or cumulative effects. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are the focus of a growing wildlife viewing industry and are found in habitats frequented by recreationists. Managers face difficult decisions in balancing recreational opportunities with habitat protection for wildlife. Here, we integrate results from empirical studies with expert knowledge to better understand the potential population-level effects of recreational activities on brown bears. We conducted a literature review and Delphi survey of brown bear experts to better understand the frequencies and types of recreations occurring in bear habitats and their potential effects, and to identify management solutions and research needs. We then developed a Bayesian network model that allows managers to estimate the potential effects of recreational management decisions in bear habitats. A higher proportion of individual brown bears in coastal habitats were exposed to recreation, including photography and bear-viewing than bears in interior habitats where camping and hiking were more common. Our results suggest that the primary mechanism by which recreation may impact brown bears is through temporal and spatial displacement with associated increases in energetic costs and declines in nutritional intake. Killings in defense of life and property were found to be minimally associated with recreation in Alaska, but are important considerations in population management. Regulating recreation to occur predictably in space and time and limiting recreation in habitats with concentrated food resources reduces impacts on food intake and may thereby, reduce impacts on reproduction and survival. Our results suggest that

  4. Diagnosing Mechanisms of Decline and Planning for Recovery of an Endangered Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) Population

    PubMed Central

    Quenette, Pierre-Yves; Camarra, Jean-Jacques

    2009-01-01

    Background The usual paradigm for translocations is that they should not take place in declining populations until the causes(s) of the decline has been reversed. This approach sounds intuitive, but may not apply in cases where population decline is caused by behavioral or demographic mechanisms that could only be reversed by translocation itself. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed a decade of field data for Pyrenean brown bears (Ursus arctos) from two small populations: the growing Central population - created from a previous translocation and the endemic Western population - believed to be declining because of excessive human-caused mortality. We found that adult survival rates for both populations were as high as those observed for most other protected brown bear populations. However, the Western population had much lower reproductive success than the Central population. Adult breeding sex ratio was male-biased in the Western population and female-biased in the Central population. Our results exclude high anthropogenic mortality as a cause for population decline in the West but support low reproductive success, which could result from sexually selected infanticide induced by a male-biased adult sex ratio or inbreeding depression. Using a stochastic demographic model to compute how many bears should be released to ensure viability, we show that the Western population could recover provided adequate numbers of new females are translocated. Conclusions/Significance We suggest that a translocation could take place, even if the decline has not yet been reversed, if the translocation itself removes the biological mechanisms behind the decline. In our case, the ultimate cause of low reproductive success remained unknown (infanticide or inbreeding), but our proposed translocation strategies should eliminate the proximate cause (low reproductive success) of the decline and ensure population recovery and viability. PMID:19862319

  5. Immobilization of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) with dexmedetomidine, tiletamine, and zolazepam.

    PubMed

    Teisberg, Justin E; Farley, Sean D; Nelson, O Lynne; Hilderbrand, Grant V; Madel, Michael J; Owen, Patricia A; Erlenbach, Joy A; Robbins, Charles T

    2014-01-01

    Safe and effective immobilization of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is essential for research and management. Fast induction of anesthesia, maintenance of healthy vital rates, and predictable recoveries are priorities. From September 2010 to May 2012, we investigated these attributes in captive and wild grizzly bears anesthetized with a combination of a reversible α2 agonist (dexmedetomidine [dexM], the dextrorotatory enantiomer of medetomidine) and a nonreversible N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) agonist and tranquilizer (tiletamine and zolazepam [TZ], respectively). A smaller-than-expected dose of the combination (1.23 mg tiletamine, 1.23 mg zolazepam, and 6.04 µg dexmedetomidine per kg bear) produced reliable, fast ataxia (3.7 ± 0.5 min, x̄±SE) and workable anesthesia (8.1 ± 0.6 min) in captive adult grizzly bears. For wild bears darted from a helicopter, a dose of 2.06 mg tiletamine, 2.06 mg zolazepam, and 10.1 µg dexmedetomidine/kg produced ataxia in 2.5 ± 0.3 min and anesthesia in 5.5 ± 1.0 min. Contrary to published accounts of bear anesthesia with medetomidine, tiletamine, and zolazepam, this combination did not cause hypoxemia or hypoventilation, although mild bradycardia (<50 beats per min) occurred in most bears during the active season. With captive bears, effective dose rates during hibernation were approximately half those during the active season. The time to first signs of recovery after the initial injection of dexMTZ was influenced by heart rate (P<0.001) and drug dose (P<0.001). Intravenous (IV) injection of the reversal agent, atipamezole, significantly decreased recovery time (i.e., standing on all four feet and reacting to the surrounding environment) relative to intramuscular injection. Recovery times (25 ± 8 min) following IV injections of the recommended dose of atipamezole (10 µg/µg of dexmedetomidine) and half that dose (5 µg/µg) did not differ. However, we recommend use of the full dose based on the appearance of a more complete

  6. In vitro maturation of oocytes derived from the brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Yin, Xi-Jun; Lee, Hyo-Sang; Choi, Eu-Gene; Yu, Xian-Feng; Park, Gye-Young; Bae, Inhyu; Yang, Chul-Ju; Oh, Dong-Hwan; Kim, Nam-Hung; Kong, Il-Keun

    2007-06-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether meiotic maturation could be induced in ovarian oocytes from the American brown bear (Ursus arctos), a model for gamete "rescue" techniques for endangered ursids. The bears were euthanized, and their ovaries were transported to the laboratory within 4 h. The mean ovarian size was 2.4 x 1.8 cm (range: 2.0-3.3 x 1.5-2.2 cm). The ovaries obtained from the 2 brown bears yielded 97 oocytes (48.5/female), and 88 (90.7%) of them were morphologically classified as normal quality. Oocytes were in vitro matured at 38.5 C in 5% CO2 for 24 or 48 h in TCM-199 supplemented with 10% FBS, 1 microg/ml estradiol-17beta, and 10 microg/ml FSH. In Exp. 1, morphologic evaluation of matured oocytes was conducted by measuring the diameters of oocytes with a zona pellucida (ZP) or cytoplasm without a ZP. In Exp. 2, activation was induced by applying two 20 microsec DC pulses of 2.0 kV/cm delivered by an Electro Cell Fusion Generator. The activated oocytes were cultured in TCM-199 containing 2 mM of 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h, in Charles Rosenkrans (CR) 1 for 3 days and the in CR2 for another 4 days. The diameters of the matured bear oocytes with a ZP and with cytoplasm without a ZP (161.8 +/- 6.0 and 135.3 +/- 7.5 microm, respectively) were significantly (P<0.05) larger than those of bovine oocytes (150.7 +/- 4.9 and 118.7 +/- 7.5 microm). The maturation rates of the bear oocytes were 17.6 and 59.4% at 24 and 48 h of in vitro maturation, the percentage of activated oocytes that developed to the 2 or 4-cell stage was 31.6%; however, no blastocysts were observed. These results indicate that bear oocytes can develop to metaphase II in an in vitro culture system and that activated oocytes can develop to the 2 or 4-cell stages. PMID:17310081

  7. A forensic DNA profiling system for Northern European brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Andreassen, R; Schregel, J; Kopatz, A; Tobiassen, C; Knappskog, P M; Hagen, S B; Kleven, O; Schneider, M; Kojola, I; Aspi, J; Rykov, A; Tirronen, K F; Danilov, P I; Eiken, H G

    2012-12-01

    A set of 13 dinucleotide STR loci (G1A, G10B, G1D, G10L, MU05, MU09, MU10, MU15, MU23, MU26, MU50, MU51, MU59) were selected as candidate markers for a DNA forensic profiling system for Northern European brown bear (Ursus arctos). We present results from validation of the markers with respect to their sensitivity, species specificity and performance (precision, heterozygote balance and stutter ratios). All STRs were amplified with 0.6ng template input, and there were no false bear genotypes in the cross-species amplification tests. The validation experiments showed that stutter ratios and heterozygote balance was more pronounced than in the tetranucleotide loci used in human forensics. The elevated ratios of stutter and heterozygote balance at the loci validated indicate that these dinucleotide STRs are not well suited for interpretation of individual genotypes in mixtures. Based on the results from the experimental validations we discuss the challenges related to genotyping dinucleotide STRs in single source samples. Sequence studies of common alleles showed that, in general, the size variation of alleles corresponded with the variation in number of repeats. The samples characterized by sequence analysis may serve as standard DNA samples for inter laboratory calibration. A total of 479 individuals from eight Northern European brown bear populations were analyzed in the 13 candidate STRs. Locus MU26 was excluded as a putative forensic marker after revealing large deviations from expected heterozygosity likely to be caused by null-alleles at this locus. The remaining STRs did not reveal significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations except for loci G10B and MU10 that showed significant deviations in one population each, respectively. There were 9 pairwise locus comparisons that showed significant deviation from linkage equilibrium in one or two out of the eight populations. Substantial genetic differentiation was detected in some of the pairwise

  8. Serologic evidence for selected infectious diseases in Marsican brown bears (Ursus arctos marsicanus) in Italy (2004-09).

    PubMed

    Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Gentile, Leonardo; Di Pirro, Vincenza; Ladiana, Lara; Tagliabue, Silvia; Marsilio, Fulvio

    2015-01-01

    We tested 30 serum samples collected during 2004-09 from 22 free-ranging Marsican brown bears (Ursus arctos marsicanus) in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise, Italy, for antibodies against canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), Brucella spp., and eight Leptospira interrogans sensu lato serovars. Antibody to CDV was detected in 11 samples (37%); only two bears (10%) had detectable CAV-2 and Brucella spp. antibodies; three bears were positive for L. interrogans serovar Bratislava; and one sample had antibody against L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni. All samples were positive for CPV-2 antibody. The CPV-2 antibody titers varied from 1∶640 to 1∶10,240, suggesting that transmission was still active. Fifty percent of bears were positive for antibody to two or more pathogens. Our results highlight the need to consider infectious diseases as a potential risk for Marsican brown bear conservation. PMID:25375945

  9. Molecular identification of Taenia spp. in wolves (Canis lupus), brown bears (Ursus arctos) and cervids from North Europe and Alaska.

    PubMed

    Lavikainen, Antti; Laaksonen, Sauli; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Oksanen, Antti; Isomursu, Marja; Meri, Seppo

    2011-09-01

    Taenia tapeworms of Finnish and Swedish wolves (Canis lupus) and Finnish brown bears (Ursus arctos), and muscle cysticerci of Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus), Alaskan Grant's caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) and Alaskan moose (Alces americanus) were identified on the basis of the nucleotide sequence of a 396 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene. Two species were found from wolves: Taenia hydatigena and Taenia krabbei. The cysticerci of reindeer, caribou and one moose also represented T. krabbei. Most of the cysticercal specimens from Alaskan moose, however, belonged to an unknown T. krabbei-like species, which had been reported previously from Eurasian elks (Alces alces) from Finland. Strobilate stages from two bears belonged to this species as well. The present results suggest that this novel Taenia sp. has a Holarctic distribution and uses Alces spp. as intermediate and ursids as final hosts. PMID:21571090

  10. Molecular phylogeny and SNP variation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) derived from genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Matthew A; Rincon, Gonzalo; Meredith, Robert W; MacNeil, Michael D; Islas-Trejo, Alma; Cánovas, Angela; Medrano, Juan F

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the relationships of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) with high throughput genomic sequencing data with an average coverage of 25× for each species. A total of 1.4 billion 100-bp paired-end reads were assembled using the polar bear and annotated giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) genome sequences as references. We identified 13.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 3 species aligned to the polar bear genome. These data indicate that polar bears and brown bears share more SNP with each other than either does with black bears. Concatenation and coalescence-based analysis of consensus sequences of approximately 1 million base pairs of ultraconserved elements in the nuclear genome resulted in a phylogeny with black bears as the sister group to brown and polar bears, and all brown bears are in a separate clade from polar bears. Genotypes for 162 SNP loci of 336 bears from Alaska and Montana showed that the species are genetically differentiated and there is geographic population structure of brown and black bears but not polar bears. PMID:24477675

  11. LEUKOCYTE COPING CAPACITY AS A TOOL TO ASSESS CAPTURE- AND HANDLING-INDUCED STRESS IN SCANDINAVIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS).

    PubMed

    Esteruelas, Núria Fandos; Huber, Nikolaus; Evans, Alina L; Zedrosser, Andreas; Cattet, Marc; Palomares, Francisco; Angel, Martine; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2016-04-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are often captured and handled for research and management purposes. Although the techniques used are potentially stressful for the animals and might have detrimental and long-lasting consequences, it is difficult to assess their physiological impact. Here we report the use of the leukocyte coping capacity (LCC) technique to quantify the acute stress of capture and handling in brown bears in Scandinavia. In April and May 2012 and 2013, we collected venous blood samples and recorded a range of physiological variables to evaluate the effects of capture and the added impact of surgical implantation or removal of transmitters and sensors. We studied 24 brown bears, including 19 that had abdominal surgery. We found 1) LCC values following capture were lower in solitary bears than in bears in family groups suggesting capture caused relatively more stress in solitary bears, 2) ability to cope with handling stress was better (greater LCC values) in bears with good body condition, and 3) LCC values did not appear to be influenced by surgery. Although further evaluation of this technique is required, our preliminary results support the use of the LCC technique as a quantitative measure of stress. PMID:26845299

  12. Effect of Season and High Ambient Temperature on Activity Levels and Patterns of Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    McLellan, Michelle L.; McLellan, Bruce N.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that influence daily and annual activity patterns of a species provides insights to challenges facing individuals, particularly when climate shifts, and thus is important in conservation. Using GPS collars with dual-axis motion sensors that recorded the number of switches every 5 minutes we tested the hypotheses: 1. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) increase daily activity levels and active bout lengths when they forage on berries, the major high-energy food in this ecosystem, and 2. Grizzly bears become less active and more nocturnal when ambient temperature exceeds 20°C. We found support for hypothesis 1 with both male and female bears being active from 0.7 to 2.8 h longer in the berry season than in other seasons. Our prediction under hypothesis 2 was not supported. When bears foraged on berries on a dry, open mountainside, there was no relationship between daily maximum temperature (which varied from 20.4 to 40.1°C) and the total amount of time bears were active, and no difference in activity levels during day or night between warm (20.4–27.3°C) and hot (27.9–40.1°C) days. Our results highlight the strong influence that food acquisition has on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears and is a challenge to the heat dissipation limitation theory. PMID:25692979

  13. Effect of season and high ambient temperature on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    McLellan, Michelle L; McLellan, Bruce N

    2015-01-01

    Understanding factors that influence daily and annual activity patterns of a species provides insights to challenges facing individuals, particularly when climate shifts, and thus is important in conservation. Using GPS collars with dual-axis motion sensors that recorded the number of switches every 5 minutes we tested the hypotheses: 1. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) increase daily activity levels and active bout lengths when they forage on berries, the major high-energy food in this ecosystem, and 2. Grizzly bears become less active and more nocturnal when ambient temperature exceeds 20°C. We found support for hypothesis 1 with both male and female bears being active from 0.7 to 2.8 h longer in the berry season than in other seasons. Our prediction under hypothesis 2 was not supported. When bears foraged on berries on a dry, open mountainside, there was no relationship between daily maximum temperature (which varied from 20.4 to 40.1°C) and the total amount of time bears were active, and no difference in activity levels during day or night between warm (20.4-27.3°C) and hot (27.9-40.1°C) days. Our results highlight the strong influence that food acquisition has on activity levels and patterns of grizzly bears and is a challenge to the heat dissipation limitation theory. PMID:25692979

  14. Serum progesterone concentrations using P-EIA kit in captive and free-ranging Hokkaido brown bears, Ursus arctos yesoensis.

    PubMed

    Tsubota, T; Kanagawa, H; Yamamoto, K; Mano, T; Yamanaka, M; Kita, I; Tiba, T

    1992-02-01

    Serum progesterone (P) concentrations using P-EIA kit (Ovucheck, Cambridge Life Science Co., Ltd.) were examined in 8 captive and 7 free-ranging female Hokkaido brown bears (Ursus arctos yesoensis). The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 8.9%, 12.6% and 16.6%, 22.7%, respectively, based on 2 serum samples. There was a significant correlation between EIA and radioimmunoassay results based on 64 serum samples (r = 0.725; p less than 0.01). Serum P concentrations were examined in 5 pregnant, 2 solitary non-pregnant bears and a lactating non-pregnant bear in captivity. Annual changes of P levels in pregnant bears were observed as a small elevation during the mating season (May-June), a re-elevation in September-October and a sharp elevation in November-December. The sharp elevation was suspected to reflect changes when implantation occurred. Annual changes of P levels in solitary non-pregnant bears were similar to those in pregnant bears. An annual change of P levels in a lactating non-pregnant bear maintained levels under 5 ng/ml. Two of 7 free-ranging bears exhibited P levels over 1 ng/ml and the birth of cubs was confirmed in the following year in 1 of the 2 bears. P concentrations of other free-ranging bears exhibited less than 1 ng/ml, and these bears were considered to be non-pregnant. It was concluded that P-EIA kit was available for measuring P concentrations in Hokkaido brown bears. PMID:1558871

  15. Behavioural Differences between Single Scandinavian Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) and Females with Dependent Young When Experimentally Approached by Humans

    PubMed Central

    Sahlén, Veronica; Ordiz, Andrés; Swenson, Jon E.; Støen, Ole Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    Carnivore-human encounters that result in human injury present a conservation and management challenge and it is therefore important to understand under what conditions such incidents occur. Females with cubs are often involved when humans are injured by brown bears Ursus arctos. In Scandinavia, this is particularly true for unarmed recreational forest users. Our aim was to document behavioural differences between single bears and females with cubs in order to develop recommendations to minimize the risk of injuries to recreational forest users. We documented the reactions of GPS-collared females with cubs and single brown bears to experimental approaches by humans to 50 m from the bear on 42 and 108 occasions, respectively. The majority of females with cubs (95%) and single bears (89%) left when approached. Bears that left were passed at shorter distances and were in more open areas than those that stayed. Both groups had similar flight initiation distances, which were longer for bears that were active at the time of the disturbance. Females with cubs selected more open habitat than single bears, also for the new site they selected following disturbance. Females with cubs, particularly active females with cubs of the year, moved greater distances and spent more time active following the approach. Females with cubs and single bears were seen or heard in 26% and 14% of the approaches, respectively. None of the bears displayed any aggressive behaviour during the approaches. Females with cubs selected more open habitat, perhaps predisposing them to encountering people that are not involved in hunting activities, which might be the primary explanation why females with cubs are most frequently involved when unarmed people are injured by bears in Scandinavia. To mitigate injury risks, one must consider factors that bring bears closer to human activity in the first place. PMID:25830333

  16. Phylogeography and mitochondrial diversity of extirpated brown bear (Ursus arctos) populations in the contiguous United States and Mexico.

    PubMed

    Miller, C R; Waits, L P; Joyce, P

    2006-12-01

    The fossil record indicates that the brown bear (Ursus arctos) colonized North America from Asia over 50 000 years ago. The species historically occupied the western United States and northern Mexico but has been extirpated from over 99% of this range in the last two centuries. To evaluate colonization hypotheses, subspecific classifications, and historical patterns and levels of genetic diversity in this region, we sequenced 229 nucleotides of the mitochondrial DNA control region in 108 museum specimens. The work was set in a global context by synthesizing all previous brown bear control region sequences from around the world. In mid-latitude North America a single moderately diverse clade is observed, represented by 23 haplotypes with up to 3.5% divergence. Only eight of 23 haplotypes (35%) are observed in the extensively sampled extant populations suggesting a substantial loss of genetic variability. The restriction of all haplotypes from mid-latitude North America to a single clade suggests that this region was founded by bears with a similar maternal ancestry. However, the levels and distributions of diversity also suggest that the colonizing population was not a small founder event, and that expansion occurred long enough ago for local mutations to accrue. Our data are consistent with recent genetic evidence that brown bears were south of the ice prior to the last glacial maximum. There is no support for previous subspecies designations, although bears of the southwestern United States may have had a distinctive, but recent, pattern of ancestry. PMID:17107477

  17. Hibernation-associated changes in persistent organic pollutant (POP) levels and patterns in British Columbia grizzly bears (ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jennie R; MacDuffee, Misty; Yunker, Mark B; Ross, Peter S

    2007-03-15

    We hypothesized that depleted fat reserves in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) following annual hibernation would reveal increases in persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations compared to those present in the fall. We obtained fat and hair from British Columbia grizzly bears in early spring 2004 to compare with those collected in fall 2003, with the two tissue types providing contaminant and dietary information, respectively. By correcting for the individual feeding habits of grizzlies using a stable isotope-based approach, we found that polychlorinated biphenyls (sigmaPCBs) increased by 2.21x, polybrominated diphenylethers (sigmaPBDEs) increased by 1.58x, and chlordanes (sigmaCHL) by 1.49x in fat following hibernation. Interestingly, individual POPs elicited a wide range of hibernation-associated concentration effects (e.g., CB-153, 2.25x vs CB-169, 0.00x), resulting in POP pattern convergence in a PCA model of two distinct fall feeding groups (salmon-eating vs non-salmon-eating) into a single spring (post-hibernation) group. Our results suggest that diet dictates contaminant patterns during a feeding phase, while metabolism drives patterns during a fasting phase. This work suggests a duality of POP-associated health risks to hibernating grizzly bears: (1) increased concentrations of some POPs during hibernation; and (2) a potentially prolonged accumulation of water-soluble, highly reactive POP metabolites, since grizzly bears do not excrete during hibernation. PMID:17410772

  18. Impacts of rural development on Yellowstone wildlife: linking grizzly bear Ursus arctos demographics with projected residential growth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Gude, Patricia H.; Landenburger, Lisa; Haroldson, Mark A.; Podruzny, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Exurban development is consuming wildlife habitat within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with potential consequences to the long-term conservation of grizzly bears Ursus arctos. We assessed the impacts of alternative future land-use scenarios by linking an existing regression-based simulation model predicting rural development with a spatially explicit model that predicted bear survival. Using demographic criteria that predict population trajectory, we portioned habitats into either source or sink, and projected the loss of source habitat associated with four different build out (new home construction) scenarios through 2020. Under boom growth, we predicted that 12 km2 of source habitat were converted to sink habitat within the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone (RZ), 189 km2 were converted within the current distribution of grizzly bears outside of the RZ, and 289 km2 were converted in the area outside the RZ identified as suitable grizzly bear habitat. Our findings showed that extremely low densities of residential development created sink habitats. We suggest that tools, such as those outlined in this article, in addition to zoning and subdivision regulation may prove more practical, and the most effective means of retaining large areas of undeveloped land and conserving grizzly bear source habitat will likely require a landscape-scale approach. We recommend a focus on land conservation efforts that retain open space (easements, purchases and trades) coupled with the implementation of ‘bear community programmes’ on an ecosystem wide basis in an effort to minimize human-bear conflicts, minimize management-related bear mortalities associated with preventable conflicts and to safeguard human communities. Our approach has application to other species and areas, and it has illustrated how spatially explicit demographic models can be combined with models predicting land-use change to help focus conservation priorities.

  19. Development and application of an antibody-based protein microarray to assess physiological stress in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Ruth I.; Cattet, Marc R. L.; Sarauer, Bryan L.; Nielsen, Scott E.; Boulanger, John; Stenhouse, Gordon B.; Janz, David M.

    2016-01-01

    A novel antibody-based protein microarray was developed that simultaneously determines expression of 31 stress-associated proteins in skin samples collected from free-ranging grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. The microarray determines proteins belonging to four broad functional categories associated with stress physiology: hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis proteins, apoptosis/cell cycle proteins, cellular stress/proteotoxicity proteins and oxidative stress/inflammation proteins. Small skin samples (50–100 mg) were collected from captured bears using biopsy punches. Proteins were isolated and labelled with fluorescent dyes, with labelled protein homogenates loaded onto microarrays to hybridize with antibodies. Relative protein expression was determined by comparison with a pooled standard skin sample. The assay was sensitive, requiring 80 µg of protein per sample to be run in triplicate on the microarray. Intra-array and inter-array coefficients of variation for individual proteins were generally <10 and <15%, respectively. With one exception, there were no significant differences in protein expression among skin samples collected from the neck, forelimb, hindlimb and ear in a subsample of n = 4 bears. This suggests that remotely delivered biopsy darts could be used in future sampling. Using generalized linear mixed models, certain proteins within each functional category demonstrated altered expression with respect to differences in year, season, geographical sampling location within Alberta and bear biological parameters, suggesting that these general variables may influence expression of specific proteins in the microarray. Our goal is to apply the protein microarray as a conservation physiology tool that can detect, evaluate and monitor physiological stress in grizzly bears and other species at risk over time in response to environmental change. PMID:27293753

  20. Development and application of an antibody-based protein microarray to assess physiological stress in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Ruth I; Cattet, Marc R L; Sarauer, Bryan L; Nielsen, Scott E; Boulanger, John; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Janz, David M

    2016-01-01

    A novel antibody-based protein microarray was developed that simultaneously determines expression of 31 stress-associated proteins in skin samples collected from free-ranging grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. The microarray determines proteins belonging to four broad functional categories associated with stress physiology: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis proteins, apoptosis/cell cycle proteins, cellular stress/proteotoxicity proteins and oxidative stress/inflammation proteins. Small skin samples (50-100 mg) were collected from captured bears using biopsy punches. Proteins were isolated and labelled with fluorescent dyes, with labelled protein homogenates loaded onto microarrays to hybridize with antibodies. Relative protein expression was determined by comparison with a pooled standard skin sample. The assay was sensitive, requiring 80 µg of protein per sample to be run in triplicate on the microarray. Intra-array and inter-array coefficients of variation for individual proteins were generally <10 and <15%, respectively. With one exception, there were no significant differences in protein expression among skin samples collected from the neck, forelimb, hindlimb and ear in a subsample of n = 4 bears. This suggests that remotely delivered biopsy darts could be used in future sampling. Using generalized linear mixed models, certain proteins within each functional category demonstrated altered expression with respect to differences in year, season, geographical sampling location within Alberta and bear biological parameters, suggesting that these general variables may influence expression of specific proteins in the microarray. Our goal is to apply the protein microarray as a conservation physiology tool that can detect, evaluate and monitor physiological stress in grizzly bears and other species at risk over time in response to environmental change. PMID:27293753

  1. Genetic characterization of Kenai brown bears (Ursus arctos): Microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA control region variation in brown bears of the Kenai Peninsula, south central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jackson, J.V.; Talbot, S.L.; Farley, S.

    2008-01-01

    We collected data from 20 biparentally inherited microsatellite loci, and nucleotide sequence from the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, to determine levels of genetic variation of the brown bears (Ursus arctos L., 1758) of the Kenai Peninsula, south central Alaska. Nuclear genetic variation was similar to that observed in other Alaskan peninsular populations. We detected no significant inbreeding and found no evidence of population substructuring on the Kenai Peninsula. We observed a genetic signature of a bottleneck under the infinite alleles model (IAM), but not under the stepwise mutation model (SMM) or the two-phase model (TPM) of microsatellite mutation. Kenai brown bears have lower levels of mtDNA haplotypic diversity relative to most other brown bear populations in Alaska. ?? 2008 NRC.

  2. Interthalamic hematoma secondary to cerebrovascular atherosclerosis in an aged grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) with primary cardiac schwannoma.

    PubMed

    Miller, Andrew David; McDonough, Sean

    2008-12-01

    A 38-year-old intact female Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) was evaluated for progressive seizure activity, pale mucous membranes, deficient pupillary light and menace responses, and irregular shallow respiration. Because of poor response to treatment, the animal was euthanized. Gross examination revealed abundant hemorrhage in both lateral ventricles; a large, encapsulated mass within the rostral interthalamic region; and a well-demarcated, round white mass in the apex of the right ventricle. Histologic examination of the interthalamic mass revealed a resolving hematoma composed of stratified layers of fibrin and white blood cells that was surrounded by a thick fibrous capsule. Most meningeal and intraparenchymal blood vessels had multifocal degeneration, fragmentation, and fraying of the internal elastic lamina with prominent intimal proliferations and plaques. The plaques were formed by small numbers of lipid-laden macrophages (foam cells) that were intermixed with occasional lymphocytes and plasma cells. The cardiac mass was composed of pallisading and interlacing spindle cells with parallel nuclei and abundant, pale eosinophilic cytoplasm consistent with a schwannoma. PMID:19110714

  3. Spatial Analysis of Factors Influencing Long-Term Stress in the Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos) Population of Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Bourbonnais, Mathieu L.; Nelson, Trisalyn A.; Cattet, Marc R. L.; Darimont, Chris T.; Stenhouse, Gordon B.

