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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.

  2. 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

  3. Treatment of hypoxemia during anesthesia of brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Fahlman, Asa; Pringle, John; Arnemo, Jon M; Swenson, Jon E; Brunberg, Sven; Nyman, Görel

    2010-03-01

    This study assessed whether arterial oxygenation could be increased by treatment with intranasal oxygen supplementation in brown bears (Ursus arctos) with hypoxemia during anesthesia with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine. Arterial blood samples were collected anaerobically from the femoral artery before and during oxygen supplementation. An oxygen flow rate of 2-5 L/min administered intranasally to brown bears weighing 12-120 kg markedly increased arterial oxygenation. Intranasal oxygen supplementation proved to be a simple and efficient method for treatment of hypoxemia in anesthetized bears.

  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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos) compared to man

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Information on hemostasis and platelet function in brown bear (Ursus arctos) is of importance for understanding the physiological, protective changes during hibernation. Objective The study objective was to document platelet activity values in brown bears shortly after leaving the den and compare them to platelet function in healthy humans. Methods Blood was drawn from immobilized wild brown bears 7-10 days after leaving the den in mid April. Blood samples from healthy human adults before and after clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid administration served as control. We analyzed blood samples by standard blood testing and platelet aggregation was quantified after stimulation with various agonists using multiple electrode aggregometry within 3 hours of sampling. Results Blood samples were collected from 6 bears (3 females) between 1 and 16 years old and from 10 healthy humans. Results of adenosine diphosphate, aspirin, and thrombin receptor activating peptide tests in bears were all half or less of those in humans. Platelet and white blood cell counts did not differ between species but brown bears had more and smaller red blood cells compared with humans. Conclusion Using three different tests, we conclude that platelet function is lower in brown bears compared to humans. Our findings represent the first descriptive study on platelet function in brown bears and may contribute to explain how bears can endure denning without obvious thrombus building. However, the possibility that our findings reflect test-dependent and not true biological variations in platelet reactivity needs further studies. PMID:20525167

  11. Tool-use in the brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Deecke, Volker B

    2012-07-01

    This is the first report of tool-using behaviour in a wild brown bear (Ursus arctos). Whereas the use of tools is comparatively common among primates and has also been documented in several species of birds, fishes and invertebrates, tool-using behaviours have so far been observed in only four species of non-primate mammal. The observation was made and photographed while studying the behaviour of a subadult brown bear in south-eastern Alaska. The animal repeatedly picked up barnacle-encrusted rocks in shallow water, manipulated and re-oriented them in its forepaws, and used them to rub its neck and muzzle. The behaviour probably served to relieve irritated skin or to remove food-remains from the fur. Bears habitually rub against stationary objects and overturn rocks and boulders during foraging and such rubbing behaviour could have been transferred to a freely movable object to classify as tool-use. The bear exhibited considerable motor skills when manipulating the rocks, which clearly shows that these animals possess the advanced motor learning necessary for tool-use. Advanced spatial cognition and motor skills for object manipulation during feeding and tool-use provide a possible explanation for why bears have the largest brains relative to body size of all carnivores. Systematic research into the cognitive abilities of bears, both in captivity and in the wild, is clearly warranted to fully understand their motor-learning skills and physical intelligence related to tool-use and other object manipulation tasks.

  12. EVALUATION OF CARDIOLOGIC FUNCTIONS IN CAPTIVE EURASIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS ARCTOS) IN TURKEY.

    PubMed

    Cihan, Huseyin; Yilmaz, Zeki; Aytug, Nilufer

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac functions in healthy Eurasian brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) living in a seminatural area during their active season. Twelve clinically healthy brown bears were selected based on their normal physical examination, hematologic, and serum biochemistry results. These bears were divided into two groups based on age; subadult (<5 yr, n = 4) and adult (≥5 yr, n = 8). After the chemical immobilization (ketamine and xylazine), routine clinical and laboratory examinations were performed. Also, cardiologic examinations were performed using electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. There were no significant differences for the clinical parameters between the two groups including for body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, capillary refilling time, and oxygen saturation. The Q, R, and S wave (QRS) complexes and T wave amplitude were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group when compared to those of adult bears. Notching of QRS complexes and peaked T wave were also observed in both groups. Left ventricular diameter at systole and diastole in adult bears was wider (P < 0.05) than that of subadult bears. Subadult bears had reduced aortic diameter compared to adult bears (P < 0.05). Doppler variables of mitral, tricuspid, and aortic inflows between groups were similar; however, pulmonary artery variables such as flow velocity integral, mean velocity, and gradient were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group. These results suggest that electrocardiographic and echocardiographic parameters should be evaluated based on the age of brown bears.

  13. EVALUATION OF CARDIOLOGIC FUNCTIONS IN CAPTIVE EURASIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS ARCTOS) IN TURKEY.

    PubMed

    Cihan, Huseyin; Yilmaz, Zeki; Aytug, Nilufer

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac functions in healthy Eurasian brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) living in a seminatural area during their active season. Twelve clinically healthy brown bears were selected based on their normal physical examination, hematologic, and serum biochemistry results. These bears were divided into two groups based on age; subadult (<5 yr, n = 4) and adult (≥5 yr, n = 8). After the chemical immobilization (ketamine and xylazine), routine clinical and laboratory examinations were performed. Also, cardiologic examinations were performed using electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. There were no significant differences for the clinical parameters between the two groups including for body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, capillary refilling time, and oxygen saturation. The Q, R, and S wave (QRS) complexes and T wave amplitude were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group when compared to those of adult bears. Notching of QRS complexes and peaked T wave were also observed in both groups. Left ventricular diameter at systole and diastole in adult bears was wider (P < 0.05) than that of subadult bears. Subadult bears had reduced aortic diameter compared to adult bears (P < 0.05). Doppler variables of mitral, tricuspid, and aortic inflows between groups were similar; however, pulmonary artery variables such as flow velocity integral, mean velocity, and gradient were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group. These results suggest that electrocardiographic and echocardiographic parameters should be evaluated based on the age of brown bears. PMID:27010272

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Serologic survey of Toxoplasma gondii in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus), from Alaska, 1988 to 1991.

    PubMed

    Chomel, B B; Zarnke, R L; Kasten, R W; Kass, P H; Mendes, E

    1995-10-01

    We tested 644 serum samples from 480 grizzly bears and 40 black bears from Alaska (USA), collected between 1988 and 1991, for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, using a commercially available latex agglutination test (LAT). A titer > or = 64 was considered positive. Serum antibody prevalence for T. gondii in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) was 18% (87 of 480). Prevalence ranged from 9% (seven of 77) on Kodiak Island to 28% (15 of 54) in northern Alaska. Prevalence was directly correlated to age. No grizzly bears < 2-year-old had T. gondii antibody. High antibody titers were found mainly in grizzly bears captured north of the Arctic Circle. Antibody prevalence in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Interior Alaska was 15% (six of 40), similar to the prevalence in grizzly bears from the same area (13%; five of 40).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, V.; 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Application of brown bear (Ursus arctos) records for retrospective assessment of mercury.

    PubMed

    Solgi, Eisa; Ghasempouri, Seyed Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Because mercury (Hg) is released into the atmosphere, wildlife living in habitats located far from point sources of metal may still be at risk. Mercury accumulation, previously considered a risk for aquatic ecosystems, is also found in many wildlife terrestrial species. The aim of the present study was to examine total Hg concentrations in the brown bear (Ursus arctos) by measurement of metal in hair from museum collections in Iran. Another objective of this investigation was to characterize the risk of Hg exposure in bears in several parts of Iran. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) hair samples (n = 35) were collected from 14 provinces in Iran for analysis of Hg contamination, performed using an advanced mercury analyzer (model Leco 254 AMA, USA) according to ASTM standard D-6722. Total Hg levels in Iranian bears from all areas ranged from 115.81 to 505.82 μg/kg, with a mean of 193.39 ng/g. Mercury concentrations in brown bear hair from different provinces in Iran were as follows in descending order: Khorasan Razavi > Esfahan > Khozestan > Yazd > Lorestan > Charmahalva Bakhtiari > Bushehr > Mazandaran > Markazi > Tehran > Ardebil > Gilan > East Azerbaijan. The highest content of Hg was found in the south (206.62 ± 31.95 ng/g), whereas the lowest levels were detected in the west (167.71 ± 32.97 ng/g). Overall total Hg content in bear hair was below harmful levels for this species. A decreasing trend was noted in the period 1986-2006, which may be mainly due to reduction of global Hg emissions. Data suggest that food habits and habitat are two important factors that influence Hg accumulation in bears. PMID:25734629

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Behaviour of Solitary Adult Scandinavian Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) when Approached by Humans on Foot

    PubMed Central

    Moen, Gro Kvelprud; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Sahlén, Veronica; Swenson, Jon E.