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We characterized spatial variability in male and female HCC point data using kernel density estimation and quantified variable influence on spatial patterns of male and female HCC stress surfaces using random forests. Separate models were developed for regions inside and outside of parks and protected areas to account for substantial differences in anthropogenic activity and disturbance within the study area. Variance explained in the random forest models ranged from 55.34% to 74.96% for males and 58.15% to 68.46% for females. Predicted HCC levels were higher for females compared to males. Generally, high spatially continuous female HCC levels were associated with parks and protected areas while low-to-moderate levels were associated with increased anthropogenic disturbance. In contrast, male HCC levels were low in parks and protected areas and low-to-moderate in areas with increased anthropogenic disturbance. Spatial variability in gender-specific HCC levels reveal that the type and intensity of external stressors are not uniform across the landscape and that male and female grizzly bears may be exposed to, or perceive, potential stressors differently. We suggest observed spatial patterns of long-term stress may be the result of the availability and distribution of foods related to disturbance features, potential sexual segregation in available habitat selection, and may not be influenced by sources of mortality which represent acute traumas. In this wildlife system and others

  4. Spatial analysis of factors influencing long-term stress in the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bourbonnais, Mathieu L; Nelson, Trisalyn A; Cattet, Marc R L; Darimont, Chris T; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We characterized spatial variability in male and female HCC point data using kernel density estimation and quantified variable influence on spatial patterns of male and female HCC stress surfaces using random forests. Separate models were developed for regions inside and outside of parks and protected areas to account for substantial differences in anthropogenic activity and disturbance within the study area. Variance explained in the random forest models ranged from 55.34% to 74.96% for males and 58.15% to 68.46% for females. Predicted HCC levels were higher for females compared to males. Generally, high spatially continuous female HCC levels were associated with parks and protected areas while low-to-moderate levels were associated with increased anthropogenic disturbance. In contrast, male HCC levels were low in parks and protected areas and low-to-moderate in areas with increased anthropogenic disturbance. Spatial variability in gender-specific HCC levels reveal that the type and intensity of external stressors are not uniform across the landscape and that male and female grizzly bears may be exposed to, or perceive, potential stressors differently. We suggest observed spatial patterns of long-term stress may be the result of the availability and distribution of foods related to disturbance features, potential sexual segregation in available habitat selection, and may not be influenced by sources of mortality which represent acute traumas. In this wildlife system and others

  5. Vitamin D Status and Bone and Connective Tissue Turnover in Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) during Hibernation and the Active State

    PubMed Central

    Vestergaard, Peter; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E.; Mosekilde, Leif; Heickendorff, Lene; Fröbert, Ole

    2011-01-01

    Background Extended physical inactivity causes disuse osteoporosis in humans. In contrast, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are highly immobilised for half of the year during hibernation without signs of bone loss and therefore may serve as a model for prevention of osteoporosis. Aim To study 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD) levels and bone turnover markers in brown bears during the hibernating state in winter and during the active state in summer. We measured vitamin D subtypes (D2 and D3), calcitropic hormones (parathyroid hormone [PTH], 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D]) and bone turnover parameters (osteocalcin, ICTP, CTX-I), PTH, serum calcium and PIIINP. Material and Methods We drew blood from seven immobilised wild brown bears during hibernation in February and in the same bears while active in June. Results Serum 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol (25OHD3) was significantly higher in the summer than in the winter (22.8±4.6 vs. 8.8±2.1 nmol/l, two tailed p - 2p = 0.02), whereas 25-hydroxy-ergocalciferol (25OHD2) was higher in winter (54.2±8.3 vs. 18.7±1.7 nmol/l, 2p<0.01). Total serum calcium and PTH levels did not differ between winter and summer. Activated 1,25(OH)2D demonstrated a statistically insignificant trend towards higher summer levels. Osteocalcin levels were higher in summer than winter, whereas other markers of bone turnover (ICTP and CTX-I) were unchanged. Serum PIIINP, which is a marker of connective tissue and to some degree muscle turnover, was significantly higher during summer than during winter. Conclusions Dramatic changes were documented in the vitamin D3/D2 ratio and in markers of bone and connective tissue turnover in brown bears between hibernation and the active state. Because hibernating brown bears do not develop disuse osteoporosis, despite extensive physical inactivity we suggest that they may serve as a model for the prevention of this disease. PMID:21731765

  6. Admixture and Gene Flow from Russia in the Recovering Northern European Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

    PubMed Central

    Kopatz, Alexander; Eiken, Hans Geir; Aspi, Jouni; Kojola, Ilpo; Tobiassen, Camilla; Tirronen, Konstantin F.; Danilov, Pjotr I.; Hagen, Snorre B.

    2014-01-01

    Large carnivores were persecuted to near extinction during the last centuries, but have now recovered in some countries. It has been proposed earlier that the recovery of the Northern European brown bear is supported by migration from Russia. We tested this hypothesis by obtaining for the first time continuous sampling of the whole Finnish bear population, which is located centrally between the Russian and Scandinavian bear populations. The Finnish population is assumed to experience high gene flow from Russian Karelia. If so, no or a low degree of genetic differentiation between Finnish and Russian bears could be expected. We have genotyped bears extensively from all over Finland using 12 validated microsatellite markers and compared their genetic composition to bears from Russian Karelia, Sweden, and Norway. Our fine masked investigation identified two overlapping genetic clusters structured by isolation-by-distance in Finland (pairwise FST = 0.025). One cluster included Russian bears, and migration analyses showed a high number of migrants from Russia into Finland, providing evidence of eastern gene flow as an important driver during recovery. In comparison, both clusters excluded bears from Sweden and Norway, and we found no migrants from Finland in either country, indicating that eastern gene flow was probably not important for the population recovery in Scandinavia. Our analyses on different spatial scales suggest a continuous bear population in Finland and Russian Karelia, separated from Scandinavia. PMID:24839968

  7. Could brown bears (Ursus arctos) have survived in Ireland during the Last Glacial Maximum?

    PubMed

    Leonard, Saoirse A; Risley, Claire L; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-08-23

    Brown bears are recorded from Ireland during both the Late Pleistocene and early-mid Holocene. Although most of the Irish landmass was covered by an ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Irish brown bears are known to have hybridized with polar bears during the Late Pleistocene, and it is suggested that the Irish brown bear population did not become extinct but instead persisted in situ through the LGM in a southwestern ice-free refugium. We use historical population modelling to demonstrate that brown bears are highly unlikely to have survived through the LGM in Ireland under any combination of life-history parameters shown by living bear populations, but instead would have rapidly become extinct following advance of the British-Irish ice sheet, and probably recolonized Ireland during the end-Pleistocene Woodgrange Interstadial from a closely related nearby source population. The time available for brown bear-polar bear hybridization was therefore restricted to narrow periods at the beginning or end of the LGM. Brown bears would have been extremely vulnerable to extinction in Quaternary habitat refugia and required areas substantially larger than southwestern Ireland to survive adverse glacial conditions. PMID:23676655

  8. The Gut Microbiota Modulates Energy Metabolism in the Hibernating Brown Bear Ursus arctos.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Felix; Ståhlman, Marcus; Ilkayeva, Olga; Arnemo, Jon M; Kindberg, Jonas; Josefsson, Johan; Newgard, Christopher B; Fröbert, Ole; Bäckhed, Fredrik

    2016-02-23

    Hibernation is an adaptation that helps many animals to conserve energy during food shortage in winter. Brown bears double their fat depots during summer and use these stored lipids during hibernation. Although bears seasonally become obese, they remain metabolically healthy. We analyzed the microbiota of free-ranging brown bears during their active phase and hibernation. Compared to the active phase, hibernation microbiota had reduced diversity, reduced levels of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria, and increased levels of Bacteroidetes. Several metabolites involved in lipid metabolism, including triglycerides, cholesterol, and bile acids, were also affected by hibernation. Transplantation of the bear microbiota from summer and winter to germ-free mice transferred some of the seasonal metabolic features and demonstrated that the summer microbiota promoted adiposity without impairing glucose tolerance, suggesting that seasonal variation in the microbiota may contribute to host energy metabolism in the hibernating brown bear. PMID:26854221

  9. Late-Quaternary biogeographic scenarios for the brown bear ( Ursus arctos), a wild mammal model species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davison, John; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Bray, Sarah C.; Korsten, Marju; Tammeleht, Egle; Hindrikson, Maris; Østbye, Kjartan; Østbye, Eivind; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Austin, Jeremy; Cooper, Alan; Saarma, Urmas

    2011-02-01

    This review provides an up-to-date synthesis of the matrilineal phylogeography of a uniquely well-studied Holarctic mammal, the brown bear. We extend current knowledge by presenting a DNA sequence derived from one of the earliest known fossils of a polar bear (dated to 115 000 years before present), a species that shares a paraphyletic mitochondrial association with brown bears. A molecular clock analysis of 140 mitochondrial DNA sequences, including our new polar bear sequence, provides novel insights into the times of origin for different brown bear clades. We propose a number of regional biogeographic scenarios based on genetic data, divergence time estimates and paleontological records. The case of the brown bear provides an example for researchers working with less well-studied taxa: it shows clearly that phylogeographic models based on patterns of modern genetic variation alone can be substantially improved by including data on historical patterns of genetic diversity in the form of ancient DNA sequences derived from accurately dated samples and by using an approach to divergence-time estimation that suits the data under analysis. Using such approaches it has been possible to (i) establish that the processes shaping modern genetic diversity in brown bears acted recently, within the last three glacial cycles; (ii) distinguish among hypotheses concerning species' responses to climatic oscillations in accordance with the lack of phylogeographic structure that existed in brown bears prior to the last glacial maximum (LGM); (iii) reassess theories linking monophyletic brown bear populations to particular LGM refuge areas; and (iv) identify vicariance events and track analogous patterns of migration by brown bears out of Eurasia to North America and Japan.

  10. Split parturition observed in a captive North American brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Ware, Jasmine V; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Jansen, Heiko T

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive physiology in North American ursids is characterized by mating from spring to early summer, delayed implantation, and birth during hibernation. During spring 2008, a captive adult female brown bear was mated with two adult males. Pregnancy was determined by elevated progesterone concentrations during late fall before hibernation. Two male cubs were born on December 31, 2008, and a third female cub was born 17 days later on January 16. All were successfully raised and all were confirmed to have identical paternity. When normalized to age, cub growth rates did not differ. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of markedly different birth dates in a single litter of brown bear cubs. PMID:22025081

  11. Haematological and biochemical reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Establishment of haematological and biochemical reference intervals is important to assess health of animals on individual and population level. Reference intervals for 13 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were established based on 88 apparently healthy free-ranging brown bears (39 males and 49 females) in Sweden. The animals were chemically immobilised by darting from a helicopter with a combination of medetomidine, tiletamine and zolazepam in April and May 2006–2012 in the county of Dalarna, Sweden. Venous blood samples were collected during anaesthesia for radio collaring and marking for ecological studies. For each of the variables, the reference interval was described based on the 95% confidence interval, and differences due to host characteristics sex and age were included if detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears in Sweden. Results The following variables were not affected by host characteristics: red blood cell, white blood cell, monocyte and platelet count, alanine transaminase, amylase, bilirubin, free fatty acids, glucose, calcium, chloride, potassium, and cortisol. Age differences were seen for the majority of the haematological variables, whereas sex influenced only mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, lipase, lactate dehydrogenase, β-globulin, bile acids, triglycerides and sodium. Conclusions The biochemical and haematological reference intervals provided and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears. PMID:25139149

  12. An evaluation of long-term preservation methods for brown bear (Ursus arctos) faecal DNA samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, M.A.; Waits, L.P.; Kendall, K.C.; Wasser, S.K.; Higbee, J.A.; Bogden, R.

    2002-01-01

    Relatively few large-scale faecal DNA studies have been initiated due to difficulties in amplifying low quality and quantity DNA template. To improve brown bear faecal DNA PCR amplification success rates and to determine post collection sample longevity, five preservation methods were evaluated: 90% ethanol, DETs buffer, silica-dried, oven-dried stored at room temperature, and oven-dried stored at -20??C. Preservation effectiveness was evaluated for 50 faecal samples by PCR amplification of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus (???146 bp) and a nuclear DNA (nDNA) locus (???200 bp) at time points of one week, one month, three months and six months. Preservation method and storage time significantly impacted mtDNA and nDNA amplification success rates. For mtDNA, all preservation methods had ??? 75% success at one week, but storage time had a significant impact on the effectiveness of the silica preservation method. Ethanol preserved samples had the highest success rates for both mtDNA (86.5%) and nDNA (84%). Nuclear DNA amplification success rates ranged from 26-88%, and storage time had a significant impact on all methods but ethanol. Preservation method and storage time should be important considerations for researchers planning projects utilizing faecal DNA. We recommend preservation of faecal samples in 90% ethanol when feasible, although when collecting in remote field conditions or for both DNA and hormone assays a dry collection method may be advantageous.

  13. Pronounced expression of the lipolytic inhibitor G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 (G0S2) in adipose tissue from brown bears (Ursus arctos) prior to hibernation.

    PubMed

    Jessen, Niels; Nielsen, Thomas S; Vendelbo, Mikkel H; Viggers, Rikke; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Evans, Alina; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-04-01

    Prior to hibernation, the brown bear (Ursus arctos) exhibits unparalleled weight gain. Unlike humans, weight gain in bears is associated with lower levels of circulating free fatty acids (FFA) and increased insulin sensitivity. Understanding how free-ranging brown bears suppress lipolysis when gaining weight may therefore provide novel insight toward the development of human therapies. Blood and subcutaneous adipose tissue were collected from immobilized free-ranging brown bears (fitted with GPS-collars) during hibernation in winter and from the same bears during the active period in summer in Dalarna, Sweden. The expression of lipid droplet-associated proteins in adipose tissue was examined under the hypothesis that bears suppress lipolysis during summer while gaining weight by increased expression of negative regulators of lipolysis. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) expression did not differ between seasons, but in contrast, the expression of ATGL coactivator Comparative gene identification-58 (CGI-58) was lower in summer. In addition, the expression of the negative regulators of lipolysis, G0S2 and cell-death inducing DNA fragmentation factor-a-like effector (CIDE)C markedly increased during summer. Free-ranging brown bears display potent upregulation of inhibitors of lipolysis in adipose tissue during summer. This is a potential mechanism for increased insulin sensitivity during weight gain and G0S2 may serve as a target to modulate insulin sensitivity. PMID:27117803

  14. Positive Reinforcement Training for Blood Collection in Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) Results in Undetectable Elevations in Serum Cortisol Levels: A Preliminary Investigation.

    PubMed

    Joyce-Zuniga, Nicole M; Newberry, Ruth C; Robbins, Charles T; Ware, Jasmine V; Jansen, Heiko T; Nelson, O Lynne

    2016-01-01

    Training nonhuman animals in captivity for participation in routine husbandry procedures is believed to produce a lower stress environment compared with undergoing a general anesthetic event for the same procedure. This hypothesis rests largely on anecdotal evidence that the captive subjects appear more relaxed with the trained event. Blood markers of physiological stress responses were evaluated in 4 captive grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) who were clicker-trained for blood collection versus 4 bears who were chemically immobilized for blood collection. Serum cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA) and plasma β-endorphin were measured as indicators of responses to stress. Plasma β-endorphin was not different between the groups. Serum IgA was undetectable in all bears. Serum cortisol was undetectable in all trained bears, whereas chemically immobilized bears had marked cortisol elevations (p < .05). The highest cortisol elevations were found in 2 bears with extensive recent immobilization experience. These findings support the use of positive reinforcement training for routine health procedures to minimize anxiety. PMID:26847149

  15. Assessment of pesticide residues in army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris) from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and their potential consequences to foraging grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robison, H.L.; Schwartz, C.C.; Petty, J.D.; Brussard, P.F.

    2006-01-01

    During summer, a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) (USA) can excavate and consume millions of army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris) (ACMs) that aggregate in high elevation talus. Grizzly bears in the GYE were listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1975 and were proposed for delisting in 2005. However, questions remain about key bear foods. For example, ACMs are agricultural pests and concern exists about whether they contain pesticides that could be toxic to bears. Consequently, we investigated whether ACMs contain and transport pesticides to bear foraging sites and, if so, whether these levels could be toxic to bears. In 1999 we collected and analyzed ACMs from six bear foraging sites. ACMs were screened for 32 pesticides with gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC-ECD). Because gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) can be more sensitive than GC-ECD for certain pesticides, we revisited one site in 2001 and analyzed these ACMs with GC-MS/MS. ACMs contained trace or undetectable levels of pesticides in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Based on chemical levels in ACMs and numbers of ACMs a bear can consume, we calculated the potential of chemicals to reach physiological toxicity. These calculations indicate bears do not consume physiologically toxic levels of pesticides and allay concerns they are at risk from pesticides transported by ACMs. If chemical control of ACMs changes in the future, screening new ACM samples taken from bear foraging sites may be warranted. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Y-chromosomal testing of brown bears (Ursus arctos): Validation of a multiplex PCR-approach for nine STRs suitable for fecal and hair samples.

    PubMed

    Aarnes, Siv Grethe; Hagen, Snorre B; Andreassen, Rune; Schregel, Julia; Knappskog, Per M; Hailer, Frank; Stenhouse, Gordon; Janke, Axel; Eiken, Hans Geir

    2015-11-01

    High-resolution Y-chromosomal markers have been applied to humans and other primates to study population genetics, migration, social structures and reproduction. Y-linked markers allow the direct assessment of the genetic structure and gene flow of uniquely male inherited lineages and may also be useful for wildlife conservation and forensics, but have so far been available only for few wild species. Thus, we have developed two multiplex PCR reactions encompassing nine Y-STR markers identified from the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and tested them on hair, fecal and tissue samples. The multiplex PCR approach was optimized and analyzed for species specificity, sensitivity and stutter-peak ratios. The nine Y-STRs also showed specific STR-fragments for male black bears and male polar bears, while none of the nine markers produced any PCR products when using DNA from female bears or males from 12 other mammals. The multiplex PCR approach in two PCR reactions could be amplified with as low as 0.2 ng template input. Precision was high in DNA templates from hairs, fecal scats and tissues, with standard deviations less than 0.14 and median stutter ratios from 0.04 to 0.63. Among the eight di- and one tetra-nucleotide repeat markers, we detected simple repeat structures in seven of the nine markers with 9-25 repeat units. Allelic variation was found for eight of the nine Y-STRs, with 2-9 alleles for each marker and a total of 36 alleles among 453 male brown bears sampled mainly from Northern Europe. We conclude that the multiplex PCR approach with these nine Y-STRs would provide male bear Y-chromosomal specificity and evidence suited for samples from conservation and wildlife forensics. PMID:26264959

  17. The percentage of spermatozoa lost during the centrifugation of brown bear (Ursus arctos) ejaculates is associated with some spermatozoa quality and seminal plasma characteristics.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, M; Nicolas, M; Borragán, S; Lopez-Urueña, E; Anel-López, L; Martinez-Pastor, F; Tamayo-Canul, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2012-11-01

    Cryopreservation of brown bear (Ursus arctos) semen requires centrifugation to increase concentration and/or remove urine contamination. However, a percentage of the spermatozoa are lost in the process. This percentage varies considerably between males and ejaculates, and we have studied the effect of sperm quality and seminal plasma characteristics on the spermatozoa recovery rate after centrifugation. One hundred and thirty one sperm samples obtained from fifteen brown bear males by electroejaculation under general anaesthesia were used. The ejaculates were centrifuged 600 × g for 6 min. Motility was assessed by CASA, and acrosomal status (PNA-FITC) and viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide) were determined by flow cytometry. Seminal plasma characteristics (albumin, alkaline phosphatase, calcium, cholesterol, creatine, glucose, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), lactate, lipase, magnesium, phosphate and total protein) were determined by a biochemical and gas analysis. Total motility (r = 0.26; P=0.005) and cell viability (r = 0.20; P = 0.033) were positively correlated with the percentage of recovered spermatozoa. Sperm recovery was correlated with the concentration of several components of seminal plasma: negatively with glucose concentration (r = -0.47; P = 0.005) and positively with the enzymes GOT (r = 0.36; P = 0.040) and lactate dehydrogenase (r = 0.36; P = 0.041). After sorting the data into classes according to sperm recovery (Low: 0-39, Medium: 40-69, High: 70-100), we observed that the samples with a lower recovery rate derived from ejaculates with lower values for TM, VAP and viability (P<0.05). Multiple regression analysis rendered two models to define the post-centrifugation spermatozoa recovery which included total motility and damaged acrosome or glucose, GOT and lactate dehydrogenase. We discuss these relationships and their implications in the electroejaculation procedure and the handling of the sample during centrifugation. PMID:23084761

  18. The addition of heat shock protein HSPA8 to cryoprotective media improves the survival of brown bear (Ursus arctos) spermatozoa during chilling and after cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Rodríguez, M; Alvarez, M; Borragan, S; Martinez-Pastor, F; Holt, W V; Fazeli, A; de Paz, P; Anel, L

    2013-02-01

    the quality of brown bear (Ursus arctos) sperm during chilling (viability) and after cryopreservation (number of sperm with damaged acrosomes and "apoptotic-like" changes). PMID:23237481

  19. Modeling the effects of human activity on Katmai brown bears (Ursus arctos) through the use of survival analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, T.S.; Johnson, B.A.

    2004-01-01

    Brown bear-human interactions were observed in 1993, 1995, and 1997 at Kulik River in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. We analyzed these interactions using survival analysis, creating survival curves for the time that bears remained on the river in the presence, and absence, of human activity. Bear-only survival curves did not vary significantly between years (p = 0.067). Ninety-seven percent of bears left the river within 70 minutes of arrival in all years. Temporal patterns of bear activity were unaffected by the presence of humans as long as the bears did not share river zones with humans (p = 0.062 to p = 0.360). When people and bears did not share river zones, 38.6% (1993), 36.0% (1995), and 37.0% (1997) of bears remained on the river for at least 10 minutes after arrival. In contrast, when people and bears shared river zones, fewer bears remained on the river after the first 10 minutes, with 28.6% (1993), 25.0% (1995), and 32.6% (1997) observed in each year. We conclude that human activity displaced 26.0% (1993), 30.5% (1995), and 12.0% (1997) of the bears using the river, which otherwise would likely have remained longer. Over the three years of study, habituation to human activity may account for observed changes in bears' use of the river.

  20. Decreased bone turnover with balanced resorption and formation prevent cortical bone loss during disuse (hibernation) in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    McGee, Meghan E; Maki, Aaron J; Johnson, Steven E; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Donahue, Seth W

    2008-02-01

    Disuse uncouples bone formation from resorption, leading to increased porosity, decreased bone geometrical properties, and decreased bone mineral content which compromises bone mechanical properties and increases fracture risk. However, black bear bone properties are not adversely affected by aging despite annual periods of disuse (i.e., hibernation), which suggests that bears either prevent bone loss during disuse or lose bone and subsequently recover it at a faster rate than other animals. Here we show decreased cortical bone turnover during hibernation with balanced formation and resorption in grizzly bear femurs. Hibernating grizzly bear femurs were less porous and more mineralized, and did not demonstrate any changes in cortical bone geometry or whole bone mechanical properties compared to active grizzly bear femurs. The activation frequency of intracortical remodeling was 75% lower during hibernation than during periods of physical activity, but the normalized mineral apposition rate was unchanged. These data indicate that bone turnover decreases during hibernation, but osteons continue to refill at normal rates. There were no changes in regional variation of porosity, geometry, or remodeling indices in femurs from hibernating bears, indicating that hibernation did not preferentially affect one region of the cortex. Thus, grizzly bears prevent bone loss during disuse by decreasing bone turnover and maintaining balanced formation and resorption, which preserves bone structure and strength. These results support the idea that bears possess a biological mechanism to prevent disuse osteoporosis. PMID:18037367

  1. The “Bear” Essentials: Actualistic Research on Ursus arctos arctos in the Spanish Pyrenees and Its Implications for Paleontology and Archaeology

    PubMed Central

    Arilla, Maite; Rosell, Jordi; Blasco, Ruth; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Pickering, Travis Rayne

    2014-01-01

    Neotaphonomic studies of large carnivores are used to create models in order to explain the formation of terrestrial vertebrate fossil faunas. The research reported here adds to the growing body of knowledge on the taphonomic consequences of large carnivore behavior in temperate habitats and has important implications for paleontology and archaeology. Using photo- and videotrap data, we were able to describe the consumption of 17 ungulate carcasses by wild brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) ranging the Spanish Pyrenees. Further, we analyzed the taphonomic impact of these feeding bouts on the bones recovered from those carcasses. The general sequence of consumption that we charted starts with separation of a carcass’s trunk; viscera are generally eaten first, followed by musculature of the humerus and femur. Long limb bones are not broken open for marrow extraction. Bears did not transport carcasses or carcass parts from points of feeding and did not disperse bones appreciably (if at all) from their anatomical positions. The general pattern of damage that resulted from bear feeding includes fracturing, peeling, crenulation, tooth pitting and scoring of axial and girdle elements and furrowing of the upper long limb bones. As predicted from observational data, the taphonomic consequences of bear feeding resemble those of other non-durophagus carnivores, such as felids, and are distinct from those of durophagus carnivores, such as hyenids. Our results have paleontological and archaeological relevance. Specifically, they may prove useful in building analogical models for interpreting the formation of fossil faunas for which bears are suspected bone accumulators and/or modifiers. More generally, our comparative statistical analyses draw precise quantitative distinctions between bone damage patterns imparted respectively by durophagus (modelled here primarily by spotted hyenas [Crocuta crocuta] and wolves [Canis lupus]) and non-durophagus (modelled here by brown bears

  2. Inter- and intraspecific mitochondrial DNA variation in North American bears (Ursus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.A.; Amstrup, S.; Garner, G.; Vyse, E.R.

    1991-01-01

    We assessed mitochondrial DNA variation in North American black bears (Ursus americanus), brown bears (Ursus arctos), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Divergent mitochondrial DNA haplotypes (0.05 base substitutions per nucleotide) were identified in populations of black bears from Montana and Oregon. In contrast, very similar haplotypes occur in black bears across North America. This discordance of haplotype phylogeny and geographic distribution indicates that there has been maintenance of polymorphism and considerable gene flow throughout the history of the species. Intraspecific mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence in brown bears and polar bears is lower than in black bears. The two morphological forms of U. arctos, grizzly and coastal brown bears, are not in distinct mtDNA lineages. Interspecific comparisons indicate that brown bears and polar bears share similar mitochondrial DNA (0.023 base substitutions per nucleotide) which is quite divergent (0.078 base substitutions per nucleotide) from that of black bears. High mitochondrial DNA divergence within black bears and paraphyletic relationships of brown and polar bear mitochondrial DNA indicate that intraspecific variation across species' ranges should be considered in phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA.

  3. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data.

    PubMed

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E; Greenwood, Alex D

    2015-11-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals. PMID:26610552

  4. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    PubMed Central

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals. PMID:26610552

  5. Spinal cord compression in two related Ursus arctos horribilis.

    PubMed

    Thomovsky, Stephanie A; Chen, Annie V; Roberts, Greg R; Schmidt, Carrie E; Layton, Arthur W

    2012-09-01

    Two 15-yr-old grizzly bear littermates were evaluated within 9 mo of each other with the symptom of acute onset of progressive paraparesis and proprioceptive ataxia. The most significant clinical examination finding was pelvic limb paresis in both bears. Magnetic resonance examinations of both bears showed cranial thoracic spinal cord compression. The first bear had left-sided extradural, dorsolateral spinal cord compression at T3-T4. Vertebral canal stenosis was also observed at T2-T3. Images of the second bear showed lateral spinal cord compression from T2-T3 to T4-T5. Intervertebral disk disease and associated spinal cord compression was also observed at T2-T3 and T3-T4. One grizzly bear continued to deteriorate despite reduced exercise, steroid, and antibiotic therapy. The bear was euthanized, and a necropsy was performed. The postmortem showed a spinal ganglion cyst that caused spinal cord compression at the level of T3-T4. Wallerian-like degeneration was observed from C3-T6. The second bear was prescribed treatment that consisted of a combination of reduced exercise and steroid therapy. He continued to deteriorate with these medical therapies and was euthanized 4 mo after diagnosis. A necropsy showed hypertrophy and protrusion of the dorsal longitudinal ligament at T2-T3 and T3-T4, with resulting spinal cord compression in this region. Wallerian-like degeneration was observed from C2-L1. This is one of few case reports that describes paresis in bears. It is the only case report, to the authors' knowledge, that describes spinal magnetic resonance imaging findings in a grizzly bear and also the only report that describes a cranial thoracic myelopathy in two related grizzly bears with neurologic signs. PMID:23082524

  6. Elemental mapping in fossil tooth root section of Ursus arctos by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).

    PubMed

    Vašinová Galiová, M; Nývltová Fišáková, M; Kynický, J; Prokeš, L; Neff, H; Mason, A Z; Gadas, P; Košler, J; Kanický, V

    2013-02-15

    Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to map the matrix (Ca, P) and trace (Ba, Sr, Zn) elements in the root section of a fossilized brown bear (Ursus arctos) tooth. Multielemental analysis was performed on a (2.5 × 1.5)cm(2) area. For elemental distribution, a UP 213 laser ablation system was coupled either with a quadrupole or a time of flight ICP-MS. The cementum and dentine on the slice of the sample surface were clearly distinguishable, especially changes in elemental distribution in the summer and winter bands in the fossil root dentine. Migration and diet of U. arctos were determined on the basis of fluctuations in Sr/Zn ratio and their contents. Quantification was accomplished with standard reference material of bone meal (NIST 1486) and by the use of electron microprobe analysis (EMPA). Changes in Sr/Zn and Sr/Ba ratios relating to the season, and composition of food during the lifetime of the animal are discussed on basis of analysis of light stable isotopes. It was observed that there was an increase in the Sr/Zn ratio during the winter season caused by a reduction of food intake during hibernation. Above mentioned inferences drawn from elemental data obtained by LA-ICP-MS were confirmed independently by determination of carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotopes. Moreover, diagenesis and its interfering influence on the biogenic composition of cementum and dentine were resolved. According to the distribution and/or content of the element of interest, post-mortem alterations were revealed. Namely, U, Na, Fe, Mg and F predicate about the suitability of the selected area for determination of migration and diet. PMID:23598013

  7. Mercury biomagnification in polar bears ( Ursus maritimus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, T. W.; Blum, J. D.; Xie, Z.; Hren, M.; Chamberlain, C. P.

    2007-12-01

    Mercury biomagnification occurs in a variety of ecosystems resulting in greater potential for toxicological effects in higher-level trophic feeders. However, Hg transport pathways through different foodweb channels are not well known, particularly in high-latitude systems affected by atmospheric Hg deposition associated with snow and ice. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios and Hg concentrations determined for 26 late 19th and early 20th century polar bear hair specimens collected from cataloged museum collections elucidate relationships between high latitude marine foodweb structure and Hg transport pathways. Nitrogen and carbon isotopic compositions suggest that polar bears derive nutrition from both open water (pelagic) and ice associated (sympagic) foodweb channels. Correlation between Hg concentrations and nitrogen isotope compositions indicate mercury biomagnification occurred in most of the polar bears investigated. Interpretation of stable isotope based foodweb structure in concert with Hg concentrations further suggests that Hg biomagnification occurred to a greater degree in polar bears participating in pelagic foodweb channels.

  8. Adaptation of the muscles of mastication to the flat skull feature in the polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Sasaki, M; Endo, H; Yamagiwa, D; Takagi, H; Arishima, K; Makita, T; Hayashi, Y

    2000-01-01

    The muscles of mastication of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and those of the brown bear (U. arctos) were examined by anatomical approach. In addition, the examination of the skull was carried out in the polar bear, brown bear and giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). In the polar bear, the rostro-ventral part of the superficial layer of the M. masseter possessed the abundant fleshy portion folded in the rostral and lateral directions like an accordion. Moreover, the rostro-medial area of the superficial layer became hollow in the nuchal direction when the mouth was closed. The M. temporalis of the polar bear covered up the anterior border of the coronoid process of the mandible and occupied the almost entire area of the cranial surface. The M. pterygoideus medialis of the polar bear was inserted on the ventral border of the mandible and on the ventral part of the temporal bone more widely than that of the brown bear. As results of our measurements of the mandible, an effect of the leverage in the polar bear was the smallest in three species. In the polar bear, the skull was flat, and the space between zygomatic arch and ventral border of the mandible, occupied by the M. masseter was the narrowest. It is suggested that the muscles of mastication of the polar bear is adapted to the flat skull feature for supplementing the functions. PMID:10676883

  9. Induction of pseudopregnancy in the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Schulz, Laura Clamon; Nelson, Ralph A; Pyter, Leah M; Bahr, Janice M

    2003-08-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether American Black Bears (Ursus americanus) can experience a pseudopregnancy of the same duration as pregnancy. To do this, we treated three nonmated, captive female bears with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) during one breeding season, and saline during another. Progesterone concentrations were measured in monthly blood samples to determine whether pseudopregnancy had occurred. Elevated progesterone concentrations were observed in two out of three bears treated with hCG. We conclude that 1) Elevated progesterone concentrations can be induced in black bears by injection of 35 U/kg hCG during the mating season. 2) Bears can experience a pseudopregnancy, identical in length to pregnancy, in which progesterone profiles are indistinguishable from those of pregnancy. PMID:12884278

  10. Omental torsion in a captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Mendez-Angulo, Jose L; Funes, Francisco J; Trent, Ava M; Willette, Michelle; Woodhouse, Kerry; Renier, Anna C

    2014-03-01

    This is the first case report of an omental torsion in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus). A captive, 23-yr-old, 250-kg, intact female polar bear presented to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center with a 2-day history of lethargy, depression, and vomiting. Abdominal ultrasound identified large amounts of hyperechoic free peritoneal fluid. Ultrasound-guided abdominocentesis was performed and yielded thick serosanguinous fluid compatible with a hemoabdomen. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a large amount of malodorous, serosanguineous fluid and multiple necrotic blood clots associated with a torsion of the greater omentum and rupture of a branch of the omental artery. A partial omentectomy was performed to remove the necrotic tissue and the abdomen was copiously lavaged. The polar bear recovered successfully and is reported to be clinically well 6 mo later. This condition should be considered as a differential in bears with clinical signs of intestinal obstruction and hemoabdomen. PMID:24712179

  11. Cretinism in a North American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Duncan, Robert B; Jones, Jeryl C; Moll, H David; Moon, Martha M; Blodgett, Dennis J; Vaughan, Michael R

    2002-01-01

    Congenital hyperplastic goiter and cretinism were documented in a 16 month-old male North American black bear (Ursus americanus). The cub was captured at approximately 8 months of age and maintained for an additional 8 months in captivity. Clinical signs included growth retardation, clumsiness, and facial dysmorphism. Hypothyroidism was documented by determining serum triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels. Lysosomal storage disease was ruled out by measuring various lysosomal enzyme activities. Serologic, radiographic, computed tomographic, necropsy, and histopathologic findings were consistent with congenital hypothyroidism and cretinism. PMID:11866041

  12. HYDROCEPHALUS IN THREE JUVENILE NORTH AMERICAN BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sylvia H; Novak, Janelle; Hecht, Silke; Craig, Linden E

    2016-06-01

    Hydrocephalus has been reported in a variety of species, including the North American black bear ( Ursus americanus ). This report describes three cases of hydrocephalus in this species from wild bears aged 3-4 mo considered retrospectively from necropsy records of one institution. Clinical signs included cortical blindness and ataxia. Primary gross findings were doming of the skull, gyri compression and flattening, and lateral ventricle dilation. Two cases had severe bilateral ventricular dilation with loss of the septum pellucidum; atrophy of the surrounding corpus callosum; and bilateral periventricular tears involving the caudate nuclei, internal capsule, and adjacent cerebrum. Histologically, the cases with periventricular tearing had severe axonal loss and degeneration, malacia, hemorrhage, and variable periventricular astrocytosis. All cases were likely congenital, given the bears' age and lack of an apparent acquired obstruction. PMID:27468040

  13. Tetranucleotide microsatellite loci from the black bear (Ursus americanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sanderlin, J.S.; Faircloth, B.C.; Shamblin, B.; Conroy, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    We describe primers and polymerase chain reaction conditions to amplify 21 tetranucleotide microsatellite DNA loci in black bears (Ursus americanus). We tested primers using individuals from two populations, one each in Georgia and Florida. Among individuals from Georgia (n = 29), primer pairs yielded an average of 2.9 alleles (range, one to four) and an average observed heterozygosity (HO) of 0.50 (range, 0.00 to 0.79). Among individuals from Florida (n = 19), primer pairs yielded an average of 5.7 alleles (range, one to 14) and an HO of 0.55 (range, 0.00 to 1.00). A comparison of previously developed markers with individuals from Georgia suggests that bear populations in Georgia and Florida have reduced allelic diversity relative to other populations. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  14. Serosurvey of selected zoonotic agents in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rah, H.; Chomel, B.B.; Follmann, E.H.; Kasten, R.W.; Hew, C.H.; Farver, T.B.; Garner, G.W.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2005-01-01

    Between 1982 and 1999 blood samples were collected from 500 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, to determine the seroprevalence of Brucella species, Toxoplasma gondii, and Trichinella species infections. The bears were classified into four age groups, cubs, yearlings, subadults and adults. Brucella and Toxoplasma antibodies were detected by agglutination (a buffered acidified card antigen and rapid automated presumptive test for brucellosis and a commercial latex agglutination test for toxoplasmosis); an ELISA was used to detect Thichinella antibodies. The overall seroprevalence of Brucella species was 5 per cent, and subadults and yearlings were 2.62 times (95 per cent confidence interval 1-02 to 6-82) more likely to be seropositive for Brucella species than adults and their cubs. The antibody prevalence for Toxoplasma gondii was 6 per cent, and for Trichinella species 55.6 per cent. The prevalence of antibodies to Trichinella species increased with age (P<0.001).

  15. Spatial memory in captive American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Zamisch, Valeria; Vonk, Jennifer

    2012-11-01

    The spatial memory and foraging strategies of four adult captive-born American black bears (Ursus americanus) were explored in four experiments using a simulated foraging task. In the first three experiments, each session consisted of two phases separated by a delay: During the exploration phase, subjects foraged among a set of baited and unbaited sites. During the delay, the same locations were rebaited and subjects were released again and allowed to search the sites (search phase). In Experiments 1a and 1b, different sites were baited each day and the interval between exploration and search was short (4 hr or 15 min). Subjects were not accurate at recovering the food items in either experiment. In Experiment 2, an "informed forager" paradigm was used in which one subject was given privileged knowledge about the location of the food during the exploration phase and was later released with an "uninformed" competitor during the search phase. The bears did not achieve above-chance recovery accuracy even in the presence of a competitor. In Experiment 3, the same two of four sites were continually baited and the bears were released simultaneously over a period of 20 days, with each baiting separated by 2 or 3 days. As a group, the bears' foraging accuracy with repeated baiting and longer intervals approached greater than chance accuracy. Results suggest some limitations on bears' use of spatial memory in captive environments, but reveal the potential for use of spatial memory over longer delays. PMID:22545764

  16. SARCOCYSTIS URSUSI, N. SP (APICOMPLEXA; SARCOCYSTIDAE) FROM THE BLACK BEAR (URSUS AMERICANUS)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infection with Sarcocystis species is common in hervibores but is rare in bears. Histological sections of 374 black bears (Ursus americanus) from Pennsylvania were examined for sarcocysts. A total of 3 sarcocysts were found in 3 bears, 1 sarcocyst per section. Sarcocysts from 2 bears were considered...

  17. Circumpolar study of perfluoroalkyl contaminants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Smithwick, Marla; Mabury, Scott A; Solomon, Keith R; Sonne, Christian; Martin, Jonathan W; Born, Erik W; Dietz, Rune; Derocher, Andrew E; Letcher, Robert J; Evans, Thomas J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Nagy, John; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitch K; Muir, Derek C G

    2005-08-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances were determined in liver tissues and blood of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from five locations in the North American Arctic and two locations in the European Arctic. Concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonate, heptadecafluorooctane sulfonamide, and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates with C(8)-C(15) perfluorinated carbon chains were determined using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. PFOS concentrations were significantly correlated with age at four of seven sampling locations, while gender was not correlated to concentration for any compound measured. Populations in South Hudson Bay (2000-2730 ng/g wet wt), East Greenland (911-2140 ng/g wet wt), and Svalbard (756-1290 ng/g wet wt) had significantly (P < 0.05) higher PFOS concentrations than western populations such as the Chukchi Sea (435-729 ng/g wet wt). Concentrations of perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) with adjacent chain lengths (i.e., C9:C10 and C10:C11) were significantly correlated (P < 0.05), suggesting PFCAs have a common source within a location, but there were differences in proportions of PFCAs between eastern and western location sources. Concentrations of PFOS in liver tissue at five locations were correlated with concentrations of four polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (180, 153, 138, and 99) in adipose tissue of bears in the same populations, suggesting similar transport pathways and source regions of PFOS or precursors. PMID:16124282

  18. Bears "Count" Too: Quantity Estimation and Comparison in Black Bears (Ursus Americanus).

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer; Beran, Michael J

    2012-07-01

    Studies of bear cognition are notably missing from the comparative record despite bears' large relative brain size and interesting status as generalist carnivores facing complex foraging challenges, but lacking complex social structures. We investigated the numerical abilities of three American black bears (Ursus Americanus) by presenting discrimination tasks on a touch-screen computer. One bear chose the larger of two arrays of dot stimuli, while two bears chose the smaller array of dots. On some trials the relative number of dots was congruent with the relative total area of the two arrays. On other trials number of dots was incongruent with area. All of the bears were above chance on trials of both types with static dots. Despite encountering greater difficulty with dots that moved within the arrays, one bear was able to discriminate numerically larger arrays of moving dots, and a subset of moving dots from within the larger array, even when area and number were incongruent. Thus, although the bears used area as a cue to guide responding, they were also able to use number as a cue. The pattern of performance was similar to that found previously with monkeys, and suggests that bears may also show other forms of sophisticated quantitative abilities. PMID:22822244

  19. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES AGAINST TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM SVALBARD AND EAST GREENLAND

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Serum samples from 419 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea (collected 1990 - 2000) and 108 polar bears from East Greenland (collected 1999 - 2004) were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibody prevalences were ...

  20. Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) by Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, David J.; Arundel, Terry A.

    2013-01-01

    We report a discovery of black bears (Ursus americanus) consuming seeds of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) on north slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona, in high-elevation, mixed-species conifer forest. In one instance, a bear had obtained seeds from cones excavated from a larder horde made by a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Consumption of seeds of southwestern white pine by bears had not been previously documented. This discovery adds to the number of species of pine used by bears for food as well as the geographic range within which the behavior occurs.

  1. Gene transcription in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from disparate populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Meyerson, Randi; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    Polar bears in the Beaufort (SB) and Chukchi (CS) Seas experience different environments due primarily to a longer history of sea ice loss in the Beaufort Sea. Ecological differences have been identified as a possible reason for the generally poorer body condition and reproduction of Beaufort polar bears compared to those from the Chukchi, but the influence of exposure to other stressors remains unknown. We use molecular technology, quantitative PCR, to identify gene transcription differences among polar bears from the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas as well as captive healthy polar bears. We identified significant transcriptional differences among a priori groups (i.e., captive bears, SB 2012, SB 2013, CS 2013) for ten of the 14 genes of interest (i.e., CaM, HSP70, CCR3, TGFβ, COX2, THRα, T-bet, Gata3, CD69, and IL17); transcription levels of DRβ, IL1β, AHR, and Mx1 did not differ among groups. Multivariate analysis also demonstrated separation among the groups of polar bears. Specifically, we detected transcript profiles consistent with immune function impairment in polar bears from the Beaufort Sea, when compared with Chukchi and captive polar bears. Although there is no strong indication of differential exposure to contaminants or pathogens between CS and SB bears, there are clearly differences in important transcriptional responses between populations. Further investigation is warranted to refine interpretation of potential effects of described stress-related conditions for the SB population.

  2. Foot-and-mouth disease in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus).

    PubMed

    Officer, Kirsty; Lan, Nguyen Thi; Wicker, Leanne; Hoa, Nguyen Thi; Weegenaar, Annemarie; Robinson, Jill; Ryoji, Yamaguchi; Loukopoulos, Panayiotis

    2014-09-01

    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, debilitating, and globally significant viral disease typically affecting cloven-hoofed hosts. The diagnosis of FMD in bears in Vietnam is described. The current study describes a confirmed case of FMD in a bear species, and the clinical signs compatible with FMD in a Malayan sun bear. Thirteen Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and 1 Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) were apparently affected. In August 2011, an adult bear became lethargic, and developed footpad vesicles. Over 15 days, 14 out of 17 bears developed similar signs; the remaining 3 co-housed bears and another 57 resident bears did not. All affected bears developed vesicles on all footpads, and most were lethargic for 24-48 hr. Nasal and oral lesions were noted in 6 and 3 cases, respectively. Within 1 month, all looked normal. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, classified as serotype O, and isolated by virus isolation techniques. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated clustering of 3 bear isolates, in a branch distinct from other FMDV type O isolates. The outbreak likely occurred due to indirect contact with livestock, and was facilitated by the high density of captive bears. It showed that Asiatic black bears are capable of contracting FMDV and developing clinical disease, and that the virus spreads easily between bears in close contact. PMID:25135011

  3. Polar bear Ursus maritimus hearing measured with auditory evoked potentials.

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Paul E; Supin, Alexander Y; Amundin, Mats; Röken, Bengt; Møller, Thorsten; Mooney, T Aran; Taylor, Kristen A; Yuen, Michelle

    2007-04-01

    While there has been recent concern about the effects of sound on marine mammals, including polar bears, there are no data available measuring the hearing of any bear. The in-air hearing of three polar bears was measured using evoked auditory potentials obtained while tone pips were played to three individually anaesthetized bears at the Kolmården Djurpark. Hearing was tested in half-octave steps from 1 to 22.5 kHz. Measurements were not obtainable at 1 kHz and best sensitivity was found in the range from 11.2-22.5 kHz. Considering the tone pips were short and background noise measurements were available, absolute measurements were estimated based on an assumed mammalian integration time of 300 ms. These data show sensitive hearing in the polar bear over a wide frequency range and should cause those concerned with the introduction of anthropogenic noise into the polar bear's environment to operate with caution. PMID:17371910

  4. SURGICAL CORRECTION OF BILATERAL PATELLAR LUXATION IN AN AMERICAN BLACK BEAR CUB (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Katarina R; Desmarchelier, Marion R; Bailey, Trina R

    2015-06-01

    A wild orphaned male American black bear cub ( Ursus americanus ) presented with hind limb gait abnormalities and was found to have bilateral grade 3 laterally luxating patellas. There were no other significant abnormalities detected on neurologic, radiographic, or hematologic examinations. The trochlear grooves were deepened with a chondroplasty, and the redundant soft tissues imbricated. There was a marked improvement in the bear's gait postoperatively, with an apparent full return to function. To the authors' knowledge, patellar luxation has not been reported in the Ursidae family, and the success in this case suggests that this technique may be used in large wild or captive carnivore cubs. PMID:26056894

  5. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    PubMed Central

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix; Ávila-Arcos, Maria; Stenglein, Mark D.; Chen, Wei; Sun, Wei; Mazzoni, Camila; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs. Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and characterized from its genome. We have designated the polar bear and giant panda sequences Ursus maritimus endogenous retrovirus (UmaERV) and Ailuropoda melanoleuca endogenous retrovirus (AmeERV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the bear virus group is nested within the HERV-K supergroup among bovine and bat endogenous retroviruses suggesting a complex evolutionary history within the HERV-K group. All individual remnants of proviral sequences contain numerous frameshifts and stop codons and thus, the virus is likely non-infectious. PMID:23725819

  6. Electroejaculation and semen characteristics of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus).

    PubMed

    Chen, L M; Hou, R; Zhang, Z H; Wang, J S; An, X R; Chen, Y F; Zheng, H P; Xia, G L; Zhang, M J

    2007-10-01

    This study details the seminal traits in the rare Asiatic black bear, revealing that this species generally produces high quality, concentrated ejaculates containing sperm of high motility and morphological integrity and similar to other members of the Ursine lineage. Semen was collected by electroejaculation and 23 trials were performed on 18 bears. The mean values were obtained for volume (0.61 ml), pH (7.1), sperm concentration (1049 x 10(6) ml(-1)), total sperm counts (502.8 x 10(6)), motility percentage (63.8%), forward progressive status (3.5), abnormal sperm percentage (37.9%) and intact acrosome percentage (76.6%). PMID:17250981

  7. Sex steroid and prolactin profiles in male American black bears (Ursus americanus) during denning.

    PubMed

    Tsubota, T; Garshelis, D L; Nelson, R A; Bahr, J M

    1999-01-01

    Serum sex steroid and prolactin profiles were examined in the male American black bear, Ursus americanus during denning. Sera collected in December and the following March from 8 denning male black bears in Minnesota, U.S.A. were assayed for testosterone, estradiol-17 beta and prolactin. Eight bears were confirmed to be the denning mode based on a serum urea to creatinine ratio less than 10. Serum testosterone concentrations tended to increase from December to the subsequent March whereas serum estradiol-17 beta concentrations tended to decrease during this period. There were few changes in serum prolactin concentrations between December and March. These findings suggest that spermatogenesis and testicular steroidogenesis initiated during denning may be influenced by changes in serum sex steroid concentrations in the American black bear. PMID:10027172

  8. Sarcoptic mange and Pelodera dermatitis in an American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Scott D; Cooley, Thomas M; Cosgrove, Melinda K

    2008-06-01

    An adult female free-ranging American black bear (Ursus americanus) was presented in poor body condition, with advanced skin disease. Skin changes included hair loss, lichenification, crusting, and focal erosions. Skin scrapings and histopathology identified two distinct parasitic conditions that were contributing to this animal's dermatitis. Large numbers of larvae, nymphs, and adults of Sarcoptes scabiei were present in the superficial epidermis, and nematodes consistent with Pelodera strongyloides were abundant within the hair follicles. This appears to be the first reported case of Pelodera dermatitis in a bear species, adding a new differential agent to the list for dermatitis in bears. The sarcoptic mange and poor body condition of this bear may have been contributing factors to the development of the opportunistic Pelodera infestation. PMID:18634219

  9. A retrospective study of end-stage renal disease in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    LaDouceur, Elise E B; Davis, Barbara; Tseng, Flo

    2014-03-01

    This retrospective study summarizes 11 cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from eight zoologic institutions across the United States and Canada. Ten bears were female, one was male, and the mean age at the time of death was 24 yr old. The most common clinical signs were lethargy, inappetence, and polyuria-polydipsia. Biochemical findings included azotemia, anemia, hyperphosphatemia, and isosthenuria. Histologic examination commonly showed glomerulonephropathies and interstitial fibrosis. Based on submissions to a private diagnostic institution over a 16-yr period, ESRD was the most commonly diagnosed cause of death or euthanasia in captive polar bears in the United States, with an estimated prevalence of over 20%. Further research is needed to discern the etiology of this apparently common disease of captive polar bears. PMID:24712164

  10. Isolation and characterization of new genetic types of toxoplasma gondii and prevalence of trichinella murrelli from black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black bears (Ursus americanus) are hosts for two important zoonotic parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. and bears are hunted for human consumption in the USA. Little is known of the genetic diversity of T. gondii circulating in wildlife. In the present study, antibodies to T. gondii we...

  11. Serosurvey for selected pathogens in free-ranging American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA.

    PubMed

    Bronson, Ellen; Spiker, Harry; Driscoll, Cindy P

    2014-10-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA, live in forested areas in close proximity to humans and their domestic pets. From 1999 to 2011, we collected 84 serum samples from 63 black bears (18 males; 45 females) in five Maryland counties and tested them for exposure to infectious, including zoonotic, pathogens. A large portion of the bears had antibody to canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii, many at high titers. Prevalences of antibodies to zoonotic agents such as rabies virus and to infectious agents of carnivores including canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus were lower. Bears also had antibodies to vector-borne pathogens common to bears and humans such as West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Antibodies were detected to Leptospira interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. We did not detect antibodies to Brucella canis or Ehrlichia canis. Although this population of Maryland black bears demonstrated exposure to multiple pathogens of concern for humans and domesticated animals, the low levels of clinical disease in this and other free-ranging black bear populations indicate the black bear is likely a spillover host for the majority of pathogens studied. Nevertheless, bear populations living at the human-domestic-wildlife interface with increasing human and domestic animal exposure should continue to be monitored because this population likely serves as a useful sentinel of ecosystem health. PMID:25075540

  12. Crescentic glomerulonephritis in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Baba, Hiroshi; Kudo, Tomoo; Makino, Yoshinori; Mochizuki, Yasumasa; Takagi, Takayo; Une, Yumi

    2013-11-01

    Spontaneous crescentic glomerulonephritis (CrGN) in animals has only been reported in dog and sheep. We report the pathological features of CrGN in a 17-year-old male polar bear that died due to renal failure. Histologically, the lesions were characterized by fibrocellular crescents, adhesion between Bowman's capsule and the glomerular capillary tuft and an increase in the mesangial matrix in glomeruli. The proliferating cells in the crescent were partly immunopositive for cytokeratin and intensely positive for vimentin, WT-1 and α-smooth muscle actin, suggesting they originated from parietal epithelial cells. Ultrastructually, thickening of the glomerular basement membrane and loss of epithelial cell foot processes were observed with electron-dense deposits. PMID:23856758

  13. Individual effects of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear behavior on stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Kelly, Krista R; Harrison, Michelle L; Size, Daniele D; MacDonald, Suzanne E

    2015-01-01

    Stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be detrimental to their welfare. These behaviors can be reduced through enrichment programs but are often not completely eliminated, so identifying potential triggers is important. The present study investigated the influences of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear activity on stereotypical behaviors exhibited by 3 captive polar bears at the Toronto Zoo. All bears exhibited these behaviors; however, individual differences were found in duration and form. The male exhibited less stereotypical behavior during spring, and the females exhibited less stereotypical behavior during winter. An increase in visitor density was associated with more stereotypical behavior in 1 female but less stereotypical behavior in the other 2 bears. All bears engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were inactive, and 1 female engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were out of sight. Further, when conspecifics were active, all bears engaged in less stereotypical behaviors. Given the variability among individual bears, future enrichment programs must be tailored to the needs of individuals to maximize efficacy. PMID:24933263

  14. Mediastinal teratoma in a free-ranging American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Munk, Brandon A; Turner, J Chris; Keel, M Kevin

    2013-12-01

    A 2.75-yr-old female American black bear (Ursus americanus) was found emaciated and unable to rise. It was euthanized due to the perceived poor prognosis. An approximately 18 x 8 x 10-cm, multiloculated, well-demarcated mass that extended from the bifurcation of the trachea, laterally displacing the lung lobes and caudally displacing the heart. The mass contained fibrous connective tissue, cartilage, bone, nervous tissue, smooth muscle, and a variety of epithelial structures. A mediastinal teratoma was diagnosed based on the microscopic features of the neoplasm. PMID:24450083

  15. Factors influencing annual fecal testosterone metabolite profiles in captive male polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Curry, E; Roth, T L; MacKinnon, K M; Stoops, M A

    2012-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of season, breeding activity, age and latitude on fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in captive, adult male polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Fourteen polar bears from 13 North American zoos were monitored for 12-36 months, producing 25-year-long testosterone profiles. Results indicated that testosterone was significantly higher during the breeding season (early January through the end of May) compared with the non-breeding season with the highest concentrations excreted from early January through late March. Variations in excretion patterns were observed among individuals and also between years within an individual, with testosterone peaks closely associated with breeding activity. Results indicate that fecal testosterone concentrations are influenced by season, breeding activity and age, but not by latitude. This is the first report describing longitudinal fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in individual adult male polar bears. PMID:23279504

  16. Breeding behavior of the American black bear Ursus americanus.

    PubMed

    Boone, William R; Richardson, M Elaine; Greer, Jennifer A

    2003-07-01

    By means of videotape, we observed and timed courtship, mating, and refractoriness in the American black bear while confined in a semicaptive environment. Sixty-six courtships resulted in mating. During courtship, the male detected estrus and receptivity in the female. Courtship lasted 22.5+/-2.3s (mean+/-S.E.M.). We videotaped and reviewed 61 matings that included mounts, pelvic thrusts, and flutters. Mating lasted 51.6+/-4.2s. Within these 61 matings, there were 24 pelvic thrusts and 14 flutters observed. Pelvic thrusts averaged 2.3+/-0.3 times, while flutters averaged 11.1+/-2.9 times. Of the 61 courtship-mating segments, 28 segments depicted a male refractory period, while 27 segments depicted a female refractory period. The male refractory period lasted 44.9+/-6.1s during which the male sat and licked his genital region. The female walked, ran away, or turned and attacked the male during her 54.2+/-8.3s refractory period. This is the first time a large number of paired ursid matings has been described and timed. PMID:12749942

  17. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), the most evolutionary advanced hibernators, avoid significant bone loss during hibernation.

    PubMed

    Lennox, Alanda R; Goodship, Allen E

    2008-02-01

    Some hibernating animals are known to reduce muscle and bone loss associated with mechanical unloading during prolonged immobilisation,compared to humans. However, here we show that wild pregnant polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are the first known animals to avoid significant bone loss altogether, despite six months of continuous hibernation. Using serum biochemical markers of bone turnover, we showed that concentrations for bone resorption are not significantly increased as a consequence of hibernation in wild polar bears. This is in sharp contrast to previous studies on other hibernating species, where for example, black bears (Ursus americanus), show a 3-4 fold increase in serum bone resorption concentrations posthibernation,and must compensate for this loss through rapid bone recovery on remobilisation, to avoid the risk of fracture. In further contrast to black bears, serum concentrations of bone formation markers were highly significantly increased in pregnant female polar bears compared to non-pregnant,thus non-hibernating females both prior to and after hibernation. However, bone formation concentrations in new mothers were significantly reduced compared to pre-hibernation concentrations. The de-coupling of bone turnover in favour of bone formation prior to hibernation, suggests that wild polar bears may posses a unique physiological mechanism for building bone in protective preparation against expected osteopenia associated with disuse,starvation, and hormonal drives to mobilise calcium for reproduction, during hibernation. Understanding this physiological mechanism could have profound implications for a natural solution for the prevention of osteoporosis in animals subjected to captivity with inadequate space for exercise,humans subjected to prolonged bed rest while recovering from illness, or astronauts exposed to antigravity during spaceflight.© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMID:18249018

  18. Social network analysis of mating patterns in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Moore, Jennifer A; Xu, Ran; Frank, Kenneth; Draheim, Hope; Scribner, Kim T

    2015-08-01

    Nonrandom mating can structure populations and has important implications for population-level processes. Investigating how and why mating deviates from random is important for understanding evolutionary processes as well as informing conservation and management. Prior to the implementation of parentage analyses, understanding mating patterns in solitary, elusive species like bears was virtually impossible. Here, we capitalize on a long-term genetic data set collected from black bears (Ursus americanus) (N = 2422) in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) of Michigan, USA. We identified mated pairs using parentage analysis and applied logistic regression (selection) models that controlled for features of the social network, to quantify the effects of individual characteristics, and spatial and population demographic factors on mating dynamics. Logistic regression models revealed that black bear mating was associated with spatial proximity of mates, male age, the time a pair had coexisted, local population density and relatedness. Mated pairs were more likely to contain older males. On average, bears tended to mate with nearby individuals to whom they were related, which does not support the existence of kin recognition in black bears. Pairwise relatedness was especially high for mated pairs containing young males. Restricted dispersal and high male turnover from intensive harvest mortality of NLP black bears are probably the underlying factors associated with younger male bears mating more often with female relatives. Our findings illustrate how harvest has the potential to disrupt the social structure of game species, which warrants further attention for conservation and management. PMID:26113220

  19. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: a guide to research and management activities.

    PubMed

    Patyk, Kelly A; Duncan, Colleen; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, Christian; Laidre, Kristin; Obbard, Martyn; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric; Gustafson, Lori L; Atwood, Todd

    2015-05-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress. PMID:25679818

  20. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: A guide to research and management activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Patyk, Kelly A.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, C.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric V.; Gustafson, L.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress.