    2012-01-01

    Successful management has brought the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) back from the brink of extinction, but as the population grows and expands the probability of bear-human encounters increases. More people express concerns about spending time in the forest, because of the possibility of encountering bears, and acceptance for the bear is decreasing. In this context, reliable information about the bear's normal behaviour during bear-human encounters is important. Here we describe the behaviour of brown bears when encountering humans on foot. During 2006–2009, we approached 30 adult (21 females, 9 males) GPS-collared bears 169 times during midday, using 1-minute positioning before, during and after the approach. Observer movements were registered with a handheld GPS. The approaches started 869±348 m from the bears, with the wind towards the bear when passing it at approximately 50 m. The bears were detected in 15% of the approaches, and none of the bears displayed any aggressive behaviour. Most bears (80%) left the initial site during the approach, going away from the observers, whereas some remained at the initial site after being approached (20%). Young bears left more often than older bears, possibly due to differences in experience, but the difference between ages decreased during the berry season compared to the pre-berry season. The flight initiation distance was longer for active bears (115±94 m) than passive bears (69±47 m), and was further affected by horizontal vegetation cover and the bear's age. Our findings show that bears try to avoid confrontations with humans on foot, and support the conclusions of earlier studies that the Scandinavian brown bear is normally not aggressive during encounters with humans. PMID:22363710

  14. Physiologic evaluation of capture and anesthesia with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine in brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Fahlman, Asa; Arnemo, Jon M; Swenson, Jon E; Pringle, John; Brunberg, Sven; Nyman, Görel

    2011-03-01

    Physiologic variables during anesthesia with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine were evaluated in 52 free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) darted from a helicopter and in six captive brown bears darted at a zoo. During anesthesia, rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, and pulse oximetry derived hemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded. Arterial blood samples were collected and immediately analyzed for evaluation of pulmonary gas exchange, acid-base status, and selected hematologic and plasma variables. At the end of anesthesia, atipamezole was administered intramuscularly at five times the medetomidine dose. Capture-induced hyperthermia and lactic acidemia were documented in free-ranging bears. Hypoxemia during anesthesia was documented in both free-ranging and captive bears. In free-ranging bears, rectal temperature, heart rate, lactate, hematocrit, and hemoglobin decreased significantly during anesthesia, whereas partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide, pH, potassium, and glucose increased. Yearlings had a significantly higher heart rate, pH, base excess, bicarbonate, and glucose, and had a significantly lower rectal temperature, sodium, hematocrit, and hemoglobin when compared with subadult and adult brown bears. In conclusion, alterations in pulmonary gas exchange and acid-base status in brown bears during anesthesia with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine with the doses and capture methods used in this study were identified. Oxygen supplementation is recommended to counteract hypoxemia during anesthesia.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The influence of diet on faecal DNA amplification and sex identification in brown bears (Ursus arctos)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    To evaluate the influence of diet on faecal DNA amplification, 11 captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) were placed on six restricted diets: grass (Trifolium spp., Haplopappus hirtus and Poa pratensis), alfalfa (Lupinus spp.), carrots (Daucus spp.), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and salmon (Salmo spp.). DNA was extracted from 50 faecal samples of each restricted diet, and amplification of brown bear DNA was attempted for a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus and nuclear DNA (nDNA) locus. For mtDNA, no significant differences were observed in amplification success rates across diets. For nDNA, amplification success rates for salmon diet extracts were significantly lower than all other diet extracts (P < 0.001). To evaluate the accuracy of faecal DNA sex identification when female carnivores consume male mammalian prey, female bears were fed male white-tailed deer. Four of 10 extracts amplified, and all extracts were incorrectly scored as male due to amplification of X and Y-chromosome fragments. The potential biases highlighted in this study have broad implications for researchers using faecal DNA for individual and sex identification, and should be evaluated in other species.

  7. Oxygen supplementation in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos)-how low can you go?

    PubMed

    Fahlman, Åsa; Arnemo, Jon M; Pringle, John; Nyman, Görel

    2014-07-01

    Hypoxemia is anticipated during wildlife anesthesia and thus should be prevented. We evaluated the efficacy of low flow rates of supplemental oxygen for improvement of arterial oxygenation in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos). The study included 32 free-ranging brown bears (yearlings, subadults, and adults; body mass 12-250 kg) that were darted with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine (MZT) from a helicopter in Sweden. During anesthesia, oxygen was administered intranasally from portable oxygen cylinders at different flow rates (0.5-3 L/min). Arterial blood samples were collected before (pre-O2), during, and after oxygen therapy and immediately processed with a portable analyzer. Rectal temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, and pulse oximetry-derived hemoglobin oxygen saturation were recorded. Intranasal oxygen supplementation at the evaluated flow rates significantly increased the partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) from pre-O2 values of 9.1 ± 1.3 (6.3-10.9) kPa to 20.4 ± 6.8 (11.1-38.7) kPa during oxygen therapy. When oxygen therapy was discontinued, the PaO2 decreased to values not significantly different from the pre-O2 values. In relation to the body mass of the bears, the following oxygen flow rates are recommended: 0.5 L/min to bears <51 kg, 1 L/min to bears 51-100 kg, 2 L/min to bears 101-200 kg, and 3 L/min to bears 201-250 kg. In conclusion, low flow rates of intranasal oxygen were sufficient to improve arterial oxygenation in brown bears anesthetized with MZT. Because hypoxemia quickly recurred when oxygen was discontinued, oxygen supplementation should be provided continuously throughout anesthesia.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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.

  12. 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

  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.

  15. 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

  16. Winter blood values of selected parameters in a group of non-hibernating captive brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Sergiel, A; Bednarski, M; Maślak, R; Piasecki, T; Huber, D

    2015-01-01

    Bears undergo some significant changes reflected in blood values during winter season. The most significant are reduced urea and increased creatinine, by some authors considered to be physiological indicators of hibernation. Studied group of six captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) showed decreased activity in winter but were accepting food and walked outdoors. Blood parameters assessed in February 2011 revealed mean values of leucocytes and neutrophils as significantly lower, and creatinine significantly increased compared to captive and free living bears sampled during other seasons when bears are active.

  17. 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.

  18. Selenium in brown bears (Ursus arctos) from Croatia: Relation to cadmium and mercury.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, Maja; Sekovanić, Ankica; Reljić, Slaven; Kusak, Josip; Kovačić, Jelena; Orct, Tatjana; Jurasović, Jasna; Huber, Đuro

    2014-01-01

    Muscle (n = 111), liver (n = 111), and kidney cortex (n = 101) samples from brown bears (Ursus arctos) were collected in the 2009 and 2010 hunting seasons in Croatia and analysed for selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd), and total mercury (Hg). The aim was to assess the levels of these elements according to age, sex, and season of collection, and to investigate possible Se/Cd and Se/Hg interactions. Median Se concentrations were 0.139 μg/g in muscle, 0.409 μg/g in liver and 1.75 μg/g wet mass in kidney cortex. Median Cd and Hg were 0.0078 and 0.0018 μg/g in muscle, 1.09 and 0.031 μg/g in liver, and 16.5 and 0.206 μg/g wet mass in the renal cortex, respectively. Se/Cd molar ratios were less than 1 in the kidney cortex, and close to or above 1 in liver and muscle, respectively. Toxic Cd and Hg correlated with Se in all of the studied tissues. Sex differences were found for all three elements (except Se in liver), with females having higher tissue concentration than males. Only Cd showed age-dependence. Bear samples collected in fall had higher Se in muscles, and Hg in muscles and liver compared to samples collected in spring. Element concentrations in brown bear tissues were within the range of previously reported studies. Bear meat is considered a rich source of Se, safe for consumption with regard to its Cd and Hg content. According to the molar ratio and correlation results, we assume that Se binding is not the primary detoxification pathway for Cd and Hg in brown bears.