  1. Serum corticosteroid binding globulin expression is modulated by fasting in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Chow, Brian A; Hamilton, Jason; Cattet, Marc R L; Stenhouse, Gordon; Obbard, Martyn E; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from several subpopulations undergo extended fasting during the ice-free season. However, the animals appear to conserve protein despite the prolonged fasting, though the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. We hypothesized that elevated concentrations of corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), the primary cortisol binding protein in circulation, lead to cortisol resistance and provide a mechanism for protein conservation during extended fasting. The metabolic state (feeding vs. fasting) of 16 field sampled male polar bears was determined based on their serum urea to creatinine ratio (>25 for feeding vs. <5 for fasting). There were no significant differences in serum cortisol levels between all male and female polar bears sampled. Serum CBG expression was greater in lactating females relative to non-lactating females and males. CBG expression was significantly higher in fasting males when compared to non-fasting males. This leads us to suggest that CBG expression may serve as a mechanism to conserve protein during extended fasting in polar bears by reducing systemic free cortisol concentrations. This was further supported by a lower serum glucose concentration in the fasting bears. As well, a lack of an enhanced adrenocortical response to acute capture stress supports our hypothesis that chronic hunger is not a stressor in this species. Overall, our results suggest that elevated serum CBG expression may be an important adaptation to spare proteins by limiting cortisol bioavailability during extended fasting in polar bears. PMID:20883811

  2. Phylogeographic and Demographic Analysis of the Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) Based on Mitochondrial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jiaqi; Kohno, Naoki; Mano, Shuhei; Fukumoto, Yukio; Tanabe, Hideyuki; Hasegawa, Masami; Yonezawa, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    The Asian black bear Ursus thibetanus is widely distributed in Asia and is adapted to broad-leaved deciduous forests, playing an important ecological role in the natural environment. Several subspecies of U. thibetanus have been recognized, one of which, the Japanese black bear, is distributed in the Japanese archipelago. Recent molecular phylogeographic studies clarified that this subspecies is genetically distantly related to continental subspecies, suggesting an earlier origin. However, the evolutionary relationship between the Japanese and continental subspecies remained unclear. To understand the evolution of the Asian black bear in relation to geological events such as climatic and transgression-regression cycles, a reliable time estimation is also essential. To address these issues, we determined and analyzed the mt-genome of the Japanese subspecies. This indicates that the Japanese subspecies initially diverged from other Asian black bears in around 1.46Ma. The Northern continental population (northeast China, Russia, Korean peninsula) subsequently evolved, relatively recently, from the Southern continental population (southern China and Southeast Asia). While the Japanese black bear has an early origin, the tMRCAs and the dynamics of population sizes suggest that it dispersed relatively recently in the main Japanese islands: during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene, probably during or soon after the extinction of the brown bear in Honshu in the same period. Our estimation that the population size of the Japanese subspecies increased rapidly during the Late Pleistocene is the first evidential signal of a niche exchange between brown bears and black bears in the Japanese main islands. This interpretation seems plausible but was not corroborated by paleontological evidence that fossil record of the Japanese subspecies limited after the Late Pleistocene. We also report here a new fossil record of the oldest Japanese black bear from the Middle Pleistocene

  3. Zinc, cadmium, mercury and selenium in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Central East Greenland

    SciTech Connect

    Dietz, R.; Born, E.W.; Agger, C.T.; Nielsen, C.O.

    1995-02-01

    Muscle, liver, and kidney tissues from 38 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) caught in the Scoresby Sound area, Central East Greenland, were analysed for zinc, cadmium, mercury and selenium. In general, cadmium concentrations were low in muscle, liver and kidney tissue. This finding can be explained by low cadmium levels in the blubber of ringed seals. The concentration of mercury in muscle tissue was low, whereas concentrations in liver and kidney tissue were relatively high. Mercury and cadmium were positively correlated with age in liver and kidney. Zinc was positively correlated with in kidney, and selenium was correlated with age in liver. Contrary to other marine mammals, polar bears had higher mercury levels in the kidneys than in the liver. In all three tissues polar bears had significantly lower cadmium levels than ringed seals from the same area. Mercury levels were significantly lower in the muscle tissue of polar bears than in ringed seals, where-as levels in the liver and kidney were significantly higher. The previous geographic trend for cadmium and mercury found in Canadian polar bears could be extended to cover East Greenland as well. Hence cadmium levels were higher in Greenland than in Canada, while the opposite was the case for mercury. Greenland polar bears had higher mercury and cadmium contents in livers and kidneys than polar bears from Svalbard. The mercury levels in muscle and liver tissue from polar bears from East Greenland were twice as high as found in bears from western Alaska, but half the levels found in northern Alaska. Cadmium and zinc were partially correlated in kidney tissue, and this was found for mercury and selenium as well. Cadmium and zinc showed molar ratios close to unity with the highest concentrations occurring in kidney tissue, while the levels of zinc exceeded cadmium in muscle and liver tissue by up to several decades. Mercury and selenium showed molar ratios close to unity in liver and kidneys. 56 refs., 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  4. Seasonal variation in American black bear Ursus americanus activity patterns: Quantification via remote photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, A.S.; Vaughan, M.R.; Klenzendorf, S.

    2004-01-01

    Activity pattern plasticity may serve as an evolutionary adaptation to optimize fitness in an inconstant environment, however, quantifying patterns and demonstrating variation can be problematic. For American black bears Ursus americanus, wariness and habitat inaccessibility further complicate quantification. Radio telemetry has been the primary technique used to examine activity, however, interpretation error and limitation on numbers of animals available to monitor prevent extrapolation to unmarked or untransmittered members of the population. We used remote cameras to quantify black bear activity patterns and examined differences by season, sex and reproductive class in the Alleghany Mountains of western Virginia, USA. We used 1,533 pictures of black bears taken during 1998-2002 for our analyses. Black bears generally were diurnal in summer and nocturnal in autumn with a vespertine activity peak during both seasons. Bear-hound training seasons occurred during September and may offer explanation for the observed shift towards nocturnal behaviour. We found no substantial differences in activity patterns between sex and reproductive classes. Use of remote cameras allowed us to efficiently sample larger numbers of individual animals and likely offered a better approximation of population-level activity patterns than individual-level, telemetry-based methodologies.

  5. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    PubMed

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix; Avila-Arcos, María; Stenglein, Mark D; Chen, Wei; Sun, Wei; Mazzoni, Camila J; Osterrieder, Nikolaus; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-08-15

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) yielded sequences with highest similarity to the human endogenous retrovirus group HERV-K(HML-2). Further analysis of the polar bear draft genome identified an endogenous betaretrovirus group comprising 26 proviral copies and 231 solo LTRs. Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and characterized from its genome. We have designated the polar bear and giant panda sequences U. maritimus endogenous retrovirus (UmaERV) and A. melanoleuca endogenous retrovirus (AmeERV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the bear virus group is nested within the HERV-K supergroup among bovine and bat endogenous retroviruses suggesting a complex evolutionary history within the HERV-K group. All individual remnants of proviral sequences contain numerous frameshifts and stop codons and thus, the virus is likely non-infectious. PMID:23725819

  6. Fossil Find on Svalbard Highlights the Natural History of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingolfsson, O.; Wiig, O.

    2007-12-01

    During recent fieldwork on Svalbard a well preserved subfossil left ramus of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) mandible was discovered. A 14C age determination shows that it is older than 45 ka (kilo-years), and an OSL (Optical Stimulated Luminescence) age determination together with the stratigraphic position of the bone suggests that it is of Eemian-Early Weichselian/Wisconsinan age, 150-80 ka old. This puts the find among the oldest fossil remains of a polar bear ever discovered. Osteological study of the mandible suggests that it comes from a fully grown female. The fossil record suggests that polar bears may have developed from brown bears during the early part of the last glacial cycle, some 100 ka ago. The present interglacial might be the first such that the species has to endure. This underlines the potential status of the polar bears as an endangered species if the current warming trend and diminishing of sea ice cover in the Arctic continues.

  7. Bone formation is not impaired by hibernation (disuse) in black bears Ursus americanus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Donahue, S.W.; Vaughan, M.R.; Demers, L.M.; Donahue, H.J.

    2003-01-01

    Disuse by bed rest, limb immobilization or space flight causes rapid bone loss by arresting bone formation and accelerating bone resorption. This net bone loss increases the risk of fracture upon remobilization. Bone loss also occurs in hibernating ground squirrels, golden hamsters, and little brown bats by arresting bone formation and accelerating bone resorption. There is some histological evidence to suggest that black bears Ursus americanus do not lose bone mass during hibernation (i.e. disuse). There is also evidence suggesting that muscle mass and strength are preserved in black bears during hibernation. The question of whether bears can prevent bone loss during hibernation has not been conclusively answered. The goal of the current study was to further assess bone metabolism in hibernating black bears. Using the same serum markers of bone remodeling used to evaluate human patients with osteoporosis, we assayed serum from five black bears, collected every 10 days over a 196-day period, for bone resorption and formation markers. Here we show that bone resorption remains elevated over the entire hibernation period compared to the pre-hibernation period, but osteoblastic bone formation is not impaired by hibernation and is rapidly accelerated during remobilization following hibernation.

  8. USE OF SULFUR AND NITROGEN STABLE ISOTOPES TO DETERMINE THE IMPORTANCE OF WHITEBARK PINE NUTS TO YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLY BEARS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a masting species that produces relatively large, fat and protein-rich nuts that are consumed by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). Trees produce abundant nut crops in some years and poor crops in other years. Grizzly bear survival in ...

  9. Sequential ovulation and fertility of polyoestrus in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Himelright, Brendan M; Moore, Jenna M; Gonzales, Ramona L; Mendoza, Alejandra V; Dye, Penny S; Schuett, Randall J; Durrant, Barbara S; Read, Betsy A; Spady, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) are seasonally polyoestrous and exhibit delayed implantation, which may allow equal and independent fertility of recurrent oestruses of a mating season. We postulated that the luteal inactivity during delayed implantation allows bears to have sequential ovulation during a polyoestrous mating season such that each oestrus of a polyoestrous female will have equivalent fertility, and pregnancy would not preclude subsequent ovulation and superfetation. Controlled mating experiments were conducted on semi-free-ranging female American black bears during three mating seasons, wherein females were bred by different male cohorts in each oestrus. Behavioural observation, vulva score ranking, genetic paternity analysis, gross morphology of ovaries and microscopic morphology of diapaused embryos were used to evaluate the fertility of each subsequent oestrus in polyoestrous females. Oestrus duration, number of successful mounts and median vulva scores were similar between first and subsequent oestruses of the season. Polyoestrus occurred in 81.3% of oestrous females, with a 9.7 ± 5.5 day (mean ± SD) inter-oestrous interval. Sequential ovulation was documented in three polyoestrous females, including one that possessed both a corpus haemorrhagicum and a developed corpus luteum. Among polyoestrous dams, four of nine embryos were conceived in the first oestrus and five of nine in the second oestrus. These results indicate that each oestrus of polyoestrous females is capable of fertility, even if the female is already pregnant from a prior oestrus. Although superfetation was not directly observed in the present study, our results strongly suggest the potential of superfetation in the American black bear and provide novel insight into the complex behavioural and physiological breeding mechanisms of bears. Given that most endangered bear species share similar reproductive traits with American black bears, captive breeding programmes

  10. Sequential ovulation and fertility of polyoestrus in American black bears (Ursus americanus)

    PubMed Central

    Himelright, Brendan M.; Moore, Jenna M.; Gonzales, Ramona L.; Mendoza, Alejandra V.; Dye, Penny S.; Schuett, Randall J.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Read, Betsy A.; Spady, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) are seasonally polyoestrous and exhibit delayed implantation, which may allow equal and independent fertility of recurrent oestruses of a mating season. We postulated that the luteal inactivity during delayed implantation allows bears to have sequential ovulation during a polyoestrous mating season such that each oestrus of a polyoestrous female will have equivalent fertility, and pregnancy would not preclude subsequent ovulation and superfetation. Controlled mating experiments were conducted on semi-free-ranging female American black bears during three mating seasons, wherein females were bred by different male cohorts in each oestrus. Behavioural observation, vulva score ranking, genetic paternity analysis, gross morphology of ovaries and microscopic morphology of diapaused embryos were used to evaluate the fertility of each subsequent oestrus in polyoestrous females. Oestrus duration, number of successful mounts and median vulva scores were similar between first and subsequent oestruses of the season. Polyoestrus occurred in 81.3% of oestrous females, with a 9.7 ± 5.5 day (mean ± SD) inter-oestrous interval. Sequential ovulation was documented in three polyoestrous females, including one that possessed both a corpus haemorrhagicum and a developed corpus luteum. Among polyoestrous dams, four of nine embryos were conceived in the first oestrus and five of nine in the second oestrus. These results indicate that each oestrus of polyoestrous females is capable of fertility, even if the female is already pregnant from a prior oestrus. Although superfetation was not directly observed in the present study, our results strongly suggest the potential of superfetation in the American black bear and provide novel insight into the complex behavioural and physiological breeding mechanisms of bears. Given that most endangered bear species share similar reproductive traits with American black bears, captive breeding programmes

  11. Electroejaculation and semen cryopreservation of free-ranging Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    PubMed

    Okano, Tsukasa; Murase, Tetsuma; Tsubota, Toshio

    2004-11-01

    The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is endangered for extinction in some areas of Japan, and semen collection and cryopreservation are an important means to preserve genetic resources. The aim of this study was to characterize and cryopreserve semen of free-ranging Japanese black bears. Semen was collected by electroejaculation procedure from 4 free-ranging Japanese black bears at the capture point in the field. Ejaculates containing motile sperm were recovered from all of the animals and ejaculate volume, total sperm count, % motility (percentage of motile spermatozoa), % viability (percentage of spermatozoa that excluded eosin) and % abnormal morphology (range (mean)) were 0.65-2.20 (1.51) ml, 99-1082 (490) x 10(6), 5-100 (31), 42-97 (66) and 20-87 (53), respectively. Three of the 4 ejaculates were diluted with an egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-glucose extender and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Motile spermatozoa were observed after freezing and thawing in all cases. This study showed that electroejaculation would be a useful method for collecting semen from free-ranging Japanese black bears and that at least motile spermatozoa would be obtained by freezing the thus collected electroejaculates. PMID:15585951

  12. Anaerobic oral flora in the North American black bear (Ursus americanus) in eastern North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Elsburgh O; Stoskopf, Michael K; Minter, Larry J; Stringer, Elizabeth M

    2012-06-01

    Microbial flora can provide insight into the ecology and natural history of wildlife in addition to improving understanding of health risks. This study examines the anaerobic oral flora of hunter killed black bears (Ursus americanus) in eastern North Carolina. Oral swabs from the buccal and lingual supragingival tooth surfaces of the first and second mandibular and maxillary molars of 22 black bears were inoculated onto Brucella Blood Agar plates supplemented with hemin and vitamin K after transport from the field using reduced oxoid nutrient broth. Sixteen anaerobic bacterial species, representing nine genera were identified using the RapID ANA II Micromethod Kit system and a number of organisms grown that could not be identified with the system. The most frequently identified anaerobes were Peptostreptococcus prevotii, Streptococcus constellatus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis. The diversity in the anaerobic oral flora of black bear in eastern North Carolina suggests the importance of including these organisms in basic health risk assessment protocols and suggests a potential tool for assessment of bear/habitat interactions. PMID:22503889

  13. Subcutaneous implantation of satellite transmitters with percutaneous antennae into male polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mulcahy, D.M.; Garner, G.

    1999-01-01

    Male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have not been successfully instrumented with satellite transmitters because they readily shed collar-mounted transmitters. Seven male polar bears were captured on the pack ice off the northern coast of Alaska and surgically implanted with satellite transmitters with percutaneous antennae into the subcutaneous space of the dorsal cervical region. Transmitters failed prematurely with lifetimes of 30-161 days (x?? = 97 days). Efforts to relocate implanted bears after transmitters failed were not successful. The mean number of location solutions per transmitter was 204 (range 118-369). An average of 10% and 19% of the locations were accurate to <150 m and to 150-350 m, respectively. Our successful tracking of male polar bears, the high quality of locations obtained from transmitters with percutaneous antennae implanted in the subcutaneous space, and the low visibility of such units make further technical development worthwhile if the reason for premature failure of the transmitters can be determined. Copyright 1999 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

  14. Fatal disseminated blastomycosis in a free-ranging American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Dykstra, Jaclyn A; Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Wünschmann, Arno

    2012-11-01

    An aged, free-ranging, female, radio-collared American black bear (Ursus americanus) died after an approximately 5 month long period of weight loss. Gross necropsy findings included severe diffuse pyogranulomatous bronchopneumonia, marked granulomatous lymphadenitis of tracheobronchial lymph nodes and multiple intra-abdominal lymph nodes, chronic focal jejunal ulceration, and widespread alopecia. Histopathologic examination revealed abundant fungal organisms morphologically compatible with Blastomyces sp. within pyogranulomatous inflammatory lesions in the lungs, multiple lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, jejunum, and right adrenal gland. In addition, the haircoat had a mild infestation of chewing lice (Trichodectes pinguis euarctidos), and large numbers of rhabditid nematodes consistent with Pelodera sp. were histologically observed within hair follicles. PMID:23012379

  15. Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma in a North American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Rotstein, David S; Govett, Pamela; Wolfe, Barbara

    2005-09-01

    A 10-yr-old female black bear (Ursus americanus) at the North Carolina Zoological Park presented with a 2-wk history of intermittent coughing and stertor. The animal was anesthetized for examination, and at intubation, a large mass associated with the tonsils and larynx was observed obstructing the airway. Cardiopulmonary collapse occurred during the procedure, and efforts at resuscitation were ineffective. At necropsy, an 8 cm times 6 cm times 5 cm mass was present in the larynx, infiltrating the epiglottis and obstructing the airway. Regional lymph nodes were mildly enlarged and contained tan inspissated substance. Histologically, the neoplasm was composed of nests of keratinizing squamous epithelial cells with evidence of lymphatic invasion and metastases to regional lymph nodes. PMID:17312782

  16. Post-den emergence behavior of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, T.S.; Partridge, S.T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Schliebe, S.

    2007-01-01

    We observed polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternity den sites on Alaska’s North Slope in March 2002 and 2003 in an effort to describe bears’ post-den emergence behavior. During 40 sessions spanning 459 h, we observed 8 adults and 14 dependent cubs outside dens for 37.5 h (8.2% of total observation time). There was no significant difference between den emergence dates in 2002 (mean = 15 Mar ± 4.1 d) and 2003 (mean = 21 Mar ± 2.1 d). Following initial den breakout, polar bears remained at their den sites for 1.5 to 14 days (mean = 8.1 ± 5.1 d). The average length of stay in dens between emergent periods was significantly shorter in 2002 (1.79 h) than in 2003 (4.82 h). While outside, adult bears were inactive 49.5% of the time, whereas cubs were inactive 13.4% of the time. We found no significant relationships between den emergence activity and weather. Adult polar bears at den sites subjected to industrial activity exhibited significantly fewer bouts of vigilance than denned bears in undisturbed areas (t = -5.5164, df = 4, p= 0.00). However, the duration of vigilance behaviors at sites near industrial activity was not significantly shorter than at the other sites studied (t = -1.8902, df = 4, p = 0.07). Results for these bears were within the range of findings in other studies of denned polar bears.

  17. Enlarged clitoris in wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be misdiagnosed as pseudohermaphroditism.

    PubMed

    Sonne, C; Leifsson, P S; Dietz, R; Born, E W; Letcher, R J; Kirkegaard, M; Muir, D C G; Andersen, L W; Riget, F F; Hyldstrup, L

    2005-01-20

    A 23-year-old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) killed in an Inuit hunt in East Greenland on July 9, 1999 had a significantly enlarged clitoris resembling, in size, form and colour, those of previously reported 'pseudohermaphroditic' polar bears from Svalbard. It has been suggested that an enzyme defect (21-hydroxylase deficiency), androgen producing tumour or high exposure to organochlorines during the foetal stage or early development could be the reason for the supposed pseudohermaphroditism observed for Svalbard bears. Except for the enlarged clitoris, all dimensions of the external and internal reproductive organs of the present were similar to a reference group of 23 normal adult female polar bears from East Greenland collected in 1999-2002. The aberrant bear was a female genotype, and macroscopic examination of her internal reproductive organs indicated that she was reproductively functional. A histological examination of the clitoral enlargement in the present East Greenland specimen allows a first-time histological evaluation of the earlier macroscopic field diagnosis from Svalbard. This examination revealed intense chronic ulcerative and perivascular clitoriditis similar to "acral lick dermatitis" frequently seen in domestic dogs (i.e., we did not find any signs of pseudohermaphroditic hyperplasia of clitoral tissue due to androgenic or antiestrogenic endocrine disruption). The levels of organohalogens and TEQ values were lower than concentration thresholds of toxicological risk. It is hence possible that the previously reported adult female polar bear pseudohermaphrodites from Svalbard are in fact misdiagnoses. Therefore, future studies examining pseudohermaphroditism in wildlife should consider that certain occurrences are natural events, e.g., enlarged clitoris in the present East Greenland polar bear. Furthermore, caution should be exercised in suggesting linkages of such inflammatory abnormalities with correlations to anthropogenic pollutant

  18. Characterization of semen collected from beagles and captive Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    PubMed

    Kojima, E; Tsuruga, H; Komatsu, T; Murase, T; Tsubota, T; Kita, I

    2001-02-01

    This study characterized semen collected from the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus aponicus, to provide information on semen cryopreservation for artificial breeding. Preliminary studies using a beagle dog as the model species showed that sperm concentration and total sperm count were lower in semen collected by electroejaculation than in semen collected by digital manipulation, but that sperm motility, viability and morphology were similar. Characterization of semen obtained from Japanese black bears by electroejaculation under general anesthesia revealed that semen volume and total number of spermatozoa collected were lower; but that sperm concentration, motility, viability and morphology were equivalent to those reported in other ursids. When semen was collected via a catheter inserted into the urethra during the stimulation for ejaculation, the sperm concentration, total sperm count and motility were relatively higher than when semen was collected directly in a test tube. Specific normal semen characteristics (mean +/- SEM) were pH, 7.6 +/- 0.0; volume, 0.212 +/- 0.038 mL; sperm concentration, 361 +/- 100 x 10(6)/mL; total sperm count, 84.0 +/- 32.2 x 106; +++ motility, 30 +/- 5%; motility, 77 +/- 3%; viability 77 +/- 2%; and abnormal morphology, 11+/- 2%. These results suggest that semen can be collected from Japanese black bears by electroejaculation. PMID:11245261

  19. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations. PMID:20074323

  20. Hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls decrease circulating steroids in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Styrishave, Bjarne; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M

    2015-04-01

    As a top predator in the Arctic food chain, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are exposed to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Because several of these compounds have been reported to alter endocrine pathways, such as the steroidogenesis, potential disruption of the sex steroid synthesis by POPs may cause implications for reproduction by interfering with ovulation, implantation and fertility. Blood samples were collected from 15 female polar bears in Svalbard (Norway) in April 2008. The concentrations of nine circulating steroid hormones; dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione (AN), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2), 17β-estradiol (βE2), pregnenolone (PRE) and progesterone (PRO) were determined. The aim of the study was to investigate associations among circulating levels of specific POP compounds and POP-metabolites (hydroxylated PCBs [OH-PCBs] and hydroxylated PBDEs [OH-PBDEs]), steroid hormones, biological and capture variables in female polar bears. Inverse correlations were found between circulating levels of PRE and AN, and circulating levels of OH-PCBs. There were no significant relationships between the steroid concentrations and other analyzed POPs or the variables capture date and capture location (latitude and longitude), lipid content, condition and body mass. Although statistical associations do not necessarily represent direct cause-effect relationships, the present study indicate that OH-PCBs may affect the circulating levels of AN and PRE in female polar bears and that OH-PCBs thus may interfere with the steroid homeostasis. Increase in PRO and a decrease in AN concentrations suggest that the enzyme CYP17 may be a potential target for OH-PCBs. In combination with natural stressors, ongoing climate change and contaminant exposure, it is possible that OH-PCBs may disturb the reproductive potential of polar bears. PMID:25725300

  1. A new voluntary blood collection method for the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus).

    PubMed

    Otaki, Yusuke; Kido, Nobuhide; Omiya, Tomoko; Ono, Kaori; Ueda, Miya; Azumano, Akinori; Tanaka, Sohei

    2015-01-01

    Various training methods have been developed for animal husbandry and health care in zoos and one of these trainings is blood collection. One training method, recently widely used for blood collection in Ursidae, requires setting up a sleeve outside the cage and gives access to limited blood collection sites. A new voluntary blood collection method without a sleeve was applied to the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) with access to various veins at the same time. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of this new method and suggests improvements. Two Andean and two Asiatic black bears in Yokohama and Nogeyama Zoological Gardens, respectively, were trained to hold a bamboo pipe outside their cages. We could, thereby, simultaneously access superficial dorsal veins, the dorsal venous network of the hand, the cephalic vein from the carpal joint, and an area approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint. This allowed us to evaluate which vein was most suitable for blood collection. We found that the cephalic vein, approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint, was the most suitable for blood collection. This new method requires little or no modification of zoo facilities and provides a useful alternative method for blood collection. It could be adapted for use in other clinical examinations such as ultrasound examination. PMID:26197968

  2. A review of infectious agents in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their long-term ecological relevance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Anna C.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Nol, Pauline; Atwood, Todd C.; Hueffer, Karsten; Duncan, Colleen G.

    2015-01-01

    Disease was a listing criterion for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; it is therefore important to evaluate the current state of knowledge and identify any information gaps pertaining to diseases in polar bears. We conducted a systematic literature review focused on infectious agents and associated health impacts identified in polar bears. Overall, the majority of reports in free-ranging bears concerned serosurveys or fecal examinations with little to no information on associated health effects. In contrast, most reports documenting illness or pathology referenced captive animals and diseases caused by etiologic agents not representative of exposure opportunities in wild bears. As such, most of the available infectious disease literature has limited utility as a basis for development of future health assessment and management plans. Given that ecological change is a considerable risk facing polar bear populations, future work should focus on cumulative effects of multiple stressors that could impact polar bear population dynamics.

  3. Plasma levels of ursodeoxycholic acid in black bears, Ursus americanus: seasonal changes.

    PubMed

    Solá, Susana; Garshelis, David L; Amaral, Joana D; Noyce, Karen V; Coy, Pam L; Steer, Clifford J; Iaizzo, Paul A; Rodrigues, Cecília M P

    2006-06-01

    To date, no other studies have examined the seasonal changes in circulating levels of various bile acids in the plasma of wild North American black bears, Ursus americanus. Using gas chromatography, bile acid concentrations were measured in plasma samples obtained during either early or late hibernation, and during summer active periods. Thus, specific compositional changes from individual animals were examined through a given year. Total bile acid concentrations in the plasma of these normal animals were found to range between 0.2 and 3.1 micromol/L (0.9 +/- 0.2 micromol/L, mean +/- SEM). Cholic, ursodeoxycholic and chenodeoxycholic acids were the major bile acid species identified. Ursodeoxycholic acid represented 28.0 +/- 2.6% of the total bile acid pool. Deoxycholic and lithocholic acids were found only in small amounts. In addition, total bile acid concentrations were lower in plasma samples obtained during hibernation compared with those obtained during summer active periods (0.6 +/- 0.1 and 1.2 +/- 0.4 micromol/L, respectively; p < 0.05). However, the relative proportion of ursodeoxycholic acid, was significantly greater in winter than in summer (31.5 +/- 3.2% and 22.2 +/- 4.5%, p < 0.05). Finally, taurine-conjugated bile acids were the predominant species in bear plasma, accounting for >67% of the total bile acids. These data demonstrate that ursodeoxycholic acid is a major bile acid in black bear plasma, mostly conjugated with taurine. Further, the finding of seasonal variation in plasma bile acid composition provides evidence to support the possible role that ursodeoxycholic acid may play in cellular protection in hibernating black bears. PMID:16571381

  4. Oocyte recovery and maturation in the American black bear (Ursus americanus): a model for endangered ursids.

    PubMed

    Johnston, L A; Donoghue, A M; Igo, W; Simmons, L G; Wildt, D E; Rieffenberger, J

    1994-05-15

    A study was conducted to determine if meiotic maturation could be induced in ovarian oocytes of the American black bear (Ursus americanus), a model for gamete "rescue" techniques for endangered ursids. Ovaries obtained from 48 black bears yielded 2,403 oocytes (51.1 +/- 4.9/female), of which 777 (32.3%) were morphologically classified as excellent quality. More total oocytes were recovered from donors that were anestrous compared to luteal/pregnant (P < 0.05) at the time of ovarian excision. Delaying the recovery of oocytes from antral follicles within excised ovaries from 12-24 hr to 25-36 hr had no effect (P > 0.05) on the overall number of high quality oocytes recovered or subsequent maturational ability. The highest incidence of metaphase II was reached between 48 and 60 hr of in vitro incubation. Donor status (anestrous vs. luteal/pregnant) had no influence on the oocyte maturation rate by 24 or 48 hr, but by 60 hr, more (P < 0.05) oocytes recovered from anestrous females (43.9%) had achieved metaphase II compared to luteal/pregnant counterparts (23.1%). In preliminary trials involving endangered ursids, 54 ovarian oocytes were recovered from three aged sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), of which 72.2% were excellent quality and 15.4% matured in vitro to metaphase II. Similarly, 119 antral oocytes were recovered from two aged sloth bears (Melursus ursinus), of which 41.2% were excellent and 17.5% matured in vitro.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8207381

  5. The utility of harvest recoveries of marked individuals to assess polar bear (Ursus maritimus) survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Laake, Jeff; Laidre, Kristin L.; Born, Erik W.; Atkinson, Stephen N.