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

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Elena G; Blanco, Juan C; 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Serological survey of selected canine viral pathogens and zoonoses in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and black bears (Ursus americanus) from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Chomel, B B; Kasten, R W; Chappuis, G; Soulier, M; Kikuchi, Y

    1998-12-01

    Between 1988 and 1991, 644 serum samples were collected from 480 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) and 40 black bears (Ursus americanus) from Alaska, United States of America, and were tested for selected canine viral infections and zoonoses. Antibody prevalence in grizzly bears was 0% for parvovirus, 8.3% (40/480) for distemper, 14% (68/480) for infectious hepatitis, 16.5% (79/480) for brucellosis, 19% (93/480) for tularaemia and 47% (225/478) for trichinellosis. In black bears, prevalence ranged from 0% for distemper and parvovirus to 27.5% for trichinellosis and 32% for tularaemia. Antibody prevalence for brucellosis (2.5%) and tularaemia (32%) were identical for grizzly bears and black bears from the geographical area of interior Alaska. Links between differences in prevalence and the origin of the grizzly bears were observed. Antibodies to canine distemper virus and infectious hepatitis virus were mainly detected in grizzly bears from Kodiak Island and the Alaskan Peninsula. Brucellosis antibodies were prevalent in grizzly bears from western and northern Alaska, whereas tularaemia antibodies were detected in grizzly bears from interior Alaska and the Arctic. There was a strong gradient for antibodies to Trichinella spp. from southern to northern Alaska. For most diseases, antibody prevalence increased with age. However, for several infections, no antibodies were detected in grizzly bears aged from 0 to 2 years, in contrast to the presence of those infections in black bears. Grizzly bears served as excellent sentinels for surveillance of zoonotic infections in wildlife in Alaska.

  11. Comparative anatomy of the radial sesamoid bone in the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    PubMed

    Endo, H; Makita, T; Sasaki, M; Arishima, K; Yamamoto, M; Hayashi, Y

    1999-08-01

    Since we have clarified the manipulation mechanism using the radial sesamoid (RS) in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), our aim in this study is to examine the position, shape and function of the RS morphologically, and to observe the attachment to the RS of the M. abductor pollicis longus and the M. opponens pollicis in the other Ursidae species. So, we focused on the carpus and manus of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in this study. The RS was tightly articulated to the radial carpal, and could not adduct-abduct independently of the radial carpal. The M. abductor pollicis longus tendon and the M. opponens pollicis belly were attached to the RS, independently. In the polar bear, the deep concave and the flat surface were confirmed in attachment area for these two muscles. The morphological relationship between the RS and the M. abductor pollicis longus and the M. opponens pollicis in the two species of bears were essentially consistent with that in the giant panda. It also demonstrated that the manipulation mechanism of the giant panda has been completely based on the functional relationship between the small RS, and the M. abductor pollicis longus and the M. opponens pollicis in Ursidae species.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular phylogeography of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Northeastern Asia based on analyses of complete mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Hirata, Daisuke; Mano, Tsutomu; Abramov, Alexei V; Baryshnikov, Gennady F; Kosintsev, Pavel A; Vorobiev, Alexandr A; Raichev, Evgeny G; Tsunoda, Hiroshi; Kaneko, Yayoi; Murata, Koichi; Fukui, Daisuke; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2013-07-01

    To further elucidate the migration history of the brown bears (Ursus arctos) on Hokkaido Island, Japan, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of 35 brown bears from Hokkaido, the southern Kuril Islands (Etorofu and Kunashiri), Sakhalin Island, and the Eurasian Continent (continental Russia, Bulgaria, and Tibet), and those of four polar bears. Based on these sequences, we reconstructed the maternal phylogeny of the brown bear and estimated divergence times to investigate the timing of brown bear migrations, especially in northeastern Eurasia. Our gene tree showed the mtDNA haplotypes of all 73 brown and polar bears to be divided into eight divergent lineages. The brown bear on Hokkaido was divided into three lineages (central, eastern, and southern). The Sakhalin brown bear grouped with eastern European and western Alaskan brown bears. Etorofu and Kunashiri brown bears were closely related to eastern Hokkaido brown bears and could have diverged from the eastern Hokkaido lineage after formation of the channel between Hokkaido and the southern Kuril Islands. Tibetan brown bears diverged early in the eastern lineage. Southern Hokkaido brown bears were closely related to North American brown bears.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Temporal organization of activity in the brown bear (Ursus arctos): roles of circadian rhythms, light, and food entrainment.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Seasonal cycles of reproduction, migration, and hibernation are often synchronized to changes in daylength (photoperiod). Ecological and evolutionary pressures have resulted in physiological specializations enabling animals to occupy a particular temporal niche within the diel cycle leading to characteristic activity patterns. In this study, we characterized the annual locomotor activity of captive brown bears (Ursus arctos). Locomotor activity was observed in 18 bears of varying ages and sexes during the active (Mar-Oct) and hibernating (Nov-Feb) seasons. All bears exhibited either crepuscular or diurnal activity patterns. Estimates of activity duration (α) and synchronization to the daily light:dark cycle (phase angles) indirectly measured photoresponsiveness. α increased as daylength increased but diverged near the autumnal equinox. Phase angles varied widely between active and hibernating seasons and exhibited a clear annual rhythm. To directly test the role of photoperiod, bears were exposed to controlled photoperiod alterations. Bears failed to alter their daily activity patterns (entrain) to experimental photoperiods during the active season. In contrast, photic entrainment was evident during hibernation when the daily photocycle was shifted and when bears were exposed to a skeleton (11:1:11:1) photoperiod. To test whether entrainment to nonphotic cues superseded photic entrainment during the active season, bears were exposed to a reversed feeding regimen (dark-fed) under a natural photocycle. Activity shifted entirely to a nocturnal pattern. Thus daily activity in brown bears is highly modifiable by photoperiod and food availability in a stereotypic seasonal fashion. PMID:22972838

  19. 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

  20. A study of predominant aerobic microflora of black bears (Ursus americanus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in northwestern Alberta.

    PubMed

    Goatcher, L J; Barrett, M W; Coleman, R N; Hawley, A W; Qureshi, A A

    1987-11-01

    Swab specimens were obtained from nasal, rectal, and preputial or vaginal areas of 37 grizzly and 17 black bears, captured during May to June of 1981 to 1983, to determine the types and frequency of predominant aerobic microflora. Bacterial genera most frequently isolated from bears were Escherichia, Citrobacter, Hafnia, Proteus, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus species, comprising about 65% of the isolates. Erwinia, Xanthomonas, Agrobacterium, Rhizobium, and Gluconobacter/Acetobacter were also isolated but at lower frequencies (less than 5%). Comparison of bacterial generic composition using similarity quotient values showed no appreciable differences between grizzly and black bear flora. Also, no outstanding differences in bacterial generic composition were observed among grizzly bear samples; however, differences were noted among black bear samples. Fungal genera most commonly encountered included Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Sporobolomyces, and Candida. In general, the microflora of both bear types were marked by generic diversity and random distribution. The majority of microorganisms isolated from the plant samples in the study area were also found in bear samples. This observation and the presence of certain water and soil bacteria in samples from bears suggest that the predominant microflora of both grizzly and black bears were transient and probably influenced by their foraging habits and surrounding environments.

  1. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) seem resistant to atherosclerosis despite highly elevated plasma lipids during hibernation and active state.

    PubMed

    Arinell, Karin; Sahdo, Berolla; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M; Baandrup, Ulrik; Fröbert, Ole

    2012-06-01

    Hibernation is an extreme physiological challenge for the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in which metabolism is based mainly on lipids. The study objective was to compare plasma lipids in hibernating and active free-ranging brown bears and relate them to arterial histopathology. Blood was drawn from seven immobilized free-ranging brown bears (three females, 2-3 years old) during hibernation in February and from the same bears while active in June and analyzed by enzymatic and automated hematology methods within 48 hours of sampling. Left anterior descending coronary arteries and aortic arches from 12 bears (six females, 1.5-12 years old) killed in hunting were examined by histopathology. Total plasma cholesterol decreased from hibernation to the active period (11.08 ± 1.04 mmol/L vs. 7.89 ± 1.96 mmol/L, P= 0.0028) as did triglyceride (3.16 ± 0.62 mmol/L vs. 1.44 ± 0.27 mmol/L, P= 0.00012) and LDL cholesterol (4.30 ± 0.71 mmol/L vs. 2.02 ± 1.03 mmol/L, P= 0.0075), whereas HDL cholesterol was unchanged. No atherosclerosis, fatty streaks, foam cell infiltration, or inflammation were seen in any arterial samples. Brown bears tolerate elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, physical inactivity, and circulatory slow flow during hibernation without signs of -atherosclerosis. This species might serve as a reverse translational model for atherosclerosis resistance.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Behavioural differences between single scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) and females with dependent young when experimentally approached by humans.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. EFFECT OF ACTIVE COOLING AND α-2 ADRENOCEPTOR ANTAGONISM ON CORE TEMPERATURE IN ANESTHETIZED BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS).

    PubMed

    Ozeki, Larissa Mourad; Caulkett, Nigel; Stenhouse, Gordon; Arnemo, Jon M; Fahlman, Åsa

    2015-06-01

    Hyperthermia is a common complication during anesthesia of bears, and it can be life threatening. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of active cooling on core body temperature for treatment of hyperthermia in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos). In addition, body temperature after reversal with atipamezole was also evaluated. Twenty-five adult and subadult brown bears were captured with a combination of zolazepam-tiletamine and xylazine or medetomidine. A core temperature capsule was inserted into the bears' stomach or 15 cm into their rectum or a combination of both. In six bears with gastric temperatures≥40.0°C, an active cooling protocol was performed, and the temperature change over 30 min was analyzed. The cooling protocol consisted of enemas with 2 L of water at approximately 5°C/100 kg of body weight every 10 min, 1 L of intravenous fluids at ambient temperature, water or snow on the paws or the inguinal area, intranasal oxygen supplementation, and removing the bear from direct sunlight or providing shade. Nine bears with body temperature>39.0°C that were not cooled served as control for the treated animals. Their body temperatures were recorded for 30 min, prior to administration of reversal. At the end of the anesthetic procedure, all bears received an intramuscular dose of atipamezole. In 10 bears, deep rectal temperature change over 30 min after administration of atipamezole was evaluated. The active cooling protocol used in hyperthermic bears significantly decreased their body temperatures within 10 min, and it produced a significantly greater decrease in their temperature than that recorded in the control group.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Y chromosome haplotype distribution of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Northern Europe provides insight into population history and recovery.

    PubMed

    Schregel, Julia; Eiken, Hans Geir; Grøndahl, Finn Audun; Hailer, Frank; Aspi, Jouni; Kojola, Ilpo; Tirronen, Konstantin; Danilov, Piotr; Rykov, Alexander; Poroshin, Eugene; Janke, Axel; Swenson, Jon E; Hagen, Snorre B

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution, male-inherited Y-chromosomal markers are a useful tool for population genetic analyses of wildlife species, but to date have only been applied in this context to relatively few species besides humans. Using nine Y-chromosomal STRs and three Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers (Y-SNPs), we studied whether male gene flow was important for the recent recovery of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Northern Europe, where the species declined dramatically in numbers and geographical distribution during the last centuries but is expanding now. We found 36 haplotypes in 443 male extant brown bears from Sweden, Norway, Finland and northwestern Russia. In 14 individuals from southern Norway from 1780 to 1920, we found two Y chromosome haplotypes present in the extant population as well as four Y chromosome haplotypes not present among the modern samples. Our results suggested major differences in genetic connectivity, diversity and structure between the eastern and the western populations in Northern Europe. In the west, our results indicated that the recovered population originated from only four male lineages, displaying pronounced spatial structuring suggestive of large-scale population size increase under limited male gene flow within the western subpopulation. In the east, we found a contrasting pattern, with high haplotype diversity and admixture. This first population genetic analysis of male brown bears shows conclusively that male gene flow was not the main force of population recovery. PMID:26769404

  13. Y chromosome haplotype distribution of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Northern Europe provides insight into population history and recovery.

    PubMed

    Schregel, Julia; Eiken, Hans Geir; Grøndahl, Finn Audun; Hailer, Frank; Aspi, Jouni; Kojola, Ilpo; Tirronen, Konstantin; Danilov, Piotr; Rykov, Alexander; Poroshin, Eugene; Janke, Axel; Swenson, Jon E; Hagen, Snorre B

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution, male-inherited Y-chromosomal markers are a useful tool for population genetic analyses of wildlife species, but to date have only been applied in this context to relatively few species besides humans. Using nine Y-chromosomal STRs and three Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers (Y-SNPs), we studied whether male gene flow was important for the recent recovery of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Northern Europe, where the species declined dramatically in numbers and geographical distribution during the last centuries but is expanding now. We found 36 haplotypes in 443 male extant brown bears from Sweden, Norway, Finland and northwestern Russia. In 14 individuals from southern Norway from 1780 to 1920, we found two Y chromosome haplotypes present in the extant population as well as four Y chromosome haplotypes not present among the modern samples. Our results suggested major differences in genetic connectivity, diversity and structure between the eastern and the western populations in Northern Europe. In the west, our results indicated that the recovered population originated from only four male lineages, displaying pronounced spatial structuring suggestive of large-scale population size increase under limited male gene flow within the western subpopulation. In the east, we found a contrasting pattern, with high haplotype diversity and admixture. This first population genetic analysis of male brown bears shows conclusively that male gene flow was not the main force of population recovery.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Evaluation of the accuracy of different methods of monitoring body temperature in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    PubMed

    Ozeki, Larissa Mourad; Fahlman, Asa; Stenhouse, Gordon; Arnemo, Jon M; Caulkett, Nigel

    2014-12-01

    There is some evidence that the handheld rectal thermometer does not accurately measure core temperature in bears. The objective of this study was to compare body temperature measured by the handheld digital thermometer (HDT), deep rectally inserted core temperature capsules (CTCs), and gastrically inserted CTCs in anesthetized brown bears (Ursus arctos). Twenty-two brown bears were immobilized with a combination of zolazepam-tiletamine and xylazine or medetomidine. After immobilization, one CTC was inserted 15 cm deep into the animal's rectum (DRTC) with a standard applicator, and another CTC was inserted into the stomach (GTC) via a gastric tube inserted orally. Temperature was measured every 5-10 min with an HDT. Paired temperature data points were analyzed with the Bland-Altman technique for repeated measurements and regression analysis with a significance level of 0.05. The mean difference ± SD of the difference between HDT and GTC readings was 0.27 ± 0.47 degrees C and the 95% limits of agreement (LoA) were 1.20 and -0.66 degrees C. The determination coefficient (r2) found between these methods was 0.68 (P < 0.0001). The mean difference ± SD of the difference between HDT and DRTC readings was 0.36 ± 0.32 degreesC and the 95% LoA were 1.0 and -0.28 degrees C. The r2 between HDT and DRTC was 0.83 (P < 0.0001). The mean difference ± SD of the difference between the two insertions of the VitalSense capsules was -0.06 ± 0.24 degrees C and the 95% LoA were 0.42 and -0.54 degrees C. The r2 found between GTC and DRTC was 0.91 (P < 0.0001). This study demonstrates that DRTC provided accurate measurement of core temperature and that HDT did not accurately measure core temperature, compared with GTC in anesthetized brown bears.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

    PubMed

    Robison, Hillary L; Schwartz, Charles C; Petty, Jim D; Brussard, Peter F

    2006-09-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Adipose-derived stem cells from the brown bear (Ursus arctos) spontaneously undergo chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Fink, Trine; Rasmussen, Jeppe G; Emmersen, Jeppe; Pilgaard, Linda; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Josefsson, Johan; Arnemo, Jon M; Zachar, Vladimir; Swenson, Jon E; Fröbert, Ole

    2011-07-01

    In the den, hibernating brown bears do not develop tissue atrophy or organ damage, despite almost no physical activity. Mesenchymal stem cells could play an important role in tissue repair and regeneration in brown bears. Our objective was to determine if adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) can be recovered from wild Scandinavian brown bears and characterize their differentiation potential. Following immobilization of wild brown bears 7-10 days after leaving the den in mid-April, adipose tissue biopsies were obtained. ASCs were recovered from 6 bears, and shown to be able to undergo adipogenesis and osteogenesis in monolayer cultures and chondrogenesis in pellet cultures. Remarkably, when grown in standard cell culture medium in monolayer cultures, ASCs from yearlings spontaneously formed bone-like nodules surrounded by cartilaginous deposits, suggesting differentiation into osteogenic and chondrogenic lineages. This ability appears to be lost gradually with age. This is the first study to demonstrate stem cell recovery and growth from brown bears, and it is the first report of ASCs spontaneously forming extracellular matrix characteristic of bone and cartilage in the absence of specific inducers. These findings could have implications for the use of hibernating brown bears as a model to study disuse osteoporosis.