    2012-01-01

    Management of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations requires the periodic assessment of life history metrics such as survival rate. This information is frequently obtained during short-term capture and marking efforts (e.g., over the course of three years) that result in hundreds of marked bears remaining in the population after active marking is finished. Using 10 additional years of harvest recovery subsequent to a period of active marking, we provide updated estimates of annual survival for polar bears in the Baffin Bay population of Greenland and Canada. Our analysis suggests a decline in survival of polar bears since the period of active marking that ended in 1997; some of the decline in survival can likely be attributed to a decline in springtime ice concentration over the continental shelf of Baffin Island. The variance around the survival estimates is comparatively high because of the declining number of marks available; therefore, results must be interpreted with caution. The variance of the estimates of survival increased most substantially in the sixth year post-marking. When survival estimates calculated with recovery-only and recapture-recovery data sets from the period of active marking were compared, survival rates were indistinguishable. However, for the period when fewer marks were available, survival estimates were lower using the recovery-only data set, which indicates that part of the decline we detected for 2003 – 09 may be due to using only harvest recovery data. Nevertheless, the decline in the estimates of survival is consistent with population projections derived from harvest numbers and earlier vital rates, as well as with an observed decline in the extent of sea ice habitat.

  6. Annual changes in serum sex steroids in male and female black (Ursus americanus) and polar (Ursus maritimus) bears.

    PubMed

    Palmer, S S; Nelson, R A; Ramsay, M A; Stirling, I; Bahr, J M

    1988-06-01

    The adaptation of black and polar bears to their environments is proportional to the severity of climate and food restriction. Both black and polar bears mate during the spring, despite differences in their recent metabolic state. Reproductive activity in black bears follows 4 mo of torpor, whereas reproduction in polar bears occurs prior to torpor. The goals of this study were to measure the annual changes in serum sex steroids in male and female black and polar bears, and to determine if changes in serum levels of these steroids were associated with metabolic condition or photoperiod. Serum testosterone (T) concentrations were elevated during spring in black and polar bears. Moreover, this increase in serum T in polar bears during spring was correlated with age and testis size. Serum progesterone (P4) concentrations increased in pregnant polar bears in fall coincident with the time of expected implantation. No increases in serum P4 were observed in nonpregnant black and polar bears. Serum estradiol (E2) was elevated in nonpregnant and pregnant polar bears 2 mo prior to the time of expected implantation. We found that serum sex steroids measured in black and polar bears change independent of torpor. Therefore, our results suggest that photoperiod may be a more important regulator of serum steroid levels and reproduction than metabolic condition. PMID:3408772

  7. Identifying and managing an adverse food reaction in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) by an elimination diet trial.

    PubMed

    Monson, Sara; Minter, Larry J; Krouse, Marissa; De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-06-01

    A 16-yr-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) presented with severe diarrhea shortly following transfer to the North Carolina Zoological Park. Multiple diagnostic procedures were performed over several months and the cause of the chronic diarrhea was inconclusive. Histologically, colonic mucosal biopsies were consistent with severe chronic eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic colitis with no evidence of etiologic agents present. A dietary elimination trial was conducted and an adverse food reaction to the dog chow in the diet was confirmed. PMID:25000711

  8. Thyroid cystadenoma, colloid goiter, and hypothyroidism in an American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Storms, Timothy N; Beazley, Shelley L; Schumacher, Juergen; Ramsay, Edward C

    2004-03-01

    A 178-kg, 14-yr-old captive female American black bear (Ursus americanus) was examined because of lethargy, inappetance, obesity, and alopecia. Serum chemistry and complete blood count values were within normal limits. Based on serum levels for total thyroxine (T4), free T4 by equilibrium dialysis (fT4ED), and canine thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations, using assays validated for domestic dogs, hypothyroidism was diagnosed presumptively, and therapy with levothyroxine sodium (0.022 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.) was initiated. Haircoat, body weight, appetite, and activity level improved within 30 days. The levothyroxine dose was decreased twice (to 0.018 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d. and then to 0.011 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.) during the course of treatment based on monitoring of serum T4 and fT4ED concentrations. After euthanasia for severe refractory lameness, postmortem examination revealed bilateral thyroid lobe enlargement and a fluid-filled cyst within the right lobe. Histologically, colloid goiter was present in both lobes, and a follicular cystadenoma had replaced one third of the cranial pole of the right lobe. The goiter and cystadenoma likely contributed to the hypothyroid condition in this bear and fT4ED was a more sensitive indicator of hypothyroidism than was T4. The recommended canine dosage of levothyroxine may be too high for the treatment of hypothyroidism in American black bears; 0.011 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d. may be a more appropriate dosage. PMID:15193079

  9. Transthyretin-binding activity of contaminants in blood from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs.

    PubMed

    Bytingsvik, Jenny; Simon, Eszter; Leonards, Pim E G; Lamoree, Marja; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Hamers, Timo

    2013-05-01

    We determined the transthyretin (TTR)-binding activity of blood-accumulating contaminants in blood plasma samples of approximately 4-months-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs from Svalbard sampled in 1998 and 2008. The TTR-binding activity was measured as thyroxine (T4)-like equivalents (T4-EQMeas). Our findings show that the TTR-binding activity related to contaminant levels was significantly lower (45%) in 2008 than in 1998 (mean ± standard error of mean: 1998, 2265 ± 231 nM; 2008, 1258 ± 170 nM). Although we cannot exclude a potential influence of between-year differences in capture location and cub body mass, our findings most likely reflect reductions of TTR-binding contaminants or their precursors in the arctic environment (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]). The measured TTR-binding activity correlated positively with the cubs' plasma levels of hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs). No such association was found between TTR-binding activity and the plasma levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The OH-PCBs explained 60 ± 7% and 54 ± 4% of the TTR-binding activity in 1998 and 2008, respectively, and PFASs explained ≤1.2% both years. Still, almost half the TTR-binding activity could not be explained by the contaminants we examined. The considerable levels of TTR-binding contaminants warrant further effect directed analysis (EDA) to identify the contaminants responsible for the unexplained part of the observed TTR-binding activity. PMID:23551254

  10. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Museum specimens (maxillae and/or mandibles) from 317 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria and 249 specimens were included in this study. The specimens were acquired between 1906 and 2011. There were 126 specimens (50.6%) from male animals, 93 (37.3%) from female animals and 30 (12.1%) from animals of unknown sex. The ages of the animals ranged from neonate to adult, with 125 adults (50.2%) and 124 young adults (49.8%) included and neonates/juveniles excluded from the study. The number of teeth available for examination was 7,638 (73.5%); 12.3% of teeth were absent artefactually, 0.8% were deemed absent due to acquired tooth loss and 13.4% were absent congenitally. With respect to tooth morphology, 20 teeth (0.26% of available teeth) in 18 specimens (7.2% of available specimens) were small vestigial structures with crowns that were flush with the level of surrounding alveolar bone. One supernumerary tooth and one tooth with enamel hypoplasia were encountered. Persistent deciduous teeth and teeth with an aberrant number of roots were not found. Relatively few teeth (3.7%) displayed attrition/abrasion, 90% of which were the maxillary and mandibular incisor teeth, in 41 polar bears (16.5%). Nearly twice as many adult specimens exhibited attrition/abrasion as those from young adults; significantly more males were affected than females. Dental fractures were noted in 52 polar bears, affecting 20.9% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth present. More adult polar bears had dental fractures than young adults. There were 21 specimens (8.4%) that displayed overt periapical disease, affecting a total of 24 dental alveoli (0.23%). Some degree of periodontitis was seen in 199 specimens (79.9%); however, only 12.6% of dental alveoli had bony changes indicative of periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 23 specimens (9.2%). TMJ-OA was significantly

  11. Predormancy omnivory in European cave bears evidenced by a dental microwear analysis of Ursus spelaeus from Goyet, Belgium.

    PubMed

    Peigné, Stéphane; Goillot, Cyrielle; Germonpré, Mietje; Blondel, Cécile; Bignon, Olivier; Merceron, Gildas

    2009-09-01

    Previous morphological and isotopic studies indicate that Late Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) diet ranged from mostly vegetarian to omnivory or even carnivory. However, such analyses do not provide information on seasonal diets, and only provide an average record of diet. A dental microwear analysis of 43 young and adult individuals demonstrate that, during the predormancy period, cave bears from Goyet (Late Pleistocene, Belgium) were not strictly herbivorous, but had a mixed diet composed of hard items (e.g., possibly bone), invertebrates (e.g., insects), meat (ungulates, small vertebrates), and/or plant matter (hard mast, seeds, herbaceous vegetations, and fruits). Therefore, our results indicate that cave bears at Goyet were generalist omnivores during the predormancy period, which is consistent with current data on the dietary ecology of extant bears during this season. These data also raise questions about the ecological role and causes of the extinction of cave bears. PMID:19706401

  12. Predormancy omnivory in European cave bears evidenced by a dental microwear analysis of Ursus spelaeus from Goyet, Belgium

    PubMed Central

    Peigné, Stéphane; Goillot, Cyrielle; Germonpré, Mietje; Blondel, Cécile; Bignon, Olivier; Merceron, Gildas

    2009-01-01

    Previous morphological and isotopic studies indicate that Late Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) diet ranged from mostly vegetarian to omnivory or even carnivory. However, such analyses do not provide information on seasonal diets, and only provide an average record of diet. A dental microwear analysis of 43 young and adult individuals demonstrate that, during the predormancy period, cave bears from Goyet (Late Pleistocene, Belgium) were not strictly herbivorous, but had a mixed diet composed of hard items (e.g., possibly bone), invertebrates (e.g., insects), meat (ungulates, small vertebrates), and/or plant matter (hard mast, seeds, herbaceous vegetations, and fruits). Therefore, our results indicate that cave bears at Goyet were generalist omnivores during the predormancy period, which is consistent with current data on the dietary ecology of extant bears during this season. These data also raise questions about the ecological role and causes of the extinction of cave bears. PMID:19706401

  13. Seasonal changes in spermatogenesis and testicular steroidogenesis in the male black bear Ursus americanus.

    PubMed

    Tsubota, T; Howell-Skalla, L; Nitta, H; Osawa, Y; Mason, J I; Meiers, P G; Nelson, R A; Bahr, J M

    1997-01-01

    American black bears, Ursus americanus, are seasonal breeders with a mating season in late spring to early summer. The objectives of this study were to determine whether there are seasonal changes in spermatogenesis and immunolocalization of testicular steroidogenic enzymes, and to correlate these changes with peripheral steroid concentrations. Three captive mature bears were maintained in open cages during the summer season and provided with chambers for denning during the winter. Testicular biopsies and blood samples were obtained from anaesthetized bears on 12 March, 15 June, 12 October and 15 January. Steroidogenic enzymes were immunolocalized using polyclonal antisera raised against bovine adrenal cholesterol side-chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc), human placental 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta HSD), porcine testicular 17 alpha-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450c17) and human placental aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom). Spermatogenesis changed seasonally: spermatogonia and degenerating spermatocytes were observed in October; spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes were present in January; spermatogonia, spermatocytes and round spermatids were present in March; and spermatogonia through spermatozoa were present in June. P450scc and P450c17 were immunolocalized in spermatids and Leydig cells in June, whereas in October these enzymes were present only in Leydig cells. 3 beta HSD was localized in Leydig cells in June and October with more intense staining in June. Localization of P450arom changed seasonally: no immunostaining in October; positive immunostaining in Sertoli cells in January; more extensive immunostaining in Sertoli cells, peritubular-myoid cells and round spermatids in March; and strong immunostaining in Sertoli cells and round and elongating spermatids in June. Serum testosterone and oestradiol concentrations changed seasonally: testosterone and oestrogen were low in October and January, slightly higher in March, and high in

  14. Seasonal and annual movements of radio-collared polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) in northeast Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Born, E. W.; Wiig, Ø.; Thomassen, J.

    1997-01-01

    The distribution and movements of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) in the Northeast Water (NEW) area (NE Greenland) were studied from 28 May 1993 to 31 May 1995, using satellite telemetry. Between 28 May and 17 June 1993 satellite-linked radio transmitters were attached to eight adult females in the NEW area between approximately 79° and approximately 80°30'N. By 31 May 1995 the mean duration of transmission (excluding one radio that quit on day of attachment) was 688.4 days (SD = 65.1, range: 541-718 days). These seven females generally showed a high degree of fidelity to the area between 78° and 81°N and 10°W and the northeast Greenland coast. The average distance between capture site in 1993 and spring relocation site in 1994 and 1995 was 116.5 km (SD = 81.9, range: 3.8-210.7 km, N = 7) and 85.4 km (SD = 35.4, range: 38.7-121.8 km, N = 5), respectively. The minimum polygon home range estimates averaged 72,263 km 2 (SD = 71,059, range: 5,567-195,648 km 2, N = 7). Relocations were concentrated on the shore-fast ice and on the pack ice over the continental shelf. This local movement pattern may be facilitated by an anticyclonal gyre of the surface water between 78° and 81°N, and a slowing of the south-flowing East Greenland current. A male bear marked in 1993 at the NEW was taken by hunters in Scoresby Sund (approximately 70°N) in February 1995, indicating that some exchange does occur with southern areas of eastern Greenland. Maternity and temporary dens were located on the coast close to the NEW. Apparently the NEW area is suitable polar bear habitat, in that the bears have access to ringed seals on the fast ice, and on pack ice adjacent to the polynya.

  15. Mitochondrial genome phylogeny among Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus subspecies and comprehensive analysis of their control regions.

    PubMed

    Choi, Eun Hwa; Kim, Sang Ki; Ryu, Shi Hyun; Jang, Kuem Hee; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2010-06-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (16,824 bp) of an Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus ussuricus (Mammalia, Carnivora, Ursidae) was newly sequenced and characterized in detail. It is the second mitochondrial genome from this subspecies which has been completely sequenced. The two U. t. ussuricus individuals were compared with each other and then with individuals from the other four U. thibetanus subspecies and the other nine ursid species, focusing especially on the control regions in the 14 mitochondrial genomes. Within these control regions, tandem repeats of basically 10 bp (5'-ACGCACGTGT-3' or its derivatives) were found in Domain II. Plausible secondary structures of the repeat region were compared between the North and South Korean individuals of U. t. ussuricus. According to the maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference trees inferred from the nucleotide sequences of 13 protein-coding and two rRNA genes, the ursine members within the monophyletic ursid clade can be divided into at least three groups: A, B, and C. According to this analysis, U. thibetanus subspecies were found with Ursus americanus and Ursus malayanus within Group A, showing the following relationships with nodal bootstrap values above 91% and Bayesian posterior probabilities of 1.00: ([(U. t. thibetanus, U. t. formosanus), U. t. spp.], U. t. ussuricus), U. t. mupinensis. In addition, we present a hypothetical scenario of the evolution of the major repeat motifs in the control region. PMID:20795781

  16. The effects of hibernation and captivity on glucose metabolism and thyroid hormones in American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    McCain, Stephanie; Ramsay, Ed; Kirk, Claudia

    2013-06-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) have been shown to become transiently insulin resistant and hypothyroid during winter, but no studies have investigated these changes in long-term captive bears or in bears which remain awake year-round. Wild, captive hibernating, and captive nonhibernating bears were evaluated at times corresponding to three of their major physiologic stages: fall (hyperphagic stage), winter (hibernation stage), and summer (normal activity stage). Combined insulin and glucose tolerance tests and thyroid hormone profiles were performed on all bears during each stage. All three groups of bears had evidence of insulin resistance during the winter, as compared to the summer or fall, based on glucose tolerance curves. Analysis of thyroid hormone concentration varied and distinct patterns or similarities were not apparent. While obesity in captive American black bears is multifactorial, the finding that, regardless of their ability to hibernate, captive bears retain similar physiology to their wild counterparts indicates that captive bears' complex physiologic changes need to be addressed in their management. PMID:23805551

  17. Occurrence and structure of epipharyngeal pouches in bears (Ursidae)

    PubMed Central

    WEISSENGRUBER, G. E.; FORSTENPOINTNER, G.; KÜBBER-HEISS, A.; RIEDELBERGER, K.; SCHWAMMER, H.; GANZBERGER, K.

    2001-01-01

    The infrequent mention of epipharyngeal pouches occurring in some species of bears indicates the scarcity of morphological and functional knowledge about these structures. In order to provide precise morphological data on the structure of these remarkable formations and to verify their taxonomic utility, the pharyngeal regions of 1 spectacled bear and 3 brown bears were examined. All these individuals possessed epipharyngeal pouches, which are tubular, blind-ending outpouchings of the caudodorsal pharyngeal wall equipped with respiratory epithelium and a thick layer of elastic fibres. While the spectacled bear and Ursus arctos syriacus possessed a single pouch on the caudodorsal wall of the nasopharynx, in Ursus arctos and Ursus arctos beringianus 2 unequally sized pouches were present. Two additional sacs of smaller size, representing outpouchings of the lateral pharyngeal wall, occurred in the spectacled bear. These findings prove epipharyngeal pouches to be constant and unique morphological features of the family Ursidae, the anatomical features suggesting involvement in the respiratory system most probably in important aspects of ursid phonation. This is the first description of epipharyngeal pouches in the spectacled bear. PMID:11322723

  18. Temporal trend of mercury in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard using teeth as a biomonitoring tissue.

    PubMed

    Aubail, Aurore; Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein; Caurant, Florence

    2012-01-01

    We examined the use of mercury (Hg) and nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes in teeth of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard as biotracers of temporal changes in Hg pollution exposure between 1964 and 2003. Teeth were regarded as a good matrix of the Hg exposure, and in total 87 teeth of polar bears were analysed. Dental Hg levels ranged from 0.6 to 72.3 ng g(-1) dry weight and increased with age during the first 10 years of life. A decreasing time trend in Hg concentrations was observed over the recent four decades while no temporal changes were found in the stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (δ(15)N) and carbon (δ(13)C). This suggests that the decrease of Hg concentrations over time was more likely due to a lower environmental Hg exposure in this region rather than a shift in the feeding habits of Svalbard polar bears. PMID:22113146

  19. Geographical distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lie, E.; Bernhoft, A.; Riget, F.; Belikov, Stanislav; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Derocher, A.E.; Garner, G.W.; Wiig, O.; Skaare, J.U.

    2003-01-01

    Geographical variation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) was studied in blood samples from 90 adult female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Kara Sea, East-Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea. In all regions, oxychlordane was the dominant OCP. Regional differences in mean levels of HCB, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, ??-HCH, ??-HCH and p,p???-DDE were found. The highest levels of oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and DDE were found in polar bears from Franz Josef Land and Kara Sea. HCB level was lowest in polar bears from Svalbard. Polar bears from Chukchi Sea had the highest level of ??- and ??-HCH. The lowest ??-HCH concentration was found in bears from Kara Sea. In all the bears, ???HCHs was dominated by ??-HCH. The geographical variation in OCP levels and pattern may suggest regional differences in pollution sources and different feeding habits in the different regions. Polar bears from the Western Russian Arctic were exposed to higher levels of chlordanes and p,p???-DDE than polar bears from locations westwards and eastwards from this region. This may imply the presence of a significant pollution source in the Russian Arctic area. The study suggests that the western Russian Arctic is the most contaminated region of the Arctic and warrants further research. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. A Review of Infectious Agents in Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) and Their Long-Term Ecological Relevance.

    PubMed

    Fagre, Anna C; Patyk, Kelly A; Nol, Pauline; Atwood, Todd; Hueffer, Karsten; Duncan, Colleen

    2015-09-01

    Disease was a listing criterion for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; it is therefore important to evaluate the current state of knowledge and identify any information gaps pertaining to diseases in polar bears. We conducted a systematic literature review focused on infectious agents and associated health impacts identified in polar bears. Overall, the majority of reports in free-ranging bears concerned serosurveys or fecal examinations with little to no information on associated health effects. In contrast, most reports documenting illness or pathology referenced captive animals and diseases caused by etiologic agents not representative of exposure opportunities in wild bears. As such, most of the available infectious disease literature has limited utility as a basis for development of future health assessment and management plans. Given that ecological change is a considerable risk facing polar bear populations, future work should focus on cumulative effects of multiple stressors that could impact polar bear population dynamics. PMID:25791679

  1. Influence of carbon and lipid sources on variation of mercury and other trace elements in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Routti, Heli; Letcher, Robert J; Born, Erik W; Branigan, Marsha; Dietz, Rune; Evans, Thomas J; McKinney, Melissa A; Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonne, Christian

    2012-12-01

    In the present study, the authors investigated the influence of carbon and lipid sources on regional differences in liver trace element (As, Cd, Cu, total Hg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se, and Zn) concentrations measured in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 121) from 10 Alaskan, Canadian Arctic, and East Greenland subpopulations. Carbon and lipid sources were assessed using δ(13) C in muscle tissue and fatty acid (FA) profiles in subcutaneous adipose tissue as chemical tracers. A negative relationship between total Hg and δ(13) C suggested that polar bears feeding in areas with higher riverine inputs of terrestrial carbon accumulate more Hg than bears feeding in areas with lower freshwater input. Mercury concentrations were also positively related to the FA 20:1n-9, which is biosynthesized in large amounts in Calanus copepods. This result raises the hypothesis that Calanus glacialis are an important link in the uptake of Hg in the marine food web and ultimately in polar bears. Unadjusted total Hg, Se, and As concentrations showed greater geographical variation among polar bear subpopulations compared with concentrations adjusted for carbon and lipid sources. The Hg concentrations adjusted for carbon and lipid sources in Bering-Chukchi Sea polar bear liver tissue remained the lowest among subpopulations. Based on these findings, the authors suggest that carbon and lipid sources for polar bears should be taken into account when one is assessing spatial and temporal trends of long-range transported trace elements. PMID:22987581

  2. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Talbot, S.L.; Sage, G.K.; Amstrup, K.S.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother-offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother-offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother-cub pairs and 48 father-offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (rxy) of approximately zero, parent-offspring and siblings had rxy of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had rxy values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (Ne = 277) and the ratio of Ne to total population size (Ne/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. Ne estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and Ne in a polar bear population. ?? The American Genetic Association. 2009. All rights reserved.

  3. Investigating the mechanism for maintaining eucalcemia despite immobility and anuria in the hibernating American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Seger, Rita L; Cross, Randal A; Rosen, Clifford J; Causey, Robert C; Gundberg, Caren M; Carpenter, Thomas O; Chen, Tai C; Halteman, William A; Holick, Michael F; Jakubas, Walter J; Keisler, Duane H; Seger, Richard M; Servello, Frederick A

    2011-12-01

    Ursine hibernation uniquely combines prolonged skeletal unloading, anuria, pregnancy, lactation, protein recycling, and lipolysis. This study presents a radiographic and biochemical picture of bone metabolism in free-ranging, female American black bears (Ursus americanus) that were active (spring bears and autumn bears) or hibernating (hibernating bears). Hibernating bears included lactating and non-lactating individuals. We measured serum calcium, albumin, inorganic phosphate, creatinine, bone specific alkaline phosphatase (BSALP), CTX, parathyroid hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-l), leptin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)(2)D] and sclerostin from 35 to 50 tranquilized hibernating bears and 14 to 35 tranquilized spring bears. We compared metacarpal cortical indices (MCI), measured by digital X-ray radiogrammetry, from 60 hunter-killed autumn bears and 79 tranquilized, hibernating bears. MCI was greater in autumn than winter in younger bears, but showed no seasonal difference in older bears. During hibernation eucalcemia was maintained, BSALP was suppressed, and CTX was in the range expected for anuria. During hibernation 1,25(OH)(2)D was produced despite anuria. 1,25(OH)(2)D and IGF-I were less in hibernating than spring bears. In a quarter of hibernating bears, sclerostin was elevated. Leptin was greater in hibernating than spring bears. In hibernating bears, leptin correlated positively with BSALP in non-lactating bears and with CTX in lactating bears. Taken together the biochemical and radiographic findings indicate that during hibernation, bone turnover was persistent, balanced, and suppressed; bone resorption was lower than expected for an unloaded skeleton; and there was no unloading-induced bone loss. The skeleton appears to perceive that it was loaded when it was actually unloaded during hibernation. However, at the level of sclerostin, the skeleton recognized that it was unloaded. During hibernation leptin

  4. Characterization of blood lipoproteins and validation of cholesterol and triacylglycerol assays for free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Whiteman, John P; Frank, Nicholas; Greller, Katie A; Harlow, Henry J; Ben-David, Merav

    2013-05-01

    Blood triacylglycerol (TG) and lipoproteins are important variables for evaluating nutritional status of wildlife, but measurements are often expensive and difficult. Performance of a small, portable blood analyzer intended for human medical diagnostics was evaluated in measuring these variables in plasma and serum from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which are experiencing nutritional stress related to sea ice loss. The analyzer accurately tracked changes in concentration of total cholesterol (Ctotal), cholesterol associated with high-density lipoprotein (CHDL), and TG during a validation protocol of diluting samples and spiking them with exogenous cholesterol and glycerol. Values of Ctotal and TG agreed well with values obtained by other methods (ultracentrifugation followed by colorimetric assays); agreement was variable for values of cholesterol associated with specific lipoproteins. Similar to a study of captive polar bears, ultracentrifugation methods revealed greater TG in very low-density lipoproteins than in low-density lipoprotein, which is unusual and merits additional study. PMID:23632660

  5. ISOLATION AND GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM RACCOONS (PROCYON LOTOR), CATS (FELIS DOMESTICUS), STRIPED SKUNK (MEPHITIS MEPHITIS), BLACK BEAR (URSUS AMERICANUS), AND COUGAR (PUMA CONCOLOR) FROM CANADA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viable Toxoplasma gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice from tissues of 2 feral cats ( Felis domesticus), 2 raccoons (Procyon lotor), a skunk (Mephitis mephitis) trapped in remote locations in Manitoba, Canada, and a black bear (Ursus americanus ) from Kuujjuaq, northern Quebec, Canada. Geno...

  6. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Todd; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek-Huntington, Kathy; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Bodenstein, Barbara; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Durner, George

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates. PMID:25375943

  7. Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) depend on sea ice for catching marine mammal prey. Recent sea-ice declines have been linked to reductions in body condition, survival, and population size. Reduced foraging opportunity is hypothesized to be the primary cause of sea-ice-linked declines, but the costs of travel through a deteriorated sea-ice environment also may be a factor. We used movement data from 52 adult female polar bears wearing Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, including some with dependent young, to document long-distance swimming (>50 km) by polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas. During 6 years (2004-2009), we identified 50 long-distance swims by 20 bears. Swim duration and distance ranged from 0.7 to 9.7 days (mean = 3.4 days) and 53.7 to 687.1 km (mean = 154.2 km), respectively. Frequency of swimming appeared to increase over the course of the study. We show that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present. However, long-distance swimming appears to have higher energetic demands than moving over sea ice. Our observations suggest long-distance swimming is a behavioral response to declining summer sea-ice conditions.

  8. Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 392 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens found in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions between 1910 and 2010 that are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods, biases associated with collection method, primary time periods, and spatial resolution are provided. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and nearby regions den on both the sea ice and on land. Standardized VHF surveys and satellite radio telemetry data provide a general understanding of where polar bears have denned in this region over the past 3 decades. Den observations made during other research activities and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel also are reported. Data on past polar bear maternal den locations are provided to inform the public and to provide information for natural resource agencies in planning activities to avoid or minimize interference with polar bear maternity dens.

  9. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek, K.A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Durner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  10. Microsatellite DNA and mitochondrial DNA variation in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Scribner, K.T.

    2006-01-01

    Radiotelemetry data have shown that polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) occur in separate subpopulations in the Chukchi Sea and the southern Beaufort Sea. However, segregation is not absolute, and there is overlap of ranges of animals in each subpopulation. We used genetic variation at eight microsatellite DNA loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to further assess the degree of spatial structure of polar bears from the Chukchi and southern Beaufort seas. Microsatellite allele frequencies and mtDNA haplotype frequencies of bears from the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas did not differ significantly. Lack of differentiation at both maternally inherited mtDNA and bi-parentally inherited microsatellite loci suggests that gene flow between the two areas is mediated by both sexes. The genetic data indicate that polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas compose one interbreeding population. However, there is considerable fidelity to ranges in each area, particularly by adult females. The combined genetic and movement data suggest that polar bears could be managed as Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea subpopulations of a combined southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea population. ?? 2006 NRC.

  11. Movements of radio-instrumented grizzly bears within the Yellowstone area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Judd, Steven L.; Knight, Richard R.

    1980-01-01

    Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) movement patterns were studied with the aid of 18 radio-instrumented grizzly bears in 1975 and 1976. Five bears gave minimal information because of death, transmitter failure, or loss of transmitters. Seasonal home range information is presented for 13 bears. Two bears, trapped inside Yellowstone National Park, included areas outside of the park in their home ranges. Twelve bears trapped outside included parts of the park in their home ranges. Three females with young gave no indication of having smaller home ranges than other individuals. Movement patterns prior to denning and dates of denning varied among individual bears.

  12. Use of dissociative anesthetics for the immobilization of captive bears: blood gas, hematology and biochemistry values.

    PubMed

    Bush, M; Custer, R S; Smith, E E

    1980-10-01

    Nineteen bears, representing five species (Helarctos malayanus, Ursus americanus, Ursus arctos, Tremarctos ornatus, Melursus ursinus) were immobilized a total of 52 times using either phencyclidine-promazine or tiletamine-zolazepam. Blood gas, hematology, and serum biochemistry values were determined during the immobilizations. Immobilizations conducted with tiletamine-zolazepam were characterized by rapid induction and recovery times, good muscle relaxation, and relative freedom from convulsions. Bears immobilized with phencyclidine-promazine had longer induction and recovery times and showed convulsive activity in 29% of the trials with that combination. PMID:7463600

  13. The interrelationship of chromosome banding patterns in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), hybrid bear (Ursus middendorfi X Thalarctos maritimus), and other carnivores.

    PubMed

    Wurster-Hill, D H; Bush, M

    1980-01-01

    The banded chromosomes of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and a hybrid bear (Ursus middendorfi X Thalarctos maritimus) have been studied and compared to those of other carnivores. The giant panda shares only a few apparently homologous chromosome arms with the bear (Ursidae) and equally few with the lesser panda, Ailurus fulgens (Procyonidae). Chromosomal evidence suggests appropriate placement of the giant panda in a family separate from the Uridae and the Procyonidae. PMID:7398370

  14. Negative density-dependent dispersal in the American black bear (Ursus americanus) revealed by noninvasive sampling and genotyping

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Justin; Yannic, Glenn; Côté, Steeve D; Bernatchez, Louis

    2012-01-01

    Although the dispersal of animals is influenced by a variety of factors, few studies have used a condition-dependent approach to assess it. The mechanisms underlying dispersal are thus poorly known in many species, especially in large mammals. We used 10 microsatellite loci to examine population density effects on sex-specific dispersal behavior in the American black bear, Ursus americanus. We tested whether dispersal increases with population density in both sexes. Fine-scale genetic structure was investigated in each of four sampling areas using Mantel tests and spatial autocorrelation analyses. Our results revealed male-biased dispersal pattern in low-density areas. As population density increased, females appeared to exhibit philopatry at smaller scales. Fine-scale genetic structure for males at higher densities may indicate reduced dispersal distances and delayed dispersal by subadults. PMID:22822432

  15. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Matthew A; Amstrup, Steven C; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Amstrup, Kristin S

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother-offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother-offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother-cub pairs and 48 father-offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (r(xy)) of approximately zero, parent-offspring and siblings had r(xy) of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had r(xy) values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (N(e) = 277) and the ratio of N(e) to total population size (N(e)/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. N(e) estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and N(e) in a polar bear population. PMID:19633212

  16. Magnetic resonance imaging diagnosis of intervertebral disc disease and myelomalacia in an American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Knafo, S Emmanuelle; Divers, Stephen J; Rech, Raquel; Platt, Simon R

    2012-06-01

    A 23-yr-old black bear (Ursus americanus) was examined because of paralysis of unknown duration. The precise onset of clinical signs was unknown as a result of seasonal torpor. The bear was immobilized and transported to a university veterinary teaching hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Radiography revealed increased mineral opacity and ventral bridging across vertebral segments T8-11. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated dorsal and ventral compression of the spinal cord at T8-9. Given the bear's advanced age, the unknown duration of spinal cord compression, unknown presence of deep pain perception, and thus an unknown prognosis for surgical success, euthanasia was elected. Postmortem examination revealed severe spondylosis deformans from T7 to L3 and dorsal extradural extruded disc material in the area of T8-9. Histopathology demonstrated the dorsal horns of the spinal cord at T9 were replaced by foamy macrophages extending into the dorsal and lateral funiculi of the white matter compatible with focal, severe, chronic myelomalacia. This is the first report of intervertebral disc disease and myelomalacia diagnosed using MRI in a large carnivore. PMID:22779249

  17. Identification and phylogenetic analysis of Dirofilaria ursi (Nematoda: Filarioidea) from Wisconsin black bears (Ursus americanus) and its Wolbachia endosymbiont.

    PubMed

    Michalski, Michelle L; Bain, Odile; Fischer, Kerstin; Fischer, Peter U; Kumar, Sanjay; Foster, Jeremy M

    2010-04-01

    Dirofilaria ursi is a filarial nematode of American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) that is vectored by black flies (Simuliidae) in many parts of the United States. In northwestern Wisconsin, the prevalence of microfilaremic bears during the fall hunting season was 21% (n = 47). Unsheathed blood microfilariae from Wisconsin bears possess characters consistent with the original description of D. ursi, as do adult worms observed histologically and grossly. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify the Wolbachia endosymbiont in the hypodermis and lateral cords of an adult female D. ursi. Amplification of wsp, gatB, coxA, fbpA, and ftsZ bacterial sequences from parasite DNA confirmed the presence of Wolbachia, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Wolbachia ftsZ gene groups the endosymbiont with Wolbachia from D. immitis and D. repens. Phylogenetic analysis of D. ursi 5s rDNA sequence confirms the morphological observations grouping this parasite as a member of Dirofilaria, and within the Dirofilaria - Onchocerca clade of filarial nematodes. This is the first report of Wolbachia characterization and molecular phylogeny information for D. ursi. PMID:19916630

  18. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 1: legacy organochlorine contaminants.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian; Born, Erik W; Bechshøft, Thea; McKinney, Melissa A; Letcher, Robert J

    2013-09-01

    Legacy organochlorine contaminants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Of 19 major legacy contaminants and congeners (ΣPCB, 4 PCB congeners (CB153, 180, 170/190), ΣDDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p' -DDD and p,p'-DDT, α- and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), HCB, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and BB-153), 18 showed statistically significant average yearly declines of -4.4% (range: -2.0 to -10.8%/year) among subadult polar bears (i.e. females<5years, males<6years). For example, the ∑PCB concentrations declined 2.7 fold from 22730ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 12470-32990ng/g lw) in 1983-1986 to 8473ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 6369-9776ng/g lw) in 2006-2010. Similar but fewer statistically significant trends were found for adult females and adult males likely due to smaller sample size and years. Despite declines as a result of international regulations, relatively high levels of these historic pollutants persist in East Greenland polar bear tissues. PMID:23078749

  19. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 2: brominated flame retardants.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian; Born, Erik W; Bechshøft, Thea; McKinney, Melissa A; Drimmie, Robert J; Muir, Derek C G; Letcher, Robert J

    2013-09-01

    Brominated flame retardants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Significant linear increases were found for sum polybrominated diphenyl ether (ΣPBDE), BDE100, BDE153, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). Average increases of 5.0% per year (range: 2.9-7.6%/year) were found for the subadult polar bears. BDE47 and BDE99 concentrations did not show a significant linear trend over time, but rather a significant non-linear trend peaking between 2000 and 2004. The average ΣPBDE concentrations increased 2.3 fold from 25.0ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 15.3-34.7ng/g lw) in 1983-1986 to 58.5ng/g lw (95% C.I.: 43.6-73.4ng/g lw) in 2006-2010. Similar but fewer statistically significant trends were found for adult females and adult males likely due to smaller sample size and years. Analyses of δ(15)N and δ(13)C stable isotopes in hair revealed no clear linear temporal trends in trophic level or carbon source, respectively, and non-linear trends differed among sex and age groups. These increasing concentrations of organobromine contaminants contribute to complex organohalogen mixture, already causing health effects to the East Greenland polar bears. PMID:23137556

  20. Design of a 9K illumina BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from RAD and transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Malenfant, René M; Coltman, David W; Davis, Corey S

    2015-05-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer numerous advantages over anonymous markers such as microsatellites, including improved estimation of population parameters, finer-scale resolution of population structure and more precise genomic dissection of quantitative traits. However, many SNPs are needed to equal the resolution of a single microsatellite, and reliable large-scale genotyping of SNPs remains a challenge in nonmodel species. Here, we document the creation of a 9K Illumina Infinium BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which will be used to investigate: (i) the fine-scale population structure among Canadian polar bears and (ii) the genomic architecture of phenotypic traits in the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation. To this end, we used restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing from 38 bears across their circumpolar range, as well as blood/fat transcriptome sequencing of 10 individuals from Western Hudson Bay. Six-thousand RAD SNPs and 3000 transcriptomic SNPs were selected for the chip, based primarily on genomic spacing and gene function respectively. Of the 9000 SNPs ordered from Illumina, 8042 were successfully printed, and - after genotyping 1450 polar bears - 5441 of these SNPs were found to be well clustered and polymorphic. Using this array, we show rapid linkage disequilibrium decay among polar bears, we demonstrate that in a subsample of 78 individuals, our SNPs detect known genetic structure more clearly than 24 microsatellites genotyped for the same individuals and that these results are not driven by the SNP ascertainment scheme. Here, we present one of the first large-scale genotyping resources designed for a threatened species. PMID:25187336

  1. A complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Asian black bear Sichuan subspecies (Ursus thibetanus mupinensis)

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Wan-ru; Chen, Yu; Wu, Xia; Hu, Jin-chu; Peng, Zheng-song; Yang, Jung; Tang, Zong-xiang; Zhou, Cai-Quan; Li, Yu-ming; Yang, Shi-kui; Du, Yu-jie; Kong, Ling-lu; Ren, Zheng-long; Zhang, Huai-yu; Shuai, Su-rong

    2007-01-01

    We obtained the complete mitochondrial genome of U.thibetanus mupinensis by DNA sequencing based on the PCR fragments of 18 primers we designed. The results indicate that the mtDNA is 16 868 bp in size, encodes 13 protein genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 rRNA genes, with an overall H-strand base composition of 31.2% A, 25.4% C, 15.5% G and 27.9% T. The sequence of the control region (CR) located between tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe is 1422 bp in size, consists of 8.43% of the whole genome, GC content is 51.9% and has a 6bp tandem repeat and two 10bp tandem repeats identified by using the Tandem Repeats Finder. U. thibetanus mupinensis mitochondrial genome shares high similarity with those of three other Ursidae: U. americanus (91.46%), U. arctos (89.25%) and U. maritimus (87.66%). PMID:17205108

  2. Musculoskeletal system of the neck of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Malayan bear (Helarctos malayanus).

    PubMed

    Endo, H; Kakegawa, Y; Taru, H; Sasaki, M; Hayashi, Y; Yamamoto, M; Arishima, K

    2001-01-01

    The gross anatomical study was undertaken in the musculoskeletal system of the neck of the polar bear, and the findings were compared with those of the Malayan bear. The Musculus splenius and the M. trapezius were well-developed in the polar bear. The long neck of the polar bear consisted mainly of the M. splenius with the M. biventer cervicis and the M. complexus lying tightly underneath. The cervical vertebrae possessed huge ventral tubercle in the ventral part of the transverse process in the polar bear. These morphological characteristics suggest that the polar bear may rotate and bend the skull and the long cervical vertebrae. We postulate that the polar bear has evolved the high-mobility long neck to adapt for swimming. Unlike the polar bear, the Malayan bear has not specialized in the neck structure. PMID:11206987

  3. Isotopic evidence for omnivory among European cave bears: Late Pleistocene Ursus spelaeus from the Peştera cu Oase, Romania

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Michael P.; Pacher, Martina; Stiller, Mathias; Quilès, Jérôme; Hofreiter, Michael; Constantin, Silviu; Zilhão, João; Trinkaus, Erik

    2008-01-01

    Previous bone collagen carbon and nitrogen isotopic studies of Late Pleistocene European cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) have shown that these bears frequently had low nitrogen isotope values, similar to those of herbivores and indicating either unusual physiology related to hibernation or a herbivorous diet. Isotopic analysis of animal bone from the Peştera cu Oase (Cave with Bones), Romania, shows that most of its cave bears had higher nitrogen isotope values than the associated herbivores and were, therefore, omnivorous. The Oase bears are securely identified as cave bears by both their morphology and DNA sequences. Although many cave bear populations may have behaved like herbivores, the Oase isotopic data demonstrate that cave bears were capable of altering their diets to become omnivores or even carnivores. These data therefore broaden the dietary profile of U. spelaeus and raise questions about the nature of the carnivore guild in Pleistocene Europe. PMID:18187577

  4. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Lafferty, Diana J R; Laudenslager, Mark L; Mowat, Garth; Heard, Doug; Belant, Jerrold L

    2015-01-01

    Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol), key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116) as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC) as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD]) and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD). We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges. PMID:26529405

  5. Wound healing during hibernation by black bears (Ursus americanus) in the wild: elicitation of reduced scar formation.

    PubMed

    Iaizzo, Paul A; Laske, Timothy G; Harlow, Henry J; McClay, Carolyn B; Garshelis, David L

    2012-03-01

    Even mildly hypothermic body or limb temperatures can retard healing processes in mammals. Despite this, we observed that hibernating American black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) elicit profound abilities in mounting inflammatory responses to infection and/or foreign bodies. In addition, they resolve injuries during hibernation while maintaining mildly hypothermic states (30-35 °C) and without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating. We describe experimental studies on free-ranging bears that document their abilities to completely resolve cutaneous cuts and punctures incurred during or prior to hibernation. We induced small, full-thickness cutaneous wounds (biopsies or incisions) during early denning, and re-biopsied sites 2-3 months later (near the end of denning). Routine histological methods were used to characterize these skin samples. All biopsied sites with respect to secondary intention (open circular biopsies) and primary intention (sutured sites) healed, with evidence of initial eschar (scab) formation, completeness of healed epidermis and dermal layers, dyskeratosis (inclusion cysts), and abilities to produce hair follicles. These healing abilities of hibernating black bears are a clear survival advantage to animals injured before or during denning. Bears are known to have elevated levels of hibernation induction trigger (delta-opioid receptor agonist) and ursodeoxycholic acid (major bile acid within plasma, mostly conjugated with taurine) during hibernation, which may relate to these wound-healing abilities. Further research as to the underlying mechanisms of wound healing during hibernation could have applications in human medicine. Unique approaches may be found to improve healing for malnourished, hypothermic, diabetic and elderly patients or to reduce scarring associated with burns and traumatic injuries. PMID:22405448

  6. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Laudenslager, Mark L.; Mowat, Garth; Heard, Doug; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2015-01-01

    Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol), key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116) as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC) as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD]) and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD). We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges. PMID:26529405

  7. Hominid exploitation of the environment and cave bear populations. The case of Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller-Heinroth in Amutxate cave (Aralar, Navarra-Spain).

    PubMed

    Torres, Trinidad; Ortiz, José E; Cobo, Rafael; de Hoz, Pedro; García-Redondo, Ana; Grün, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    Cave bears (Ursus deningeri and U. spelaeus) and hominids (Homo heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens) were potential competitors for environmental resources (subterranean and open air). Here, we examined the age at death of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller-Heinroth) specimens from Amutxate cave in order to shed light on the effect of resource sharing between cave bears and hominids. After studying dental wear of the deciduous and permanent dentitions, the ontogenetic development of mandibles, and incremental layers of cement (annuli), we defined five age groups differentiated by marked development and size gaps. Our findings indicate that after hibernating, bears abandoned the den, thereby leaving the subterranean environment (caves) free for temporary hominid occupation-this would explain the subtle traces of hominid presence in many dens. However, a simple calculation based on age at death of subadult and adult cave bear specimens in Amutxate cave, extrapolated to the whole cave area, showed that the area surrounding this cave hosted bears for at least 9,000 years. This length of habitation, quite similar to the time-span derived from amino acid racemization and electron spin resonance, indicates that bear populations in the Amutxate cave constituted a serious constraint for hominid exploitation of the environment. PMID:16996576

  8. Longitudinal fecal hormone analysis for monitoring reproductive activity in the female polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Stoops, M A; MacKinnon, K M; Roth, T L

    2012-12-01

    The objective was to identify suitable enzyme immunoassays to monitor gonadal and placental function in the female polar bear. Immunoreactive progesterone, progesterone metabolite (PdG), estrogen, and androgen metabolite (T) concentrations were measured in fecal samples collected over 24 mo from captive female bears (N = 20). Whereas fecal extracts produced displacement curves parallel to the standard curve for each respective steroid, T and PdG more accurately reflected reproductive events. Concentrations of fecal T increased (P < 0.05) during the breeding season, and brief spikes were associated with estrus and mating. A postovulatory increase in PdG was not always detected, but sustained baseline T after mating appeared consistent with ovulation. Parturient bears excreted higher PdG concentrations (P < 0.05) during expected time of embryo implantation in Fall, and a late gestational rise in fecal T occurred 30 days prepartum. Many nonparturient bears also had a PdG rise in the Fall, suggesting they experienced either pregnancy loss or a pseudopregnancy. Differentiating pregnant and pseudopregnant states was not achieved using fecal PdG alone, but when combined with fecal T, comprehensive diagnoses could be made. Nonparturient bears demonstrated elevated (P < 0.05) fecal T during summer months, whereas parturient bears did not. In summary, noninvasive hormone monitoring techniques were established for the female polar bear. Although this study was directed at facilitating management and breeding efforts of captive polar bears, the methods could be applied to studies of reproductive function in wild populations. PMID:23040062

  9. Chromatographic (TLC) differentiation of grizzly bear and black bear scats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Picton, Harold D.; Kendall, Katherine C.

    1994-01-01

    While past work concluded that thin-layer chromatography (TLC) was inadequate for the separation of grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bear (U. americanus) scats, our study found differences adequate for species separation. A key was constructed using 19 of 40 data points recorded on each(N)=356 profiles of 178) know-species scat. Accuracy was best for late summer scats (94%). Methods for specimen preparation, analysis, and reading the TLC profiles are discussed. Factors involved in scat variation were tested.

  10. Monitoring grizzly bear population trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberhardt, L.L.; Knight, R.R.; Blanchard, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    A simple different equation model was developed to provide additional perspective on observed mortality and trend data on Yellowstone grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). Records of mortalities of adult females from 1959 to 1985 were utilized, in conjunction with data on females with cubs. The overall downward trend of observed numbers of females with cubs generally agrees with the model calculations but does not adequately reflect mortality from 1970 to 1974. The model may be useful in developing a composite index of population trend.

  11. Ovulation induction and artificial insemination of a captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus) using fresh semen.

    PubMed

    Curry, Erin; Wyatt, Jeff; Sorel, Lawrence J; MacKinnon, Katherine M; Roth, Terri L

    2014-09-01

    In 2008, polar bears were listed as a species threatened with extinction by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, reproductive success has been poor despite breeding recommendations for almost every reproductively viable bear by the Species Survival Plan. Assisted reproductive technologies could complement breeding efforts by overcoming the challenges of behavioral incompatibilities and deficiencies, facilitating genetic management and increasing cub production. The goal of this study was to artificially inseminate a female polar bear after inducing ovarian activity and ovulation with exogenous hormones (equine chorionic gonadotropin and porcine luteinizing hormone). Fresh semen collected from an adult male via electroejaculation/urethral catheterization was used for the insemination. Fecal steroid monitoring indicated that the female ovulated following the exogenous hormone treatment. Progestin concentrations increased in late summer, at the time implantation was expected to occur; however, no cubs were produced. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of ovulation induction and artificial insemination in a polar bear. PMID:25314835

  12. Helicobacter spp. from captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Oxley, Andrew P A; Argo, Jeffrey A; McKay, David B

    2005-11-01

    The gastric fluid of six bottlenose dolphins and the faeces of four polar bears from the same oceanarium were examined for the presence of Helicobacter. As detected by PCR, all dolphins and 8/12 samples collected from polar bears were positive for Helicobacter. Novel sequence types were identified in samples collected from these animals of which several were unique to either the dolphins or the polar bears. At least one sequence type was, however, detected in both animal taxa. In addition, a sequence type from a dolphin shared a 98.2-100% identity to sequences from other Helicobacter species from harp seals, sea otters and sea lions. This study reports on the occurrence of novel Helicobacter sequence types in polar bears and dolphins and demonstrates the broad-host range of some species within these animals. PMID:16266854

  13. Methyl sulfone PCB and DDE metabolites in the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) food chain

    SciTech Connect

    Letcher, R.J.; Norstrom, R.J.; Muir, D.C.G.

    1995-12-31

    An important Arctic marine food chain is polar bear, ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). The Arctic is relatively uncontaminated by chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants (CHCs). However, high levels of CHCs are bioaccumulated through the marine food web. Methyl sulfone (MeSO{sub 2})-PCB and -DDE metabolites are major CHCs in polar bear, although the proportion of MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs derived from PCB metabolism and/or MeSO{sub 2}-PCB bioaccumulation from the diet is unknown. For this reason, the structure and concentration of MeSO{sup 2}-PCB and -DDE metabolites, PCBs and DDE were determined in whole body Arctic cod, the liver, adipose, lung and muscle of ringed seal and ten tissues of polar bear from the Resolute Bay area of the Canadian Arctic. Preliminary analysis of the ratios of MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs in bear fat and liver to their parent PCBs in seal blubber suggested that CB-49 and CB-87 result in a higher proportion of metabolites in bear than the other PCB congeners, assuming that the MeSO{sup 2}-PCBs are not themselves accumulated from the diet. Bio-availability of the precursor PCBs for subsequent metabolism may also be a factor. The absence in bears of MeSO{sub 2}-metabolites of other metabolizable PCBs in seal may indicate that some MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs are not formed or that they are formed and further metabolized. The MeSO{sub 2}-PCB and -DDE levels and congener patterns among seal and bear tissues and the difference in tissue distribution between species will also be compared. In polar bear, the s-MeSO{sub 2}-PCB to S-PCB and s-MeSO{sub 2}-DDE to DDE ratios were highest in liver, indicating preferred storage.

  14. New challenges for grizzly bear management in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Manen, Frank T.; Gunther, Kerry A.

    2016-01-01

    A key factor contributing to the success of grizzly bear Ursus arctos conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has been the existence of a large protected area, Yellowstone National Park. We provide an overview of recovery efforts, how demographic parameters changed as the population increased, and how the bear management program in Yellowstone National Park has evolved to address new management challenges over time. Finally, using the management experiences in Yellowstone National Park, we present comparisons and perspectives regarding brown bear management in Shiretoko National Park.

  15. Exposure to mixtures of organohalogen contaminants and associative interactions with thyroid hormones in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Villanger, Gro D; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Fjeldberg, Rita R; Letcher, Robert J; Muir, Derek C G; Kirkegaard, Maja; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2011-05-01

    We investigated the multivariate relationships between adipose tissue residue levels of 48 individual organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and circulating thyroid hormone (TH) levels in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (1999-2001, n=62), using projection to latent structure (PLS) regression for four groupings of polar bears; subadults (SubA), adult females with cubs (AdF_N), adult females without cubs (AdF_S) and adult males (AdM). In the resulting significant PLS models for SubA, AdF_N and AdF_S, some OHCs were especially important in explaining variations in circulating TH levels: polybrominated diphenylether (PBDE)-99, PBDE-100, PBDE-153, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-52, PCB-118, cis-nonachlor, trans-nonachlor, trichlorobenzene (TCB) and pentachlorobenzene (QCB), and both negative and positive relationships with THs were found. In addition, the models revealed that DDTs had a positive influence on total 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (TT3) in AdF_S, and that a group of 17 higher chlorinated ortho-PCBs had a positive influence on total 3,5,3',5'-tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine, TT4) in AdF_N. TH levels in AdM seemed less influenced by OHCs because of non-significant PLS models. TH levels were also influenced by biological factors such as age, sex, body size, lipid content of adipose tissue and sampling date. When controlling for biological variables, the major relationships from the PLS models for SubA, AdF_N and AdF_S were found significant in partial correlations. The most important OHCs that influenced TH levels in the significant PLS models may potentially act through similar mechanisms on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, suggesting that both combined effects by dose and response addition and perhaps synergistic potentiation may be a possibility in these polar bears. Statistical associations are not evidence per se of biological cause-effect relationships. Still, the results of the present study indicate that OHCs may affect circulating

  16. Brain region distribution and patterns of bioaccumulative perfluoroalkyl carboxylates and sulfonates in east greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Greaves, Alana K; Letcher, Robert J; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2013-03-01

    The present study investigated the comparative accumulation of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in eight brain regions of polar bears (Ursus maritimus, n = 19) collected in 2006 from Scoresby Sound, East Greenland. The PFAAs studied were perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs, C(6) -C(15) chain lengths) and sulfonates (C(4) , C(6) , C(8) , and C(10) chain lengths) as well as selected precursors including perfluorooctane sulfonamide. On a wet-weight basis, blood-brain barrier transport of PFAAs occurred for all brain regions, although inner regions of the brain closer to incoming blood flow (pons/medulla, thalamus, and hypothalamus) contained consistently higher PFAA concentrations compared to outer brain regions (cerebellum, striatum, and frontal, occipital, and temporal cortices). For pons/medulla, thalamus, and hypothalamus, the most concentrated PFAAs were perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), ranging from 47 to 58 ng/g wet weight, and perfluorotridecanoic acid, ranging from 43 to 49 ng/g wet weight. However, PFOS and the longer-chain PFCAs (C(10) -C(15) ) were significantly (p < 0.002) positively correlated with lipid content for all brain regions. Lipid-normalized PFOS and PFCA (C(10) -C(15) ) concentrations were not significantly (p > 0.05) different among brain regions. The burden of the sum of PFCAs, perfluoroalkyl sulfonates, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide in the brain (average mass, 392 g) was estimated to be 46 µg. The present study demonstrates that both PFCAs and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates cross the blood-brain barrier in polar bears and that wet-weight concentrations are brain region-specific. PMID:23280712

  17. Mercury speciation in brain tissue of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Krey, Anke; Kwan, Michael; Chan, Hing Man

    2012-04-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxicant that has been found at elevated concentrations in the Arctic ecosystem. Little is known about its internal dose in wildlife such as polar bears. We measured concentrations of mercury (Hg) in three different brain regions (cerebellum, frontal lobe and brain stem) of 24 polar bears collected from the Nunavik, Canada between 2000 and 2003. Speciation of Hg was measured by High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC-ICP-MS). Concentrations of mean total Hg in brain tissue were up to 625 times lower (0.28 ± 0.07 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) in frontal lobe, 0.23 ± 0.07 mg kg(-1) dw in cerebellum and 0.12 ± 0.0 3mg kg(-1) dw in brain stem) than the mean total Hg concentration previously reported in polar bear liver collected from Eastern Baffin Island. Methylmercury (MeHg) accounted for 100% of the Hg found in all three brain regions analyzed. These results suggest that polar bear might reduce the toxic effects of Hg by limiting the uptake into the brain and/or decrease the rate of demethylation so that Hg can be excreted from the brain more easily. The toxicokinetics and the blood-brain-barrier mechanisms of polar bears are still unknown and further research is required. PMID:22406289

  18. Xenoestrogenic and dioxin-like activity in blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Erdmann, Simon E; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Vorkamp, Katrin; Letcher, Robert J; Long, Manhai; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva C

    2013-07-01

    The aims of the project were to (i) extract the lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from the blood of 99 East Greenland polar bears and assess the combined mixture effect on the estrogen receptor (ER) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) mediated transactivity; (ii) To evaluate whether the receptor transactivities were associated with selected POP markers, and (iii) compare the receptor transactivities in polar bears with earlier studies on Greenlandic Inuit. Lipophilic POPs were extracted using a combination of solid-phase extraction (SPE) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). ER mediated transactivity was determined using the ER luciferase reporter MVLN cell assay. The extracts were tested alone (XER) and together with 17β-estradiol (E2) as a physiological mimic (XERcomp). Dioxins and dioxin-like (DL) compounds were extracted by a combination of SPE and the Supelco Dioxin Prep System®. AhR mediated dioxin-like transactivity was determined using the AhR luciferase reporter Hepa 1.12cR cell assay. Agonistic ER transactivity was elicited by 19% of the samples, and a further increased E2 induced ER response was found for 52%, whereas 17% antagonized the E2 induced ER response. Positive correlations were found in subadult bears between XER and several POP biomarkers. XER and XERcomp correlated positively to each other. A total of 91% of the polar bear blood extracts elicited agonistic AhR transactivity. The AhR-TCDD equivalent (AhR-TEQ) median levels were higher among adult bears compared to subadult bears, but not significantly. PMID:23648332

  19. Evaluation of hepatic biotransformation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Krieger, Lisa K; Szeitz, András; Bandiera, Stelvio M

    2016-03-01

    Polar bears are at the top of the Arctic marine food chain and are subject to exposure and bioaccumulation of environmental chemicals of concern such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which were widely used as flame retardants. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro oxidative metabolism of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-47) and 2,2',4,4',5-pentabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-99) by polar bear liver microsomes. The identification and quantification of the hydroxy-brominated diphenyl ethers formed were assessed using an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based method. Incubation of BDE-47 with archived individual liver microsomes, prepared from fifteen polar bears from northern Canada, produced a total of eleven hydroxylated metabolites, eight of which were identified using authentic standards. The major metabolites were 4'-hydroxy-2,2',4,5'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether and 5'-hydroxy-2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether. Incubation of BDE-99 with polar bear liver microsomes produced a total of eleven hydroxylated metabolites, seven of which were identified using authentic standards. The major metabolites were 2,4,5-tribromophenol and 4-hydroxy-2,2',3,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether. Among the CYP specific antibodies tested, anti-rat CYP2B was found to be the most active in inhibiting the formation of hydroxylated metabolites of both BDE-47 and BDE-99, indicating that CYP2B was the major CYP enzyme involved in the oxidative biotransformation of these two congeners. Our study shows that polar bears are capable of forming multiple hydroxylated metabolites of BDE-47 and BDE-99 in vitro and demonstrates the role of CYP2B in the biotransformation and possibly in the toxicity of BDE-47 and BDE-99 in polar bears. PMID:26745384

  20. Social and nonsocial category discriminations in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer; Johnson-Ulrich, Zoe

    2014-09-01

    One captive adult chimpanzee and 3 adult American black bears were presented with a series of natural category discrimination tasks on a touch-screen computer. This is the first explicit comparison of bear and primate abilities using identical tasks, and the first test of a social concept in a carnivore. The discriminations involved a social relationship category (mother/offspring) and a nonsocial category involving food items. The social category discrimination could be made using knowledge of the overarching mother/offspring concept, whereas the nonsocial category discriminations could be made only by using perceptual rules, such as "choose images that show larger and smaller items of the same type." The bears failed to show above-chance transfer on either the social or nonsocial discriminations, indicating that they did not use either the perceptual rule or knowledge of the overarching concept of mother/offspring to guide their choices in these tasks. However, at least 1 bear remembered previously reinforced stimuli when these stimuli were recombined, later. The chimpanzee showed transfer on a control task and did not consistently apply a perceptual rule to solve the nonsocial task, so it is possible that he eventually acquired the social concept. Further comparisons between species on identical tasks assessing social knowledge will help illuminate the selective pressures responsible for a range of social cognitive skills. PMID:24903598

  1. Characterization of a pancreatic islet cell tumor in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Fortin, Jessica S; Benoit-Biancamano, Marie-Odile

    2014-01-01

    Herein, we report a 25-year-old male polar bear suffering from a pancreatic islet cell tumor. The aim of this report is to present a case of this rare tumor in a captive polar bear. The implication of potential risk factors such as high carbohydrate diet or the presence of amyloid fibril deposits was assessed. Necropsy examination revealed several other changes, including nodules observed in the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestine, and thyroid glands that were submitted for histopathologic analysis. Interestingly, the multiple neoplastic nodules were unrelated and included a pancreatic islet cell tumor. Immunohistochemistry of the pancreas confirmed the presence of insulin and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) within the pancreatic islet cells. The IAPP gene was extracted from the paraffin-embedded liver tissue and sequenced. IAPP cDNA from the polar bear exhibits some differences as compared to the sequence published for several other species. Different factors responsible for neoplasms in bears such as diet, infectious agents, and industrial chemical exposure are reviewed. This case report raised several issues that further studies may address by evaluating the prevalence of cancers in captive or wild animals. PMID:25273481

  2. Assessment of the amount of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) on the basis of perennial vessel counts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matishov, G. G.; Chelintsev, N. G.; Goryaev, Yu. I.; Makarevich, P. R.; Ishkulov, D. G.