  18. Dietary protein content alters energy expenditure and composition of the mass gain in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    PubMed

    Felicetti, Laura A; Robbins, Charles T; Shipley, Lisa A

    2003-01-01

    Many fruits contain high levels of available energy but very low levels of protein and other nutrients. The discrepancy between available energy and protein creates a physiological paradox for many animals consuming high-fruit diets, as they will be protein deficient if they eat to meet their minimum energy requirement. We fed young grizzly bears both high-energy pelleted and fruit diets containing from 1.6% to 15.4% protein to examine the role of diet-induced thermogenesis and fat synthesis in dealing with high-energy-low-protein diets. Digestible energy intake at mass maintenance increased 2.1 times, and composition of the gain changed from primarily lean mass to entirely fat when the protein content of the diet decreased from 15.4% to 1.6%. Daily fat gain was up to three times higher in bears fed low-protein diets ad lib., compared with bears consuming the higher-protein diet and gaining mass at the same rate. Thus, bears eating fruit can either consume other foods to increase dietary protein content and reduce energy expenditure, intake, and potentially foraging time or overeat high-fruit diets and use diet-induced thermogenesis and fat synthesis to deal with their skewed energy-to-protein ratio. These are not discrete options but a continuum that creates numerous solutions for balancing energy expenditure, intake, foraging time, fat accumulation, and ultimately fitness, depending on food availability, foraging efficiency, bear size, and body condition.

  19. Introducing a semi-naturalistic exhibit as structural enrichment for two brown bears (Ursus arctos). Does this ensure their captive well-being?

    PubMed

    Soriano, Ana I; Ensenyat, Conrad; Serrat, Susana; Maté, Carme

    2006-01-01

    In this study we used the daily activity pattern and use of space as indicators of change in the program of structural enrichment, implemented with 2 subjects of the species Ursus arctos in the Barcelona Zoo. We collected 930 sampling points in each study phase for each of the individuals: The samples were taken in a balanced way at different times of day. We observed a wider range of behavior in the male than the female. With respect to the indicators, we observed statistically significant differences in behavior in both individuals in the 2 study phases. Both individuals showed an increase in vigilance, maintenance, and inactivity when their enclosure was changed. In terms of the subjects' well-being, we considered the percentage of stereotyped behavior within acceptable limits. The percentage of activity observed in the male was very similar to that of individuals of this species in the wild. In terms of the use of space, we observed homogeneity only in the male during the enrichment program. The 2 individuals responded in different ways to the structural enrichment.

  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.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic relationships of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Prudhoe Bay region of Alaska: inference from microsatellite DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and field observations.

    PubMed

    Cronin, M; Shideler, R; Hechtel, J; Strobeck, C; Paetkau, D

    1999-01-01

    Grizzly bears are abundant in the region of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields in northern Alaska. We used field observations and molecular genetic data to identify parent-offspring and sibling relationships among bears in this region. We determined genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci and the cytochrome b gene of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) for 36 bears. We identified 17 possible mother-offspring pairs and 8 possible father-offspring pairs. This includes verification of the relationships of 14 mother-offspring pairs identified from field observations. Three additional mother-offspring pairs and all eight father-offspring pairs were determined from genetic and age data. Relatedness coefficients based on numbers of shared alleles between individuals were as expected: approximately 0.50 for parent-offspring and sibling pairs and approximately 0.75 for a father-offspring pair resulting from a father-daughter mating. The level of genetic variation (mean number of alleles per locus = 6.6, mean heterozygosity = 70%) and allele frequencies in grizzly bears in the Prudhoe Bay region are similar to those in other parts of the species' range.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2015-11-24

    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.

  8. The history of effective population size and genetic diversity in the Yellowstone grizzly (Ursus arctos): implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Miller, Craig R; Waits, Lisette P

    2003-04-01

    Protein, mtDNA, and nuclear microsatellite DNA analyses have demonstrated that the Yellowstone grizzly bear has low levels of genetic variability compared with other Ursus arctos populations. Researchers have attributed this difference to inbreeding during a century of anthropogenic isolation and population size reduction. We test this hypothesis and assess the seriousness of genetic threats by generating microsatellite data for 110 museum specimens collected between 1912 and 1981. A loss of variability is detected, but it is much less severe than hypothesized. Variance in allele frequencies over time is used to estimate an effective population size of approximately 80 across the 20th century and >100 currently. The viability of the population is unlikely to be substantially reduced by genetic factors in the next several generations. However, gene flow from outside populations will be beneficial in avoiding inbreeding and the erosion of genetic diversity in the future.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Tracking the origins of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) by mitochondrial DNA sequencing.

    PubMed Central

    Hänni, C; Laudet, V; Stehelin, D; Taberlet, P

    1994-01-01

    The different European populations of Ursus arctos, the brown bear, were recently studied for mitochondrial DNA polymorphism. Two clearly distinct lineages (eastern and western) were found, which may have diverged approximately 850,000 years ago. In this context, it was interesting to study the cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, a species which became extinct 20,000 years ago. In this study, we have amplified and sequenced a fragment of 139-bp in the mitochondrial DNA control region of a 40,000-year-old specimen of U. spelaeus. Phylogenetic reconstructions using this sequence and the European brown bear sequences already published suggest that U. spelaeus diverged from an early offshoot of U. arctos--i.e., approximately at the same time as the divergence of the two main lineages of U. arctos. This divergence probably took place at the earliest glaciation, likely due to geographic separation during the earlier Quaternary cold periods. This result is in agreement with the paleontological data available and suggests a good correspondence between molecular and morphological data. Images PMID:7991628

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. Bears “Count” Too: Quantity Estimation and Comparison in Black Bears (Ursus Americanus)

    PubMed Central

    Vonk, Jennifer; Beran, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Studies on endoparasites of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Crum, J M; Nettles, V F; Davidson, W R

    1978-04-01

    Examination of 53 black bears (Ursus americanus) from six states in the southeastern United States revealed at least 17 species of endoparasites, including Sarcocystis sp., Spirometra mansonoides (spargana), Macracanthorhynchus ingens, Ancylostoma caninum, Arthrocephalus lotoris, Baylisascaris transfuga, Capillaria aerophila, Capillaria putorii, Crenosoma sp., Cyathospirura sp., Dirofilaria immitis, Gnathostoma sp., Gongylonema pulchrum, microfilariae, Molineus barbatus, Physaloptera sp. and Strongyloides sp. Twelve of these represent new host records for black bear, and two are considered to be new species. Data are presented on prevalence, intensity and geographic distribution of each species. Pathologic effects were associated with infections of spargana of S. mansonoides and adults of C. aerophilia.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Behavioral decisions for managing social distance and aggression in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Renner, Michael J; Kelly, Aislinn L

    2006-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in most zoos attracts high levels of public attention and can play an important role in conservation education. Polar bears in the wild are typically solitary; bears in captivity often house socially. This study reported behavioral evidence on how bears manage this situation and whether proximity leads to aggression. The study recorded location and behavior once per minute for 106 hr for 2 female polar bears at the Philadelphia Zoo; the samples represented all times of day bears spent in the enclosure (off-exhibit time spent in separate, indoor dens). When changing locations, 1 bear more frequently moved away from the other, effecting a net increase in interindividual distance. When either bear moved into an adjacent zone, 1 typically moved away. The bears occupied the same enclosure zone for a low proportion of time; proximity did not routinely lead to overt aggression. These data indicate polar bears make behavioral decisions, minimizing aggression, to manage social distance and that enclosure designers for solitary species--to facilitate social avoidance--should consider using topographical complexity and multiple pathways throughout.

  20. 78 FR 17708 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Supplement to the Grizzly Bear...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-22

    ... the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document... availability of a draft Revised Supplement to the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan. Specifically, this supplement..., Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are federally listed as threatened under the Endangered...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. MHC class II DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are one of the most important genetic systems in the vertebrate immune response. The diversity of MHC genes may directly influence the survival of individuals against infectious disease. However, there has been no investigation of MHC diversity in the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Here, we analyzed 270-bp nucleotide sequences of the entire exon 2 region of the MHC DQB gene by using 188 samples from the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) from 12 local populations. Results Among 185 of 188 samples, we identified 44 MHC variants that encoded 31 different amino acid sequences (allotypes) and one putative pseudogene. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that MHC variants detected from the Japanese black bear are derived from the DQB locus. One of the 31 DQB allotypes, Urth-DQB*01, was found to be common to all local populations. Moreover, this allotype was shared between the black bear on the Asian continent and the Japanese black bear, suggesting that Urth-DQB*01 might have been maintained in the ancestral black bear population for at least 300,000 years. Our findings, from calculating the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions, indicate that balancing selection has maintained genetic variation of peptide-binding residues at the DQB locus of the Japanese black bear. From examination of genotype frequencies among local populations, we observed a considerably lower level of observed heterozygosity than expected. Conclusions The low level of observed heterozygosity suggests that genetic drift reduced DQB diversity in the Japanese black bear due to a bottleneck event at the population or species level. The decline of DQB diversity might have been accelerated by the loss of rare variants that have been maintained by negative frequency-dependent selection. Nevertheless, DQB diversity of the black bear appears to be relatively high compared with some other endangered mammalian