    2014-10-01

    This article presents a method of assessment of the amount of polar bears on the basis of data on vessel counts. The results of 32 vessel transect counts in the southern part of the Kara Sea are used as the primary data. They are processed in an original program using separate extrapolation by sectors and summarizing of data of several different counts. In recent years, the calculated amount of bears in the studied region has varied from 3300 to 3100 individuals (3200, on average). The relative statistical error of estimations smoothly decreases from 8 to 7%. The confidence interval of the estimation at statistical error of 7% and probability level of 95% is 2700-3500 individuals.

  3. Sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Brito, L F C; Sertich, P L; Stull, G B; Rives, W; Knobbe, M

    2010-11-01

    The objective of this study was to describe sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears. Electroejaculation was successful in 53.8% (7/13) of the attempts, but urine contamination was common. Epididymal sperm samples were also obtained from five bears. Sperm had a paddle-like head shape and the ultrastructure was similar to that of most other mammals. The most striking particularity of black bear sperm ultrastructure was a tightening of the nucleus in the equatorial region. Although the differences were not significant in all bears, the overall decrease in sperm nucleus dimensions during transport from the caput epididymis to the cauda suggested increasing compaction of the nucleus during maturation. For ejaculated sperm, nucleus length, width, and base width were 4.9, 3.7, and 1.8 μm, respectively, whereas sperm head length, width, and base width were 6.6, 4.8, and 2.3 μm, and midpiece, tail (including midpiece), and total sperm lengths were 9.8, 68.8, and 75.3 μm. Evaluation of sperm cytoplasmic droplets in the epididymis revealed that proximal droplets start migrating toward a distal position in the caput epididymis and that the process was mostly completed by the time sperm reached the cauda epididymis. The proportion of morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate was 35.6%; the most prevalent sperm defects were distal cytoplasmic droplets and bent/coiled tails. The morphology of abnormal sperm and the underlying ultrastructural defects were similar to that in other large domestic animals thus suggesting similar underlying pathogenesis of specific sperm defects and similar effects on fertility. PMID:20708230

  4. Remote identification of maternal polar bear (Ursus maritimus) denning habitat on the Colville River Delta, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blank, Justin J.

    High resolution digital aerial photographs (1 foot pixel size) of the Colville River Delta, Alaska were examined in 3D, with the use of a digital photogrammetric workstation. Topographic features meeting the criteria required for adequate snow accumulation, and subsequent construction of terrestrial polar bear maternal dens, were identified and digitized into an ArcGIS line shapefile. Effectiveness, efficiency, and accuracy were improved when compared to previous polar bear denning habitat efforts which utilized contact photo prints and a pocket stereoscope in other geographic areas of northern Alaska. Accuracy of photograph interpretation was systematically evaluated visually from the air with the use of a helicopter and physically on the ground. Results show that the mapping efforts were successful in identifying den habitat 91.3% of the time. Knowledge denning habitat can improve and inform decision making by managers and regulators when considering travel and development in the study area. An understanding of polar bear denning habitat extent and location will be a crucial tool for planning activities within the study area in a way that minimizes conflicts with maternal dens.

  5. Temporal monitoring of liver and kidney lesions in contaminated East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1999-2010.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Leifsson, Pall S; Rigét, Frank F; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Bossi, Rossana; Asmund, Gert; Dietz, Rune

    2012-11-01

    Organohalogen contaminants bioaccumulate to high concentrations in tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The exposure levels are in the order to be toxic to inner organs like liver and kidney. We therefore investigated the temporal development of lesions in liver (n=115) and kidney (n=122) samples from East Greenland polar bears taken over the 12 year period from 1999 to 2010. Seven liver and seven kidney lesions were observed of which six were age-related. Controlling for this, the analyses showed that hepatic steatosis and renal cell infiltrations, glomerular sclerosis and tubular hyperplasia decreased over the investigated time period (all p<0.05). Similarly, hypertrophy of hepatic Ito cells, renal glomerular capillary wall thickening and interstitial fibrosis increased over the study period (all p<0.05). Regarding contaminant, concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in adipose tissue were negatively associated with hepatic mononuclear cell infiltrations (p=0.05) and a similar trend was found for Hg (p=0.09). Hexachlorobenzene was positively associated with portal cell infiltrations and hepatic lipid granulomas, while polychlorinated biphenyls were negatively associated with the prevalence of steatosis (both p<0.05) and a similar trend was found for hexachlorocyclohexanes (p=0.08). Mercury was positively correlated with the frequencies of hypertrophic Ito cells (p=0.002) and a similar trend was found for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (p=0.07). In renal tissue, hexachlorocyclohexanes were positively associated with medullar hyaline casts (p=0.03) and a similar trend was found for cell infiltrations (p=0.08). There was a trend of trans-nonachlor being positively associated with glomerular sclerosis (p=0.06) while dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes were negatively associated with tubular hyperplasia (p=0.02). These results suggest that specific liver and renal lesions have decreased or increased over time and that long-range transported organohalogen

  6. Geophagy by yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Green, G.I.; Swalley, R.

    1999-01-01

    We documented 12 sites in the Yellowstone ecosystem where grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) had purposefully consumed soil (an activity known as geophagy). We also documented soil in numerous grizzly bear feces. Geophagy primarily occurred at sites barren of vegetation where surficial geology had been modified by geothermal activity. There was no evidence of ungulate use at most sites. Purposeful consumption of soil by bears peaked first from March to May and again from August to October, synchronous with peaks in consumption of ungulate meat and mushrooms. Geophageous soils were distinguished from ungulate mineral licks and soils in general by exceptionally high concentrations of potassium (K) and high concentrations of magnesium (Mg) and sulphur (S). Our results do not support the hypotheses that bears were consuming soil to detoxify secondary compounds in grazed foliage, as postulated for primates, or to supplement dietary sodium, as known for ungulates. Our results suggest that grizzly bears could have been consuming soil as an anti-diarrheal.

  7. Phylogeographic Analyses of American Black Bears (Ursus americanus) Suggest Four Glacial Refugia and Complex Patterns of Postglacial Admixture.

    PubMed

    Puckett, Emily E; Etter, Paul D; Johnson, Eric A; Eggert, Lori S

    2015-09-01

    Studies of species with continental distributions continue to identify intraspecific lineages despite continuous habitat. Lineages may form due to isolation by distance, adaptation, divergence across barriers, or genetic drift following range expansion. We investigated lineage diversification and admixture within American black bears (Ursus americanus) across their range using 22 k single nucleotide polymorphisms and mitochondrial DNA sequences. We identified three subcontinental nuclear clusters which we further divided into nine geographic regions: Alaskan (Alaska-East), eastern (Central Interior Highlands, Great Lakes, Northeast, Southeast), and western (Alaska-West, West, Pacific Coast, Southwest). We estimated that the western cluster diverged 67 ka, before eastern and Alaskan divergence 31 ka; these divergence dates contrasted with those from the mitochondrial genome where clades A and B diverged 1.07 Ma, and clades A-east and A-west diverged 169 ka. We combined estimates of divergence timing with hindcast species distribution models to infer glacial refugia for the species in Beringia, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast. Our results show a complex arrangement of admixture due to expansion out of multiple refugia. The delineation of the genomic population clusters was inconsistent with the ranges for 16 previously described subspecies. Ranges for U. a. pugnax and U. a. cinnamomum were concordant with admixed clusters, calling into question how to order taxa below the species level. Additionally, our finding that U. a. floridanus has not diverged from U. a. americanus also suggests that morphology and genetics should be reanalyzed to assess taxonomic designations relevant to the conservation management of the species. PMID:25989983

  8. Enhanced biological processes associated with alopecia in polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A Keith; Stott, Jeffrey; Waters, Shannon; Atwood, Todd

    2015-10-01

    Populations of wildlife species worldwide experience incidents of mass morbidity and mortality. Primary or secondary drivers of these events may escape classical detection methods for identifying microbial insults, toxin exposure, or additional stressors. In 2012, 28% of polar bears sampled in a study in the southern Beaufort Sea region of Alaska had varying degrees of alopecia that was concomitant with reduced body condition. Concurrently, elevated numbers of sick or dead ringed seals were detected in the southern Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas in 2012, resulting in the declaration of an unusual mortality event (UME) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The primary and possible ancillary causative stressors of these events are unknown, and related physiological changes within individual animals have been undetectable using classical diagnostic methods. Here we present an emerging technology as a potentially guiding investigative approach aimed at elucidating the circumstances responsible for the susceptibility of certain polar bears to observed conditions. Using transcriptomic analysis we identified enhanced biological processes including immune response, viral defense, and response to stress in polar bears with alopecia. Our results support an alternative mechanism of investigation into the causative agents that, when used proactively, could serve as an early indicator for populations and species at risk. We suggest that current or classical methods for investigation into events of unusual morbidity and mortality can be costly, sometimes unfocused, and often inconclusive. Advances in technology allow for implementation of a holistic system of surveillance and investigation that could provide early warning of health concerns in wildlife species important to humans. PMID:26005754

  9. Enhanced biological processes associated with alopecia in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Stott, Jeffrey L.; Waters, Shannon C.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    Populations of wildlife species worldwide experience incidents of mass morbidity and mortality. Primary or secondary drivers of these events may escape classical detection methods for identifying microbial insults, toxin exposure, or additional stressors. In 2012, 28% of polar bears sampled in a study in the southern Beaufort Sea region of Alaska had varying degrees of alopecia that was concomitant with reduced body condition. Concurrently, elevated numbers of sick or dead ringed seals were detected in the southern Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas in 2012, resulting in the declaration of an unusual mortality event (UME) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The primary and possible ancillary causative stressors of these events are unknown, and related physiological changes within individual animals have been undetectable using classical diagnostic methods. Here we present an emerging technology as a potentially guiding investigative approach aimed at elucidating the circumstances responsible for the susceptibility of certain polar bears to observed conditions. Using transcriptomic analysis we identified enhanced biological processes including immune response, viral defense, and response to stress in polar bears with alopecia. Our results support an alternative mechanism of investigation into the causative agents that, when used proactively, could serve as an early indicator for populations and species at risk. We suggest that current or classical methods for investigation into events of unusual morbidity and mortality can be costly, sometimes unfocused, and often inconclusive. Advances in technology allow for implementation of a holistic system of surveillance and investigation that could provide early warning of health concerns in wildlife species important to humans.

  10. On the palaeobiology of the extinct cave bear Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER. Insights from stable isotope analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandal-D'Anglade, Aurora; Pérez-Rama, Marta; Fernández-Mosquera, Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N) of bone collagen are used more and more to obtain the paleobiological data of fossil species. By means of these signatures, for example, the diet type of an extint species may be inferred. Also, the climate in which this species developed may greatly influence on the isotopic signature of its bone collagen. This influence is firstly produced in the initial material of the trophic chain but also may produce variations due to physiological changes caused by climatic changes in the species involved in this trophic chain. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus ROSENMÜLLER) is a species of broad distribution in the European Pleistocene sites that has been studied from the isotopic point of view, trying to establish its diet type. For the moment, the results vary: though in most cases the isotopic values indicate a preferably herbivore diet type, differences exist between sites of different geographic zones and chronologies. Taking into account that climate influences on the cave bear's physiology through the physiological mechanism of hibernation, it is expected that in bears that lived in different climatic phases, the isotopic signatures will be also different. During hibernation a recycling of nitrogenised compounds is produced for protein synthesis, including bone collagen, so it is expected that the isotopic signature, at least of Nitrogen, will be altered with respect to the synthesized collagen when the bear is active and feeds normally. However, it is difficult to establish up to what extent the isotopic signatures due to hibernation or diet are overlapped. To study the physiological effect of hibernation on isotopic signatures we have selected bone remains of cave bears from populations whose chronologies correspond to different climatic moments, and in different ontogenetic stages, coming from Galician caves (NW of the Iberian Peninsula). Adult individuals show different isotopic signatures depending on their chronology. Juvenile

  11. Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Knut

    PubMed Central

    Prüss, H.; Leubner, J.; Wenke, N. K.; Czirják, G. Á.; Szentiks, C. A.; Greenwood, A. D.

    2015-01-01

    Knut the polar bear of the Berlin Zoological Garden drowned in 2011 following seizures and was diagnosed as having suffered encephalitis of unknown etiology after exhaustive pathogen screening. Using the diagnostic criteria applied to human patients, we demonstrate that Knut’s encephalitis is almost identical to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis which is a severe autoimmune disease representing the most common non-infectious encephalitis in humans. High concentrations of antibodies specific against the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor were detected in Knut’s cerebrospinal fluid. Histological examination demonstrated very similar patterns of plasma cell infiltration and minimal neuronal loss in affected brain areas. We conclude that Knut suffered anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis making his the first reported non-human case of this treatable disease. The results suggest that anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis may be a disease of broad relevance to mammals that until now has remained undiagnosed. PMID:26313569

  12. Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Knut.

    PubMed

    Prüss, H; Leubner, J; Wenke, N K; Czirják, G Á; Szentiks, C A; Greenwood, A D

    2015-01-01

    Knut the polar bear of the Berlin Zoological Garden drowned in 2011 following seizures and was diagnosed as having suffered encephalitis of unknown etiology after exhaustive pathogen screening. Using the diagnostic criteria applied to human patients, we demonstrate that Knut's encephalitis is almost identical to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis which is a severe autoimmune disease representing the most common non-infectious encephalitis in humans. High concentrations of antibodies specific against the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor were detected in Knut's cerebrospinal fluid. Histological examination demonstrated very similar patterns of plasma cell infiltration and minimal neuronal loss in affected brain areas. We conclude that Knut suffered anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis making his the first reported non-human case of this treatable disease. The results suggest that anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis may be a disease of broad relevance to mammals that until now has remained undiagnosed. PMID:26313569

  13. Myrmecophagy by Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    I used data collected during a study of radio-marked grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Yellowstone region from 1977 to 1992 to investigate myrmecophagy by this population. Although generally not an important source of energy for the bears (averaging 8 mm long) nested in logs over small ants (6 mm long) nested under stones. Optimal conditions for consumption of ants occurred on the warmest sites with ample substrate suitable for ant nests. For ants in mounds, this occurred at low elevations at non-forested sites. For ants in logs, this occurred at low elevations or on southerly aspects where there was abundant, large-diameter, well-decomposed woody debris under an open forest canopy. Grizzly bears selected moderately decomposed logs 4a??5 dm in diameter at midpoint. Ants will likely become a more important food for Yellowstone's grizzly bears as currently important foods decline, owing to disease and warming of the regional climate.

  14. Temporal, spatial, and environmental influences on the demographics of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Haroldson, Mark A.; White, Gary C.; Harris, Richard B.; Cherry, Steve; Keating, Kim A.; Moody, Dave; Servheen, Christopher

    2006-01-01

    During the past 2 decades, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) has increased in numbers and expanded in range. Understanding temporal, environmental, and spatial variables responsible for this change is useful in evaluating what likely influenced grizzly bear demographics in the GYE and where future management efforts might benefit conservation and management. We used recent data from radio-marked bears to estimate reproduction (1983–2002) and survival (1983–2001); these we combined into models to evaluate demographic vigor (lambda [λ]). We explored the influence of an array of individual, temporal, and spatial covariates on demographic vigor.

  15. Analyses of fecal and hair glucocorticoids to evaluate short- and long-term stress and recovery of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) removed from bile farms in China.

    PubMed

    Malcolm, K D; McShea, W J; Van Deelen, T R; Bacon, H J; Liu, F; Putman, S; Zhu, X; Brown, J L

    2013-05-01

    Demand for traditional Chinese medicines has given rise to the practice of maintaining Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) in captivity to harvest bile. We evaluated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in Asiatic black bears on a bile farm in China by measuring cortisol in hair. We also monitored hair and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites as bears acclimated to improved husbandry at the Animals Asia Foundation China Bear Rescue Center (CBRC) after removal from other bile farms. Fecal samples were collected twice weekly for ~1 year, and hair was obtained from bears upon arrival at the CBRC and again ≥163 days later. Paired hair samples showed declines in cortisol concentrations of 12-88% in 38 of 45 (84%, p<0.001) bears after arrival and acclimation at the rehabilitation facility. Concentrations of cortisol in hair from bears on the bile farm were similar to initial concentrations upon arrival at the CBRC but were higher than those collected after bears had been at the CBRC for ≥163 days. Fecal glucocorticoid concentrations varied across months and were highest in April and declined through December, possibly reflecting seasonal patterns, responses to the arrival and socialization of new bears at the CBRC, and/or annual metabolic change. Data from segmental analysis of hair supports the first of these explanations. Our findings indicate that bears produced elevated concentrations of glucocorticoids on bile farms, and that activity of the HPA axis declined following relocation. Thus, hair cortisol analyses are particularly well suited to long-term, retrospective assessments of glucocorticoids in ursids. By contrast, fecal measures were not clearly associated with rehabilitation, but rather reflected more subtle endocrine changes, possibly related to seasonality. PMID:23416358

  16. Black bear (Ursus americanus Pallas) feeding damage across timber harvest edges in northern California coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens[D. Don] Endl.) forests, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Russell, W.H.; Carnell, K.; McBride, J.R.

    2001-01-01

    Feeding damage to trees by black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas) was recorded in proximity to timber harvest edges in harvested and old-growth stands of coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens [D. Don] Endl.) in northern California, USA. Bears exhibited distinct preference in their feeding patterns related to stand structure and composition and to distance from the timber-harvest edge. Most damage was recorded within regenerating stands. Regression analysis indicated that density of damaged trees was negatively correlated with distance from timber harvest edges within old-growth stands. A significant negative correlation was also found between the density of trees damaged by bears and habitat diversity (H') as measured by the Shannon diversity index. In addition, bears exhibited preference for pole-size trees (dbh = 10-50 cm) over all other size classes, and coast redwood over other species. In general, damage by bears appeared to act as a natural thinning agent in even-aged stands. No damage was recorded in old-growth stands except in close proximity to the timber-harvest edge where subcanopy recruitment was high.

  17. Adaptation of the hindlimbs for climbing in bears.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Motoki; Endo, Hideki; Wiig, Oystein; Derocher, Andrew E; Tsubota, Toshio; Taru, Hajime; Yamamoto, Masako; Arishima, Kazuyoshi; Hayashi, Yoshihiro; Kitamura, Nobuo; Yamada, Junzo

    2005-04-01

    The hindlimbs of the Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) have been anatomically and osteometrically studied. The Musculus tibialis cranialis of the Malayan sun bear and the giant panda possessed a well-developed rich fleshy portion until the distal end of the tibia. In the polar bear and the brown bear, however, the fleshy portion of the M. tibialis cranialis was not developed until the distal end of the tibia. The tendon of the M. tibialis cranialis inserting on the proximal end of the Ossa metatarsalia was shorter in the Malayan sun bear and the giant panda than in the polar bear and the brown bear. In the Malayan sun bear and the giant panda, moreover, the M. popliteus was attached more distally to the tibia than in the polar bear and the brown bear. The stable dorsiflexion and supination of the foot and the efficient pronation of the crus are important for skillful tree climbing. The present study suggests that the Malayan sun bear and the giant panda have hindlimbs especially adapted to tree climbing by the well-developed fleshy portion of the M. tibialis cranialis reaching the distal end of the tibia, its short tendon, and the M. popliteus inserting near the distal end of the tibia. PMID:15900701

  18. Pitfalls in comparing modern hair and fossil bone collagen C and N isotopic data to reconstruct ancient diets: a case study with cave bears (Ursus spelaeus).

    PubMed

    Bocherens, Hervé; Grandal-d'Anglade, Aurora; Hobson, Keith A

    2014-01-01

    Stable isotope analyses provide one of the few means to evaluate diet of extinct taxa. However, interpreting isotope data from bone collagen of extinct animals based on isotopic patterns in different tissues of modern animal proxies is precarious. For example, three corrections are needed before making comparisons of recent hair and ancient bone collagen: calibration of carbon-13 variations in atmospheric CO2, different isotopic discrimination between diet-hair keratin and diet-bone collagen, and time averaging of bone collagen versus short-term record in hair keratin. Recently, Robu et al. [Isotopic evidence for dietary flexibility among European Late Pleistocene cave bears (Ursus spelaeus). Can J Zool. 2013;91:227-234] published an article comparing extant carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotopic data of European cave bear bone collagen with those of Yellowstone Park grizzly bear hair in order to test the prevailing assumption of a largely vegetarian diet among cave bears. The authors concluded that cave bears were carnivores. This work is unfortunately unfounded as the authors failed to consider the necessary corrections listed above. When these corrections are applied to the Romanian cave bears, these individuals can be then interpreted without involving consumption of high trophic-level food, and environmental changes are probably the reason for the unusual isotopic composition of these cave bears in comparison with other European cave bears, rather than a change of diet. We caution researchers to pay careful attention to these factors when interpreting feeding ecology of extinct fauna using stable isotope techniques. PMID:24588112

  19. Population trend of the Yellowstone grizzly bear as estimated from reproductive and survival rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberhardt, L. L.; Blanchard, B. M.; Knight, R. R.

    1993-01-01

    The trend of the Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population was estimated using reproductive rates calculated from 22 individual females and survival rates from 400 female bear-years. The point estimate of the rate of increase was 4.6%, with 95% confidence limits of 0 and 9%. Caution in interpreting this result is advised because of possible biases in the population parameter estimates. The main prospects for improving present knowledge of the population trend appear to be further study of possible biases in the parameter estimates, and the continued use of radiotelemetry to increase the number of samples on which the estimates are based.

  20. Application of large-scale parentage analysis for investigating natal dispersal in highly vagile vertebrates: a case study of American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Moore, Jennifer A; Draheim, Hope M; Etter, Dwayne; Winterstein, Scott; Scribner, Kim T

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that affect dispersal is a fundamental question in ecology and conservation biology, particularly as populations are faced with increasing anthropogenic impacts. Here we collected georeferenced genetic samples (n = 2,540) from three generations of black bears (Ursus americanus) harvested in a large (47,739 km2), geographically isolated population and used parentage analysis to identify mother-offspring dyads (n = 337). We quantified the effects of sex, age, habitat type and suitability, and local harvest density at the natal and settlement sites on the probability of natal dispersal, and on dispersal distances. Dispersal was male-biased (76% of males dispersed) but a small proportion (21%) of females also dispersed, and female dispersal distances (mean ± SE  =  48.9±7.7 km) were comparable to male dispersal distances (59.0±3.2 km). Dispersal probabilities and dispersal distances were greatest for bears in areas with high habitat suitability and low harvest density. The inverse relationship between dispersal and harvest density in black bears suggests that 1) intensive harvest promotes restricted dispersal, or 2) high black bear population density decreases the propensity to disperse. Multigenerational genetic data collected over large landscape scales can be a powerful means of characterizing dispersal patterns and causal associations with demographic and landscape features in wild populations of elusive and wide-ranging species. PMID:24621593

  1. Prevalence of Trichinella spp. in black bears, grizzly bears, and wolves in the Dehcho Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, including the first report of T. nativa in a grizzly bear from Canada.

    PubMed

    Larter, Nicholas C; Forbes, Lorry B; Elkin, Brett T; Allaire, Danny G

    2011-07-01

    Samples of muscle from 120 black bears (Ursus americanus), 11 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), and 27 wolves (Canis lupus) collected in the Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories from 2001 to 2010 were examined for the presence of Trichinella spp. larvae using a pepsin-HCl digestion assay. Trichinella spp. larvae were found in eight of 11 (73%) grizzly bears, 14 of 27 (52%) wolves, and seven of 120 (5.8%) black bears. The average age of positive grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves was 13.5, 9.9, and approximately 4 yr, respectively. Larvae from 11 wolves, six black bears, and seven grizzly bears were genotyped. Six wolves were infected with T. nativa and five with Trichinella T6, four black bears were infected with T. nativa and two with Trichinella T6, and all seven grizzly bears were infected with Trichinella T6 and one of them had a coinfection with T. nativa. This is the first report of T. nativa in a grizzly bear from Canada. Bears have been linked to trichinellosis outbreaks in humans in Canada, and black bears are a subsistence food source for residents of the Dehcho region. In order to assess food safety risk it is important to monitor the prevalence of Trichinella spp. in both species of bear and their cohabiting mammalian food sources. PMID:21719845

  2. East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus): adaptive variation between two populations using skull morphometrics as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences.

    PubMed

    Pertoldi, Cino; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein; Baagøe, Hans J; Loeschcke, Volker; Bechshøft, Thea Østergaard

    2012-06-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on four skull traits of 37 male and 18 female adult East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected 1892-1968, and on 54 male and 44 female adult Barents Sea polar bears collected 1950-1969. The aim was to compare differences in size and shape of the bear skulls using a multivariate approach, characterizing the variation between the two populations using morphometric traits as an indicator of environmental and genetic differences. Mixture analysis testing for geographic differentiation within each population revealed three clusters for Barents Sea males and three clusters for Barents Sea females. East Greenland consisted of one female and one male cluster. A principal component analysis (PCA) conducted on the clusters defined by the mixture analysis, showed that East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bear populations overlapped to a large degree, especially with regards to females. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) showed no significant differences in morphometric means between the two populations, but differences were detected between clusters from each respective geographic locality. To estimate the importance of genetics and environment in the morphometric differences between the bears, a PCA was performed on the covariance matrix derived from the skull measurements. Skull trait size (PC1) explained approx. 80% of the morphometric variation, whereas shape (PC2) defined approx. 15%, indicating some genetic differentiation. Hence, both environmental and genetic factors seem to have contributed to the observed skull differences between the two populations. Overall, results indicate that many Barents Sea polar bears are morphometrically similar to the East Greenland ones, suggesting an exchange of individuals between the two populations. Furthermore, a subpopulation structure in the Barents Sea population was also indicated from the present analyses, which should be considered with regards to future management

  3. Current status of brown bears in the Manasalu Conservation Area, Nepal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aryal, Achyut; Sathyakumar, S.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    2010-01-01

    Although brown bears (Ursus arctos) are rare in the Himalayan region, populations have been documented in alpine habitats of Pakistan and India. Brown bears were once known to exist in both Nepal and Bhutan, but current information on their numbers and distributions was lacking. We document the presence of brown bears in the Manasalu Conservation Area (MCA) in Nepal using field surveys and interviews with local people. We were able to confirm the existence of a remnant population based on finding bear scat and locations where bears excavated for Himalayan marmots (Marmota himalayana). Based on interviews with local people, it appeared that the presence of brown bears in the area is relatively recent and likely a result of immigration of bears from the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Interviews with local herders also indicated that livestock losses from brown bear predation amounted to approximately 318,000 Nepali rupees (US $4,240) from February 2006 through July 2008.

  4. Geographic pattern of serum antibody prevalence for Brucella spp. in caribou, grizzly bears, and wolves from Alaska, 1975-1998.

    PubMed

    Zarnke, Randall L; Ver Hoef, Jay M; DeLong, Robert A

    2006-07-01

    Blood samples were collected from 2,635 caribou (Rangifer tarandus), 1,238 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), and 930 wolves (Canis lupus) from throughout mainland Alaska during 1975-98. Sera were tested for evidence of exposure to Brucella spp. Serum antibody prevalences were highest in the northwestern region of the state. In any specific area, antibody prevalences for caribou and wolves were of a similar magnitude, whereas antibody prevalence for bears in these same areas were two to three times higher. PMID:17092888

  5. Biological consequences of relocating grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R.

    1995-01-01

    Relocating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) from human/bear conflict situations has been a standard management procedure. Using data from Yellowstone National Park, we present components of situations that may affect the outcome of a relocation. Survival rates of transported bears were lower (lx = 0.83) (P = 0.001) than those not transported (lx = 0.89). Survival was largely affected by whether the bear returned to the capture site (P = 0.029). Return rate was most affected by distance transported (P = 0.012) and age-sex group (P = 0.014). Return rates decreased at distances -75 km, and subadult females returned least (P = 0.050) often. Because of low survival and high return rates, transporting grizzly bears should be considered a final action to eliminate a conflict situation. However, transporting females must be considered a viable management technique because transports of some individuals have resulted in contributions to the population through successful reproduction.

  6. Diet and Co-ecology of Pleistocene Short-Faced Bears and Brown Bears in Eastern Beringia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matheus, Paul E.

    1995-11-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of fossil bone collagen reveals that Pleistocene short-faced bears ( Arctodus simus) of Beringia were highly carnivorous, while contemporaneous brown bears ( Ursus arctos) had highly variable diets that included varying amounts of terrestrial vegetation, salmon, and small amounts of terrestrial meat. A reconsideration of the short-faced bear's highly derived morphology indicates that they foraged as scavengers of widely dispersed large mammal carcasses and were simultaneously designed both for highly efficient locomotion and for intimidating other large carnivores. This allowed Arctodus to forage economically over a large home range and seek out, procure, and defend carcasses from other large carnivores. The isotope data and this reconstruction of Arctodus' foraging behavior refute the hypothesis that competition from brown bears was a significant factor in the extinction of short-faced bears.

  7. Modeling multi-scale resource selection for bear rub trees in northwestern Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morgan Henderson, Matthew J.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mitchell, Michael S.; Stetz, Jeffrey B.; Kendall, Katherine C.; Carlson, Ross T.