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Brucella species survey in polar bears (ursus maritimus) of northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    O'Hara, Todd M; Holcomb, Darce; Elzer, Philip; Estepp, Jessica; Perry, Quinesha; Hagius, Sue; Kirk, Cassandra

    2010-07-01

    We report on the presence of specific antibodies to Brucella spp. and Yersinia enterocolitica in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from northern Alaska (southern Beaufort Sea) during 2003-2006. Based on numerous known stressors (e.g., climate change and loss of sea ice habitat, contaminants), there is increased concern regarding the status of polar bears. Considering these changes, it is important to assess exposure to potentially pathogenic organisms and to improve understanding of transmission pathways. Brucella or specific antibodies to Brucella spp. has been reported in marine mammals. Various assays were used to elucidate the pathway or source of exposure (e.g., "marine" vs. "terrestrial" Brucella spp.) of northern Alaska polar bears to Brucella spp. The standard plate test (SPT) and the buffered Brucella antigen card test (BBA) were used for initial screening for antibodies specific to Brucella. We then evaluated positive reactors (presence of serum antibody specific for Brucella spp.) using immunoblots and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA; based on pinniped-derived Brucella spp. antigen). Annual prevalence of antibody (BBA and SPT) for Brucella spp. ranged from 6.8% to 18.5% over 2003-2006, with an overall prevalence of 10.2%. Prevalence of Brucella spp. antibody did vary by age class. Western blot analyses indicated 17 samples were positive for Brucella spp. antibody; of these, 13 were negative by marine (pinniped) derived Brucella antigen cELISA and four were positive by marine cELISA. Of the four samples positive for Brucella antibody by marine cELISA, three cross-reacted with Y. enterocolitica and Brucella spp. (one sample was Brucella negative and Y. enterocolitica positive). It appears the polar bear antibody does not react with the antigens used on the marine cELISA assay, potentially indicating a terrestrial (nonpinniped) source of Brucella spp.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Bacteriology of a bear bite wound to a human: case report.

    PubMed

    Kunimoto, Dennis; Rennie, Robert; Citron, Diane M; Goldstein, Ellie J C

    2004-07-01

    Human contact with bears has become more frequent, as has the resultant bear maulings and bite injuries. We report the bacteriology of a patient bitten by a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) from the Rocky Mountains foothills area east of Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The patient received field care, including metronidazole and cefazolin. Subsequent deep-wound cultures grew Serratia fonticola, Serratia marcescens, Aeromonas hydrophila, Bacillus cereus, and Enterococcus durans but no anaerobes.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Human injury inflicted by grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Herrero, S

    1970-11-01

    Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) attacks resulting in human injury and known to have occurred in the national parks of North America were examined. Fifty-seven attacks in which 61 persons were injured took place in three national parks in the United States and accounted for 79 percent of the known injuries. The remaining 16 injuries occurred in four Canadian national parks. The 77 injured persons gives an injury rate of 1 person per 2 million visitors.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Differences in mercury bioaccumulation between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian high- and sub-Arctic.

    PubMed

    St Louis, Vincent L; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Graydon, Jennifer A; Lee, Caroline; Jocksch, Erin; Richardson, Evan; Ghorpade, Sarah; Kwan, Alvin K; Kirk, Jane L; Lehnherr, Igor; Swanson, Heidi K

    2011-07-15

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are being impacted by climate change and increased exposure to pollutants throughout their northern circumpolar range. In this study, we quantified concentrations of total mercury (THg) in the hair of polar bears from Canadian high- (southern Beaufort Sea, SBS) and sub- (western Hudson Bay, WHB) Arctic populations. Concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS population (14.8 ± 6.6 μg g(-1)) were significantly higher than in polar bears from WHB (4.1 ± 1.0 μg g(-1)). On the basis of δ(15)N signatures in hair, in conjunction with published δ(15)N signatures in particulate organic matter and sediments, we estimated that the pelagic and benthic food webs in the SBS are ∼ 4.7 and ∼ 4.0 trophic levels long, whereas in WHB they are only ∼ 3.6 and ∼ 3.3 trophic levels long. Furthermore, the more depleted δ(13)C ratios in hair from SBS polar bears relative to those from WHB suggests that SBS polar bears feed on food webs that are relatively more pelagic (and longer), whereas polar bears from WHB feed on those that are relatively more benthic (and shorter). Food web length and structure accounted for ∼ 67% of the variation we found in THg concentrations among all polar bears across both populations. The regional difference in polar bear hair THg concentrations was also likely due to regional differences in water-column concentrations of methyl Hg (the toxic form of Hg that biomagnifies through food webs) available for bioaccumulation at the base of the food webs. For example, concentrations of methylated Hg at mid-depths in the marine water column of the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago were 79.8 ± 37.3 pg L(-1), whereas, in HB, they averaged only 38.3 ± 16.6 pg L(-1). We conclude that a longer food web and higher pelagic concentrations of methylated Hg available to initiate bioaccumulation in the BS resulted in higher concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS region compared to those inhabiting the western

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-15

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Heavy metals and essential elements in livers of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Norstrom, R J; Schweinsberg, R E; Collins, B T

    1986-02-01

    Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) livers (67) from six Management Zones in the western and central Canadian Arctic were analysed for 22 elements. Several, Ba, Be, Co, Mo, Ti, V and Zr, were near the detection limit in all cases. Baseline data were obtained for the remaining elements, Ag, As, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, Se, Sr and Zn. No statistically significant effect of age, sex or geographical location was found for any of the elements, except Cd, Hg and Se, for which age and geographical location effects were found. The frequency distribution of Zn levels was bimodal. The second peak in the distribution appeared to be related to elevated levels of Cu. The average level of Cu was 104 mg kg-1 (dry wt.), higher than other marine mammals. Average levels of Cd were significantly higher in the eastern zones, but were always less than 1.0 mg kg-1 (dry wt.), significantly lower than their prey species. This may be due to the preference of polar bears for eating seal skin and fat which is low in Cd. Mercury levels tended to be higher in the western zones bordering the Beaufort Sea, which may be related to a higher proportion of bearded seal in their diet. Mean Hg levels ranged from 20 mg kg-1 in the eastern zones were related to age by the expression: Hg (mg kg-1 dry wt.) = 15.7 + 8.0 Age (years). Mercury levels in the most northerly zone near Melville Island were very high: Hg (mg kg-1 dry wt.) = 18.4 + 27.5 Age (years). Levels of Hg and Se were very highly correlated, with a molar ratio of 1.27:1, Hg/Se.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Parasites in grizzly bears from the central Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Gau, R J; Kutz, S; Elkin, B T

    1999-07-01

    Standardized flotation techniques were used to survey 56 grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) fecal samples for parasites. The samples were collected during the spring and autumn of 1995 and 1996 in the central Arctic of the Northwest Territories (Canada). Parasites of the genera Nematodirus, gastrointestinal coccidia, and an unidentified first stage protostrongylid larva are reported for the first time from grizzly bear feces in North America. Parasites of the genera Diphyllobothrium and Baylisascaris also were collected. Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites were significantly different between the spring and autumn seasons (31% and 58% respectively). Thus, we provide evidence supporting the theory that bears void gastrointestinal parasites before hibernation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Xenoendocrine pollutants may reduce size of sexual organs in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Leifsson, Pall S; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Letcher, Robert J; Hyldstrup, Lars; Riget, Frank F; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C G

    2006-09-15

    Reproductive organs from 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears were examined to investigate the potential negative impact from organohalogen pollutants (OHCs). Multiple regressions normalizing for age showed a significant inverse relationship between OHCs and testis length and baculum length and weight, respectively, and was found in both subadults (dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethanes, dieldrin, chlordanes, hexacyclohexanes, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and adults (hexachlorobenzene [HCB]) (all p < 0.05). Baculum bone mineral densities decreased with increasing chlordanes, DDTs, and HCB in subadults and adults, respectively (all p < 0.05). In females, a significant inverse relationship was found between ovary length and sigma PCB (p = 0.03) and sigma CHL (p < 0.01), respectively, and between ovary weight and sigma PBDE (p < 0.01) and uterine horn length and HCB (p = 0.02). The study suggests thatthere is an impact from xenoendocrine pollutants on the size of East Greenland polar bear genitalia. This may pose a riskto this polar bear subpopulation in the future because of reduced sperm and egg quality/quantity and uterus and penis size/robustness.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2015-08-27

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Population viability and connectivity of the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laufenberg, Jared S.; Clark, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    From April 2010 to April 2012, global positioning system (GPS) radio collars were placed on 8 female and 23 male bears ranging from 1 to 11 years of age to develop a step-selection function model to predict routes and rates of interchange. For both males and females, the probability of a step being selected increased as the distance to natural land cover and agriculture at the end of the step decreased and as distance from roads at the end of a step increased. Of 4,000 correlated random walks, the least potential interchange was between TRB and TRC and between UARB and LARB, but the relative potential for natural interchange between UARB and TRC was high. The step-selection model predicted that dispersals between the LARB and UARB populations were infrequent but possible for males and nearly nonexistent for females. No evidence of natural female dispersal between subpopulations has been documented thus far, which is also consistent with model predictions.

  20. Spatial and temporal variation in size of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sexual organs and its use in pollution and climate change studies.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Riget, Frank F; Leifsson, Pall S; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Kirkegaard, Maja

    2007-11-15

    Sexual organs and their development are susceptible to atmospheric transported environmental xenoendocrine pollutants and climate change (food availability). We therefore investigated sexual organs from 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to obtain information about growth/size and sexual maturity. Then, the genitalia size was compared with those previously reported from Canadian and Svalbard polar bears. Growth models showed that East Greenland male polar bears reached sexual maturity around 7 years of age and females around 4 years of age. When comparing East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears, the size of baculum and uterus were significantly lower in the East Greenland polar bears (ANOVA: all p < 0.05). Based on previously published baculum mean values from Canadian polar bears, a similar baculum pattern was found for East Greenland vs. Canadian polar bears. It is speculated whether this could be a result of the general high variation in polar bear body size, temporal distribution patterns of anthropogenic long-range transported persistent organic pollutants or climate change (decreasing food availability). The present investigation represents conservation and background data for future spatial and temporal assessments of hunting, pollution and climate change scenarios.

  1. Serologic survey for Trichinella spp. in grizzly bears from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zarnke, R L; Gamble, R; Heckert, R A; Ver Hoef, J

    1997-07-01

    Blood was collected from 878 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in seven geographic areas of Alaska from 1973 to 1987. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay procedure was used to test sera for evidence of exposure to Trichinella spp. Serum antibody prevalence ranged from 5% (10 positive of 196 tested) in the Southern Region of the state to 83% (355 of 430 tested) in the Northern Region. These major discrepancies may be a result of differing food habits of bears in the major geographic areas. Prevalence was higher in older age cohorts. Neither year-of-collection nor sex had a significant effect on prevalence.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Changes in expression of hepatic genes involved in energy metabolism during hibernation in captive, adult, female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    PubMed

    Shimozuru, Michito; Kamine, Akari; Tsubota, Toshio

    2012-10-01

    Hibernating bears survive up to 6 months without feeding by utilizing stored body fat as fuel. To investigate how bears maintain energy homeostasis during hibernation, we analyzed changes in mRNA expression of hepatic genes involved in energy metabolism throughout the hibernation period in captive, adult, female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus). Real-time PCR analysis revealed down-regulation of glycolysis- (e.g., glucokinase), amino acid catabolism- (e.g., alanine aminotransferase) and de novo lipogenesis-related genes (e.g., acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1), and up-regulation of gluconeogensis- (e.g., pyruvate carboxylase), β-oxidation- (i.e., uncoupling protein 2) and ketogenesis-related genes (i.e., 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutary-CoA synthase 2), during hibernation, compared to the active period (June). In addition, we found that glycolysis-related genes (i.e., glucokinase and pyruvate kinase) were more suppressed in the early phase of hibernation (January) compared to the late phase (March). One week after the commencement of feeding in April, expression levels of most genes returned to levels comparable to those seen in June, but β-oxidation-related genes were still up-regulated during this period. These results suggest that the modulation of gene expression is not static, but changes throughout the hibernation period. The transcriptional modulation during hibernation represents a unique physiological adaptation to prolonged fasting in bears.

  10. Application of Large-Scale Parentage Analysis for Investigating Natal Dispersal in Highly Vagile Vertebrates: A Case Study of American Black Bears (Ursus americanus)

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Quirk, T; Pittt, J A; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Leclair, D; Hill, R; Su, C

    2008-02-01

    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. Genotyping of these T. gondii isolates using polymorphisms at 10 nuclear markers including SAGI, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and an apicoplast marker Apico revealed 4 genotypes. None of the isolates was clonal archetypal Types I, II, and III found in the United States. These results are in contrast with the Type II genotype that is widespread in domestic animals and humans throughout the United States and Europe. This is the first genotyping of T. gondii isolates from this part of North America.

  13. 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

  14. Bioaccumulation and biotransformation of brominated and chlorinated contaminants and their metabolites in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Robert J; Gebbink, Wouter A; Sonne, Christian; Born, Erik W; McKinney, Melissa A; Dietz, Rune

    2009-11-01

    We report on the comparative bioaccumulation, biotransformation and/or biomagnification from East Greenland ringed seal (Pusa hispida) blubber to polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues (adipose, liver and brain) of various classes and congeners of persistent chlorinated and brominated contaminants and metabolic by-products: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlordanes (CHLs), hydroxyl (OH-) and methylsulfonyl (MeSO(2)-) PCBs, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), OH-PBBs, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) flame retardants and OH- and methoxyl (MeO-) PBDEs, 2,2-dichloro-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethene (p,p'-DDE), 3-MeSO(2)-p,p'-DDE, pentachlorophenol (PCP) and 4-OH-heptachlorostyrene (4-OH-HpCS). We detected all of the investigated contaminants in ringed seal blubber with high frequency, the main diet of East Greenland bears, with the exception of OH-PCBs and 4-OH-HpCS, which indicated that these phenolic contaminants were likely of metabolic origin and formed in the bears from accumulated PCBs and octachlorostyrene (OCS), respectively, rather than being bioaccumulated from a seal blubber diet. For all of the detectable sum of classes or individual organohalogens, in general, the ringed seal to polar bear mean BMFs for SigmaPCBs, p,p'-DDE, SigmaCHLs, SigmaMeSO(2)-PCBs, 3-MeSO(2)-p,p'-DDE, PCP, SigmaPBDEs, total-(alpha)-HBCD, SigmaOH-PBDEs, SigmaMeO-PBDEs and SigmaOH-PBBs indicated that these organohalogens bioaccumulate, and in some cases there was tissue-specific biomagnification, e.g., BMFs for bear adipose and liver ranged from 2 to 570. The blood-brain barrier appeared to be effective in minimizing brain accumulation as BMFs were bear tissues appeared to be mainly accumulated from the seal blubber rather than being metabolic formed from PBDEs in the bears. In vitro PBDE depletion assays using polar bear hepatic microsomes

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Serologic survey for Toxoplasma gondii in grizzly bears from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zarnke, R L; Dubey, J P; Kwok, O C; Ver Hoef, J M

    1997-04-01

    Blood samples were collected from 892 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alaska (USA) from 1973 to 1987. Sera were tested for evidence of exposure to Toxoplasma gondii by means of the modified agglutination test. Two hundred twenty sera (25%) had titers > or = 25, the minimum threshold titer. Six hundred seventy-two sera (75%) had titers < 25. Antibody prevalence ranged from 9% (18 positive of 196 tested) in southern areas to 37% (162 of 433 tested) in northern areas. There was no readily apparent explanation for these discrepancies in location-specific prevalence.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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 (FST = 0.01) and mitochondrial (ΦST = 0.47; FST = 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.; Beringer, J.; Belant, Jerrold L.; White, D.; 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. First report of clinical disease associated with canine distemper virus infection in a wild black bear (Ursus americana).

    PubMed

    Cottrell, W O; Keel, M Kevin; Brooks, J W; Mead, D G; Phillips, J E

    2013-10-01

    An approximately 1-yr-old black bear was discovered on the porch of a rural residence in southwestern Pennsylvania on October 26, 2011, where it remained during the day in spite of efforts to frighten it away. The bear exhibited periods of somnolence and sporadic tremors and seizures. It was euthanized by gunshot that evening. Immediately after euthanasia it was observed to have footpads that exuded fluid when compressed. It was submitted for necropsy the next day where roughened footpads were noted. Histologic examination of the brain demonstrated nonsuppurative encephalitis with eosinophilic intranuclear and intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in neurons. The footpads were thickened and hyperkeratotic. Canine distemper virus (CDV) was detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in the brain and footpads, and by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from the brain tissue. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the CDV cDNA from the bear had 98.2% nucleotide identity to the Rockborn-Candur vaccine and a canine isolate from 2004 in Missouri, USA, and 97.3% nucleotide identity to a raccoon CDV isolated in 2011 from Tennessee, USA. This represents a first report of CDV as a cause of encephalitis or footpad hyperkeratosis in a wild black bear. PMID:24502734

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Whitebark pine, grizzly bears, and red squirrels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Kendall, K.C.; Reinhart, D.P.; Tomback, D.F.; Arno, S.F.; Keane, R.E.