    2015-01-01

    Both black (Ursus americanus) and grizzly bears (U. arctos) are known to rub on trees and other objects, producing a network of repeatedly used and identifiable rub sites. In 2012, we used a resource selection function to evaluate hypothesized relationships between locations of 887 bear rubs in northwestern Montana, USA, and elevation, slope angle, density of open roads and distance from areas of heightened plant-productivity likely containing forage for bears. Slope and density of open roads were negatively correlated with rub presence. No other covariates were supported as explanatory variables. We also hypothesized that bear rubs would be more strongly associated with closed roads and developed trails than with game trails. The frequencies of bear rubs on 30 paired segments of developed tracks and game trails were not different. Our results suggest bear rubs may be associated with bear travel routes, and support their use as “random” sampling devices for non-invasive spatial capture–recapture population monitoring.

  8. Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Black Bears (Ursus americanus), Bobcats (Lynx rufus), and Feral Cats (Felis catus) from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Jitender P; Verma, Shiv K; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cassinelli, Ana B; Kwok, Oliver C H; Van Why, Kyle; Su, Chunlei; Humphreys, Jan G

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infects virtually all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. Recently, attention has been focused on the genetic diversity of the parasite to explain its pathogenicity in different hosts. It has been hypothesized that interaction between feral and domestic cycles of T. gondii may increase unusual genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. In the present study, we tested black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and feral cat (Felis catus) from the state of Pennsylvania for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 32 (84.2%) of 38 bears, both bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats tested by the modified agglutination test (cut off titer 1:25). Hearts from seropositive animals were bioassayed in mice, and viable T. gondii was isolated from 3 of 32 bears, 2 of 2 bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats. DNA isolated from culture-derived tachyzoites of these isolates was characterized using multilocus PCR-RFLP markers. Three genotypes were revealed, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1 or #3 (Type II, 1 isolate), #5 (Type 12, 3 isolates), and #216 (3 isolates), adding to the evidence of genetic diversity of T. gondii in wildlife in Pennsylvania. Pathogenicity of 3 T. gondii isolates (all #216, 1 from bear, and 2 from feral cat) was determined in outbred Swiss Webster mice; all three were virulent causing 100% mortality. Results indicated that highly mouse pathogenic strains of T. gondii are circulating in wildlife, and these strains may pose risk to infect human through consuming of game meat. PMID:25393429

  9. Immunoquantitation and microsomal monooxygenase activities of hepatic cytochromes P4501A and P4502B and chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminant levels in polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Letcher, R J; Norstrom, R J; Lin, S; Ramsay, M A; Bandiera, S M

    1996-04-01

    Contamination of the Arctic ecosystem by anthropogenic compounds has resulted in exposure of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) to lipophilic chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants (CHCs) accumulated through the marine food web. Liver samples were collected from 16 adult male polar bears in the Canadian arctic and subjected to chemical analysis for CHCs and metabolites, determination of alkoxyresorufin O-dealkylase activities, and immunoquantitation of cytochrome P450 (CYP) protein levels. We report on the relationships between the hepatic microsomal levels of immunoreactive CYP1A and CYP2B isozymes, catalytic activities, and hepatic CHC and metabolite concentrations in polar bear. We specifically explored the influence of several CHCs on the induction of hepatic CYP in polar bear and the potential use of immunoassay quantitation as a bioindicator of CHC exposure. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) classed as CYP1A and mixed CYP1A/CYP2B inducers accounted for about 25% of the total PCB residues present (18,680 +/- 5053 ng/g lipid). CYP1A protein content correlated strongly with hepatic levels of PCBs, PCDDs (0.032 +/- 0.018 ng/g lipid, and PCDFs (0.011 +/- 0.007 ng/g lipid) and their corresponding toxic equivalents (TEQ, 0.377 +/- 0.182 ng/g lipid). Mono-ortho-CB-156, CB-157, and CB-105 were the predominant TEQ contributors. Correlations between CYP2B protein content and CHC residue levels in polar bear liver suggested that ortho-chlorine-substituted PCBs and chlordanes were the major contributors to CYP2B induction. CYP1A and CYP2B contents were therefore good indicators of CHC exposure in polar bear liver. Ethoxyresorufin, pentoxyresorufin, and benzyloxyresorufin O-dealkylase activities increased with increasing CYP1A protein content up to protein levels of approximately 5 pmol/mg, suggesting that all three activities were primarily CYP1A-mediated. These results were substantiated by antibody inhibition experiments. In summary, immunoquantitated CYP1A and CYP2B isozymes are

  10. Alaskan brown bears, humans, and habituation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Thomas; Herrero, Stephen; DeBruyn, Terry D.

    2005-01-01

    We present a new paradigm for understanding habituation and the role it plays in brown bear (Ursus arctos) populations and interactions with humans in Alaska. We assert that 3 forms of habituation occur in Alaska: bear-to-bear, bear-to-human, and human-to-bear. We present data that supports our theory that bear density is an important factor influencing a bear’s overt reaction distance (ORD); that as bear density increases, overt reaction distance decreases, as does the likelihood of bear– human interactions. We maintain that the effects of bear-to-bear habituation are largely responsible for not only shaping bear aggregations but also for creating the relatively safe environment for bear viewing experienced at areas where there are high densities of brown bears. By promoting a better understanding of the forces that shape bear social interactions within populations and with humans that mingle with them, we can better manage human activities and minimize bear–human conflict.

  11. Extensive sampling of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) reveals population differentiation across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Campagna, Leonardo; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Saunders, Brenda L; Atkinson, Stephen N; Weber, Diana S; Dyck, Markus G; Boag, Peter T; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2013-09-01

    As global warming accelerates the melting of Arctic sea ice, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This process will necessarily alter the species distribution together with population dynamics and structure. Detailed knowledge of these changes is crucial to delineating conservation priorities. Here, we sampled 361 polar bears from across the center of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago spanning the Gulf of Boothia (GB) and M'Clintock Channel (MC). We use DNA microsatellites and mitochondrial control region sequences to quantify genetic differentiation, estimate gene flow, and infer population history. Two populations, roughly coincident with GB and MC, are significantly differentiated at both nuclear (F ST = 0.01) and mitochondrial (ΦST = 0.47; F ST = 0.29) loci, allowing Bayesian clustering analyses to assign individuals to either group. Our data imply that the causes of the mitochondrial and nuclear genetic patterns differ. Analysis of mtDNA reveals the matrilineal structure dates at least to the Holocene, and is common to individuals throughout the species' range. These mtDNA differences probably reflect both genetic drift and historical colonization dynamics. In contrast, the differentiation inferred from microsatellites is only on the scale of hundreds of years, possibly reflecting contemporary impediments to gene flow. Taken together, our data suggest that gene flow is insufficient to homogenize the GB and MC populations and support the designation of GB and MC as separate polar bear conservation units. Our study also provide a striking example of how nuclear DNA and mtDNA capture different aspects of a species demographic history. PMID:24102001

  12. Assessment of neurotoxic effects of mercury in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Krey, Anke; Ostertag, Sonja K; Chan, Hing Man

    2015-03-15

    Marine mammals are indicator species of the Arctic ecosystem and an integral component of the traditional Inuit diet. The potential neurotoxic effects of increased mercury (Hg) in beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are not clear. We assessed the risk of Hg-associated neurotoxicity to these species by comparing their brain Hg concentrations with threshold concentrations for toxic endpoints detected in laboratory animals and field observations: clinical symptoms (>6.75 mg/kg wet weight (ww)), neuropathological signs (>4 mg/kg ww), neurochemical changes (>0.4 mg/kg ww), and neurobehavioral changes (>0.1mg/kg ww). The total Hg (THg) concentrations in the cerebellum and frontal lobe of ringed seals and polar bears were <0.5mg/kg ww, whereas the average concentration in beluga whale brain was >3mg/kg ww. Our results suggest that brain THg levels in polar bears are below levels that induce neurobehavioral effects as reported in the literature, while THg concentrations in ringed seals are within the range that elicit neurobehavioral effects and individual ringed seals exceed the threshold for neurochemical changes. The relatively high THg concentration in beluga whales exceeds all of the neurotoxicity thresholds assessed. High brain selenium (Se):Hg molar ratios were observed in all three species, suggesting that Se could protect the animals from Hg-associated neurotoxicity. This assessment was limited by several factors that influence neurotoxic effects in animals, including: animal species; form of Hg in the brain; and interactions with modifiers of Hg-associated toxicity, such as Se. Comparing brain Hg concentrations in wildlife with concentrations of appropriate laboratory studies can be used as a tool for risk characterization of the neurotoxic effects of Hg in Arctic marine mammals. PMID:24958011

  13. Bear feeding activity at alpine insect aggregation sites in the Yellowstone ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, David J.; Gillin, Colin M.; Benson, Scott A.; Knight, Richard R.

    1991-01-01

    Bears (Ursidae) were observed from fixed-wing aircraft on or near alpine talus in the Shoshone National Forest between 15 June and 15 September in 1981–1989. Bears fed on insect aggregations at 6 known and 12 suspected alpine talus sites, disproportionately more at elevations > 3350 m, on slopes > 30°, and on south- and west-facing aspects. While at these sites, bears almost exclusively ate invertebrates, typically army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris). Subadult grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) appeared to be underrepresented at the sites, and proportionate representation of adult females with young appeared to decrease between 15 June and 15 September. Overall, observations of bears at these sites increased between 1981 and 1989. We suggest that alpine insect aggregations are an important food source for bears in the Shoshone National Forest, especially in the absence of high-quality foraging alternatives in July and August of most years.

  14. Predatory behavior of grizzly bears feeding on elk calves in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, Steven P.; French, Marilynn G.

    1990-01-01

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) were observed preying on elk calves (Cervus elaphus) on 60 occasions in Yellowstone National Park, with 29 confirmed kills. Some bears were deliberate predators and effectively preyed on elk calves for short periods each spring, killing up to 1 calf daily. Primary hunting techniques were searching and chasing although some bears used a variety of techniques during a single hunt. They hunted both day and night and preyed on calves in the open and in the woods. Excess killing occurred when circumstances permitted. One bear caught 5 calves in a 15-minute interval. Elk used a variety of antipredator defenses and occasionally attacked predacious bears. The current level of this feeding behavior appears to be greater than previously reported. This is probably related to the increased availability of calves providing a greater opportunity for learning, and the adaptation of a more predatory behavior by some grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

  15. Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) pregnane X receptors (PXR, NR1I2) differently

    SciTech Connect

    Lille-Langøy, Roger; Goldstone, Jared V.; Rusten, Marte; Milnes, Matthew R.; Male, Rune; Stegeman, John J.; Blumberg, Bruce; Goksøyr, Anders

    2015-04-01

    Background: Many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) accumulate readily in polar bears because of their position as apex predators in Arctic food webs. The pregnane X receptor (PXR, formally NR1I2, here proposed to be named promiscuous xenobiotic receptor) is a xenobiotic sensor that is directly involved in metabolizing pathways of a wide range of environmental contaminants. Objectives: In the present study, we comparably assess the ability of 51 selected pharmaceuticals, pesticides and emerging contaminants to activate PXRs from polar bears and humans using an in vitro luciferase reporter gene assay. Results: We found that polar bear PXR is activated by a wide range of our test compounds (68%) but has a slightly more narrow ligand specificity than human PXR that was activated by 86% of the 51 test compounds. The majority of the agonists identified (70%) produces a stronger induction of the reporter gene via human PXR than via polar bear PXR, however with some notable and environmentally relevant exceptions. Conclusions: Due to the observed differences in activation of polar bear and human PXRs, exposure of each species to environmental agents is likely to induce biotransformation differently in the two species. Bioinformatics analyses and structural modeling studies suggest that amino acids that are not part of the ligand-binding domain and do not interact with the ligand can modulate receptor activation. - Highlights: • Comparative study of ligand activation of human and polar bear PXRs. • Polar bear PXR is a promiscuous ligand-activated nuclear receptor but less so than human PXR. • Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear PXRs differently. • Expression and ligand promiscuity indicate that PXR is a xenosensor in polar bears.

  16. The role of Pleistocene glaciations in shaping the evolution of polar and brown bears. Evidence from a critical review of mitochondrial and nuclear genome analyses.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    In this report, I review recent molecular studies dealing with the origin and evolution of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), with special emphasis on their relationships with brown bears (U. arctos). On the basis of mitochondrial and nuclear data, different hypotheses have been proposed, including rapid morphological differentiation of U. maritimus, genetic introgression from U. arctos into U. maritimus, or inversely from U. maritimus into U. arctos, involving either male- or female-mediated gene flow. In the light of available molecular and eco-ethological data, I suggest, firstly, that all divergences among major clades of large bears can be linked to glacial periods, secondly, that polar bears diverged from brown bears before 530 thousand years ago (ka), during one of the three glacial marine isotope stages (MIS) 14, 15.2 or 16, and, thirdly, that genetic introgression had occurred from female polar bears into brown bear populations during at least two glacial periods, at 340 ± 10 ka (MIS 10) in western Europe, and at 155 ± 5 ka (MIS 6) on the ABC islands of southeastern Alaska, and probably also in Beringia and Ireland based on ancient DNA sequences. PMID:26026577

  17. Movements of Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R.

    1991-01-01

    Ninety-seven grizzly bears Ursus arctos horribilis were radio-located 6299 times during 1975–1987. Annual range sizes differed by sex, age, reproductive status and amount of precipitation. Females exhibited greater fidelity to seasonal and annual ranges than males. Weaned female offspring generally remained in the vicinity of the maternal range, while weaned males often made substantial movements to unexplored country. Average total home range size was 884 km2 for females and 3757 km2 for males. Males consistently exhibited greater indices of movement and range sizes than females. All cohorts had larger mean ranges during this study than during the period 1959–1969 when the population had access to open garbage dumps. Movements and elevational distribution of all cohorts were related to availability of whitebark pine Pinus albicaulis seeds. We hypothesized that females with cubs-of-the-year and yearlings were displaced from most productive habitats during seasons and years of limited food availability.

  18. Influence of drift and admixture on population structure of American black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Central Interior Highlands, USA, 50 years after translocation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Puckett, Emily E.; Kristensen, Thea V.; Wilton, Clay M.; Lyda, Sara B.; Noyce, Karen V.; Holahan, Paula M.; Leslie,, David M., Jr.; Beringer, J.; Belant, Jerrold L.; White, D., Jr.; Eggert, L.S.

    2014-01-01

    Bottlenecks, founder events, and genetic drift often result in decreased genetic diversity and increased population differentiation. These events may follow abundance declines due to natural or anthropogenic perturbations, where translocations may be an effective conservation strategy to increase population size. American black bears (Ursus americanus) were nearly extirpated from the Central Interior Highlands, USA by 1920. In an effort to restore bears, 254 individuals were translocated from Minnesota, USA, and Manitoba, Canada, into the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains from 1958 to 1968. Using 15 microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes, we observed contemporary genetic diversity and differentiation between the source and supplemented populations. We inferred four genetic clusters: Source, Ouachitas, Ozarks, and a cluster in Missouri where no individuals were translocated. Coalescent models using approximate Bayesian computation identified an admixture model as having the highest posterior probability (0.942) over models where the translocation was unsuccessful or acted as a founder event. Nuclear genetic diversity was highest in the source (AR = 9.11) and significantly lower in the translocated populations (AR = 7.07-7.34; P = 0.004). The Missouri cluster had the lowest genetic diversity (AR = 5.48) and served as a natural experiment showing the utility of translocations to increase genetic diversity following demographic bottlenecks. Differentiation was greater between the two admixed populations than either compared to the source, suggesting that genetic drift acted strongly over the eight generations since the translocation. The Ouachitas and Missouri were previously hypothesized to be remnant lineages. We observed a pretranslocation remnant signature in Missouri but not in the Ouachitas.

  19. Influence of drift and admixture on population structure of American black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Central Interior Highlands, USA, 50 years after translocation.

    PubMed

    Puckett, Emily E; Kristensen, Thea V; Wilton, Clay M; Lyda, Sara B; Noyce, Karen V; Holahan, Paula M; Leslie, David M; Beringer, Jeff; Belant, Jerrold L; White, Don; Eggert, Lori S

    2014-05-01

    Bottlenecks, founder events, and genetic drift often result in decreased genetic diversity and increased population differentiation. These events may follow abundance declines due to natural or anthropogenic perturbations, where translocations may be an effective conservation strategy to increase population size. American black bears (Ursus americanus) were nearly extirpated from the Central Interior Highlands, USA by 1920. In an effort to restore bears, 254 individuals were translocated from Minnesota, USA, and Manitoba, Canada, into the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains from 1958 to 1968. Using 15 microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes, we observed contemporary genetic diversity and differentiation between the source and supplemented populations. We inferred four genetic clusters: Source, Ouachitas, Ozarks, and a cluster in Missouri where no individuals were translocated. Coalescent models using approximate Bayesian computation identified an admixture model as having the highest posterior probability (0.942) over models where the translocation was unsuccessful or acted as a founder event. Nuclear genetic diversity was highest in the source (AR = 9.11) and significantly lower in the translocated populations (AR = 7.07-7.34; P = 0.004). The Missouri cluster had the lowest genetic diversity (AR = 5.48) and served as a natural experiment showing the utility of translocations to increase genetic diversity following demographic bottlenecks. Differentiation was greater between the two admixed populations than either compared to the source, suggesting that genetic drift acted strongly over the eight generations since the translocation. The Ouachitas and Missouri were previously hypothesized to be remnant lineages. We observed a pretranslocation remnant signature in Missouri but not in the Ouachitas. PMID:24712442

  20. Thyroid hormones and deiodinase activity in plasma and tissues in relation to high levels of organohalogen contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Gabrielsen, Kristin Møller; Krokstad, Julie Stene; Villanger, Gro Dehli; Blair, David A D; Obregon, Maria-Jesus; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Letcher, Robert J; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown relationships between organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and circulating levels of thyroid hormones (THs) in arctic wildlife. However, there is a lack of knowledge concerning the possible functional effects of OHCs on TH status in target tissues for TH-dependent activity. The relationships between circulating (plasma) levels of OHCs and various TH variables in plasma as well as in liver, muscle and kidney tissues from East Greenland sub-adult polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in 2011 (n=7) were therefore investigated. The TH variables included 3.3',5.5'-tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine (T4), 3.3',5-triiodothyronine (T3) and type 1 (D1) and type 2 (D2) deiodinase activities. Principal component analysis (PCA) combined with correlation analyses demonstrated negative relationships between individual polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their hydroxylated (OH-) metabolites and T4 in both plasma and muscle. There were both positive and negative relationships between individual OHCs and D1 and D2 activities in muscle, liver and kidney tissues. In general, PCBs, OH-PCBs and polybrominated dipehenyl ethers (PBDEs) were positively correlated to D1 and D2 activities, whereas organochlorine pesticides and byproducts (OCPs) were negatively associated with D1 and D2 activities. These results support the hypothesis that OHCs can affect TH status and action in the target tissues of polar bears. TH levels and deiodinase activities in target tissues can be sensitive endpoints for exposure of TH-disrupting compounds in arctic wildlife, and thus, tissue-specific responses in target organs should be further considered when assessing TH disruption in wildlife studies. PMID:25460663

  1. Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) pregnane X receptors (PXR, NR1I2) differently

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Lille-Langøy; V, Goldstone Jared; Marte, Rusten; R, Milnes Matthew; Rune, Male; J, Stegeman John; Bruce, Blumberg; Anders, Goksøyr

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) accumulate readily in polar bears because of their position as apex predators in Arctic food webs. The pregnane X receptor (PXR, formally NR1I2, here proposed to be named promiscuous xenobiotic receptor) is a xenobiotic sensor that is directly involved in metabolizing pathways of a wide range of environmental contaminants. OBJECTIVES In the present study, we comparably assess the ability of 51 selected pharmaceuticals, pesticides and emerging contaminants to activate PXRs from polar bears and humans using an in vitro luciferase reporter gene assay. RESULTS We found that polar bear PXR is activated by a wide range of our test compounds (68%) but has a slightly more narrow ligand specificity than human PXR that was activated by 86% of the 51 test compounds. The majority of the agonists identified (70%) produces a stronger induction of the reporter gene via human PXR than via polar bear PXR, however with some notable and environmentally relevant exceptions. CONCLUSIONS Due to the observed differences in activation of polar bear and human PXRs, exposure of each species to environmental agents is likely to induce biotransformation differently in the two species. Bioinformatics analyses and structural modelling studies suggests that amino acids that are not part of the ligand-binding domain and do not interact with the ligand can modulate receptor activation. PMID:25680588

  2. A novel method for analysing key corticosteroids in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) hair using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Weisser, Johan J; Hansen, Martin; Björklund, Erland; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the development and evaluation of a methodology for extraction, clean-up and analysis of three key corticosteroids (aldosterone, cortisol and corticosterone) in polar bear hair. Such a methodology can be used to monitor stress biomarkers in polar bears and may provide as a useful tool for long-term and retrospective information. We developed a combined pressurized liquid extraction (PLE)-solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure for corticosteroid extraction and clean-up followed by high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) analysis. This procedure allows for the simultaneous determination of multiple steroids, which is in contrast to previous polar bear studies based on ELISA techniques. Absolute method recoveries were 81%, 75% and 60% for cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone, respectively. We applied the developed method on a hair sample pooled from four East Greenland polar bears. Herein cortisol and corticosterone were successfully determined in levels of 0.32±0.02ng/g hair and 0.13±0.02ng/g hair, respectively. Aldosterone was below limit of detection (LOD<0.17ng/g). The cortisol hair concentration found in these East Greenland polar bears was consistent with cortisol levels previously determined in the Southern Hudson Bay and James Bay in Canada using ELISA kits. PMID:26945133

  3. Whitebark pine, grizzly bears, and red squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Kendall, K.C.; Reinhart, D.P.

    2001-01-01

    Appropriately enough, much of this book is devoted to discussing management challenges and techniques. However, the impetus for action—the desire to save whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis)—necessarily arises from the extent to which we cherish it for its beauty and its connections with other things that we value. Whitebark pine is at the hub of a fascinating web of relationships. It is the stuff of great stories (cf. Quammen 1994). One of the more interesting of these stories pertains to the dependence of certain grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) populations on its seeds, and the role that red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) play as an agent of transfer between tree and bear.

  4. Issues of choice and control in the behaviour of a pair of captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephen R

    2006-07-01

    Stereotyped behaviour occurs in a wide variety of captive animals including ursids. The provision of animal control over aspects of their environment by providing choices is a critical element for improving welfare. The behaviour of two sibling polar bears at a metropolitan zoo was examined to investigate the effect of providing access to their indoor, off-exhibit holding space. Both bears demonstrated behavioural changes when given the choice to access their indoor dens including decreased stereotyped behaviours and increased social play. These results, although based on just two bears, provide additional support for the assertion that choice and control are closely tied to issues of well-being for captive animals. PMID:16687218

  5. Non-invasive detection of candidate pregnancy protein biomarkers in the feces of captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Curry, E; Stoops, M A; Roth, T L

    2012-07-15

    Currently, there is no method of accurately and non-invasively diagnosing pregnancy in polar bears. Specific proteins may exhibit altered profiles in the feces of pregnant bears, but predicting appropriate candidate proteins to investigate is speculative at best. The objective of this study was to identify potential pregnancy biomarker proteins based on their increased abundance in the feces of pregnant polar bears compared to pseudopregnant females (controls) using two-dimensional in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry (MS). Three 2D-DIGE gels were performed to evaluate fecal protein profiles from controls (n=3) and pregnant polar bears (n=3). There were 2224.67±52.39 (mean±SEM) spots resolved per gel. Of these, only five proteins were elevated in the pregnant group (P<0.05), and seven additional spots tended to be higher (0.0599.9% confidence interval. The 11 spots represented seven distinct proteins, five of which were significantly more abundant in the pregnant group: IgGFc-binding protein, filamin-C, carboxypeptidase B, transthyretin, and immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region. To our knowledge, this was the first study that employed 2D-DIGE to identify differentially expressed proteins in fecal samples to characterize a physiological condition other than those related to gastrointestinal disorders. These promising results provided a strong foundation for ensuing efforts to develop a non-invasive pregnancy assay for use in both captive and wild polar bears. PMID:22538002

  6. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling of immune, reproductive and carcinogenic effects from contaminant exposure in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) across the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Rune; Gustavson, Kim; Sonne, Christian; Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Rigét, Frank F; Pavlova, Viola; McKinney, Melissa A; Letcher, Robert J

    2015-07-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) consume large quantities of seal blubber and other high trophic marine mammals and consequently have some of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among Arctic biota. In the present paper we carried out a risk quotient (RQ) evaluation on OHC-exposed polar bears harvested from 1999 to 2008 and from 11 circumpolar subpopulations spanning from Alaska to Svalbard in order to evaluate the risk of OHC-mediated reproductive effects (embryotoxicity, teratogenicity), immunotoxicity and carcinogenicity (genotoxicity). This RQ evaluation was based on the Critical Body Residue (CBR) concept and a Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modelling (PBPK) approach using OHC concentrations measured in polar bear adipose or liver tissue. The range of OHC concentrations within polar bear populations were as follows for adipose, sum polychlorinated biphenyls ∑PCBs (1797-10,537 ng/g lw), sum methylsulphone-PCB ∑MeSO2-PCBs (110-672 ng/g lw), sum chlordanes ∑CHLs (765-3477 ng/g lw), α-hexachlorocyclohexane α-HCH (8.5-91.3 ng/g lw), β-hexachlorocyclohexane β-HCH (65.5-542 ng/g lw), sum chlorbenzenes ∑ClBzs (145-304 ng/g lw), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane ∑DDTs (31.5-206 ng/g lw), dieldrin (69-249 ng/g lw), polybrominated diphenyl ethers ∑PBDEs (4.6-78.4 ng/g lw). For liver, the perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) concentrations ranged from 231-2792 ng/g ww. The total additive RQ from all OHCs ranged from 4.3 in Alaska to 28.6 in East Greenland bears for effects on reproduction, immune health and carcinogenicity, highlighting the important result that the toxic effect threshold (i.e. RQ>1) was exceeded for all polar bear populations assessed. PCBs were the main contributors for all three effect categories, contributing from 70.6% to 94.3% of the total risk and a RQ between 3.8-22.5. ∑MeSO2-PCBs were the second highest effect contributor for reproductive and immunological effects (0.17

  7. [A molecular phylogeny of Shennongjia white bear based on mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence].

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Juan; Zhang, Zhi-Min; Liu, Zhong-Lai; Xiong, Guo-Mei

    2006-10-01

    The phylogenetic relationship of Shennongjia white bear has been an open question. Total DNA was extracted and sequenced from hair and feces of Shennongjia white bear. Based on the partial Cyt b gene sequence obtained from the samples, the authors aligned them using the Clustal W software program. The MEGA software was used to analyze the divergences and base substitutions of the partial Cyt b gene among the 11 species: Shennongjia white bear, Selenarctos thibetanus, Euarctos americanus, Helarctos malayanus, Ursus arctos, Thalarctos maritimus, Melursus ursinus, Procyon lotor, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Ailurus fulgens and Tremarctos ornatus. The phylogenetic trees constructed by multiple methods (NJ and MP) supported nearly the same topology. Our molecular results show that the sequence divergence between Shennongjia white bear and Asiatic black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) is lower than that between other species. PMID:17035181

  8. Can polar bears use terrestrial foods to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Nelson, Lynne; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased land use by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) due to climate-change-induced reduction of their sea-ice habitat illustrates the impact of climate change on species distributions and the difficulty of conserving a large, highly specialized carnivore in the face of this global threat. Some authors have suggested that terrestrial food consumption by polar bears will help them withstand sea-ice loss as they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time on land. Here, we evaluate the nutritional needs of polar bears as well as the physiological and environmental constraints that shape their use of terrestrial ecosystems. Only small numbers of polar bears have been documented consuming terrestrial foods even in modest quantities. Over much of the polar bear's range, limited terrestrial food availability supports only low densities of much smaller, resident brown bears (Ursus arctos), which use low-quality resources more efficiently and may compete with polar bears in these areas. Where consumption of terrestrial foods has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined even as land use has increased. Thus far, observed consumption of terrestrial food by polar bears has been insufficient to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities but can have ecological consequences for other species. Warming-induced loss of sea ice remains the primary threat faced by polar bears.

  9. Characteristics of frozen-thawed spermatozoa cryopreserved with different concentrations of glycerol in captive Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    PubMed

    Okano, Tsukasa; Nakamura, Sachiko; Komatsu, Takeshi; Murase, Tetsuma; Miyazawa, Kiyoshi; Asano, Makoto; Tsubota, Toshio

    2006-10-01

    Seven mature Japanese black bears were used as semen donors, and a total of 7 semen samples collected from the animals by the electroejaculation method were cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-glucose extender was used, and the effects of different final concentrations of glycerol, at 4-12% (v/v), on frozen-thawed spermatozoa were examined. No significant difference was observed in percent motility or percent abnormal morphology of frozen-thawed spermatozoa among the different glycerol concentrations. Percent viability and percent intact acrosomes of spermatozoa cryopreserved with 4 and 6% glycerol were significantly higher than those with 10 and 12% glycerol. These results suggest that a suitable glycerol concentration for freezing Japanese black bear semen within the range tested would be 4-6%. PMID:17085891

  10. Sarcocystis arctosi, n. sp. (Apicomplexans: Sarcocystidae) from the brown bear (Ursus arctos), and its genetic similarity to schizonts of Sarcocystis canis-like parasite associated with fatal hepatitis in polar bears

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although all species of Sarcocystis are presumed to cycle between carnivorous definitive hosts and their prey, complete life-cycles have been definitively established for only a few. Instead, most such species are known only by the sarcocysts that form in intermediate hosts, which may be discrimina...