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Inoculation of female American black bears (Ursus americanus) with partially purified porcine zona pellucidae limits cub production.

    PubMed

    Lane, V M; Liu, I K M; Casey, K; vanLeeuwen, E M G; Flanagan, D R; Murata, K; Munro, C

    2007-01-01

    The present 2-year study investigated the feasibility of using porcine zona pellucidae (pZP) as antigen for immunocontraception in American black bears. Sows, 3-6 years of age, were administered either two doses of 250 microg pZP with Freund's adjuvant (n = 10) or adjuvant alone (n = 5), one in April and one in May, and were kept away from the boars until June. Serum samples were collected before injections and before denning (November). The presence of sows with cubs at side was observed during premature emergence from denning. First-year results indicated that anti-pZP antibody titres in vaccinated sows were 2.5-9.0-fold (range) higher compared with non-vaccinated sows and that the vaccinated sows were threefold less likely to become pregnant (P = 0.167). Control and vaccinated bears produced 1.6 and 0.2 cubs per sow, respectively (P = 0.06). The second-year study investigated the feasibility of using pZP sequestered in a controlled-release pellet and a water-soluble adjuvant (QS-21) to avoid regulatory problems associated with Freund's adjuvant. Sows in the treatment group (n = 22) were administered a single dose of an emulsion of 250 microg pZP and 150 microg QS-21 plus a pellet containing 70-90 microg pZP for delayed release as booster dose. Control sows (n = 5) received the QS-21 adjuvant in pellet alone. Serum samples were collected before inoculations (April) and before denning (November). Seven cubs were born to the five control sows, but none was born to the 22 vaccinated sows (P < 0.001). Anti-pZP antibody mean absorbance ratios in control sows remained at background levels, whereas vaccinated sows had ratios fourfold higher than controls. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemical localisation confirmed immunoreactivity of sera from inoculated bears. We conclude that cub production in the American black bear can be effectively limited with either two injections of 250 microg pZP or a single inoculation of partially

  11. Inoculation of female American black bears (Ursus americanus) with partially purified porcine zona pellucidae limits cub production.

    PubMed

    Lane, V M; Liu, I K M; Casey, K; vanLeeuwen, E M G; Flanagan, D R; Murata, K; Munro, C

    2007-01-01

    The present 2-year study investigated the feasibility of using porcine zona pellucidae (pZP) as antigen for immunocontraception in American black bears. Sows, 3-6 years of age, were administered either two doses of 250 microg pZP with Freund's adjuvant (n = 10) or adjuvant alone (n = 5), one in April and one in May, and were kept away from the boars until June. Serum samples were collected before injections and before denning (November). The presence of sows with cubs at side was observed during premature emergence from denning. First-year results indicated that anti-pZP antibody titres in vaccinated sows were 2.5-9.0-fold (range) higher compared with non-vaccinated sows and that the vaccinated sows were threefold less likely to become pregnant (P = 0.167). Control and vaccinated bears produced 1.6 and 0.2 cubs per sow, respectively (P = 0.06). The second-year study investigated the feasibility of using pZP sequestered in a controlled-release pellet and a water-soluble adjuvant (QS-21) to avoid regulatory problems associated with Freund's adjuvant. Sows in the treatment group (n = 22) were administered a single dose of an emulsion of 250 microg pZP and 150 microg QS-21 plus a pellet containing 70-90 microg pZP for delayed release as booster dose. Control sows (n = 5) received the QS-21 adjuvant in pellet alone. Serum samples were collected before inoculations (April) and before denning (November). Seven cubs were born to the five control sows, but none was born to the 22 vaccinated sows (P < 0.001). Anti-pZP antibody mean absorbance ratios in control sows remained at background levels, whereas vaccinated sows had ratios fourfold higher than controls. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemical localisation confirmed immunoreactivity of sera from inoculated bears. We conclude that cub production in the American black bear can be effectively limited with either two injections of 250 microg pZP or a single inoculation of partially

  12. Bear reintroduction: Lessons and challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Joseph D.; Huber, Djuro; Servheen, Christopher

    2002-01-01

    Reintroduction is defined as an attempt to establish a species in an area that was once part of its historical range, but from which it has been extirpated or become extinct. Historically, one of the most successful programs was the reintroduction of 254 American black bears (Ursus americanus) from Minnesota to the Interior Highlands of Arkansas in the 1960s; that population has grown to >2,500 today. More recent efforts have involved fewer but better monitored animals and have sometimes employed techniques to improve site fidelity and survival. In Pennsylvania, for example, pregnant female American black bears were successfully translocated from winter dens, the premise being that the adult females would be less likely to return because of the presence of young cubs. That winter-release technique was compared to summer trapping and release in Tennessee; winter releases resulted in greater survival and reduced post-release movements. Homing has not been a problem for small numbers of brown bears (Ursus arctos) reintroduced to the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem in Montana and Idaho and to the mountains of Austria and France. Reintroduction success appears to be correlated with translocation distance and is greater for subadults and females. As with any small population, reintroduced bear populations are susceptible to environmental variation and stochastic demographic and genetic processes. Although managers have focused on these biological barriers, sociopolitical impediments to bear reintroduction are more difficult to overcome. Poor public acceptance and understanding of bears are the main reasons some reintroduction programs have been derailed. Consequently, the public should be involved in the reintroduction process from the outset; overcoming negative public perceptions about bear reintroduction will be our greatest challenge.

  13. Denning of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Judd, Steven L.; Knight, Richard R.; Blanchard, Bonnie M.

    1986-01-01

    Radiotelemetry was used to locate 101 grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) dens from 1975 to 1980; 35 dens were examined on the ground. Pregnant females denned in late October, and most other bears denned by mid-November. Duration of denning average 113, 132, and 170 days for males, females, and females with new cubs, respectively. Males emerged from mid-February to late March, followed by single females and females with yearlings and 2-year-olds. Females with new cubs emerged from early mid-April. Den sites were associated with moderate tree cover (26%-75% canopy cover) on 30°-60° slopes. Dens occurred on all aspects, although northerly exposures were most common. Grizzly bears usually dug new dens but occasionally used natural cavities or a den from a previous year. Males usually dug larger dens than females with young. Eight excavated and 2 natural dens of the 35 examined dens were used for more than 1 year.

  14. Estimates of brown bear abundance on Kodiak Island, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, V.G.; Smith, R.B.

    1998-01-01

    During 1987-94 we used capture-mark-resight (CMR) methodology and rates of observation (bears/hour and bears/100 km2) of unmarked brown bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) during intensive aerial surveys (IAS) to estimate abundance of brown bears on Kodiak Island and to establish a baseline for monitoring population trends. CMR estimates were obtained on 3 study areas; density ranged from 216-234 bears/1,000 km2 for independent animals and 292-342 bears/1,000 km2 including dependent offspring. Rates of observation during IAS ranged from 1.4-5.4 independent bears/hour and 2.9-18.0 independent bears/100 km2. Density estimates for independent bears on each IAS area were obtained by dividing mean number of bears observed during replicate surveys by estimated sightability (based on CMR-derived sightability in areas with similar habitat. Brown bear abundance on 21 geographic units of Kodiak Island and 3 nearby islands was estimated by extrapolation from CMR and IAS data using comparisons of habitat characteristics and sport harvest information. Population estimates for independent and total bears were 1,800 and 2,600. The CMR and IAS procedures offer alternative means, depending on management objective and available resources, of measuring population trend of brown bears on Kodiak Island.

  15. Females roam while males patrol: divergence in breeding season movements of pack-ice polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Laidre, Kristin L; Born, Erik W; Gurarie, Eliezer; Wiig, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Stern, Harry

    2013-02-01

    Intraspecific differences in movement behaviour reflect different tactics used by individuals or sexes to favour strategies that maximize fitness. We report movement data collected from n = 23 adult male polar bears with novel ear-attached transmitters in two separate pack ice subpopulations over five breeding seasons. We compared movements with n = 26 concurrently tagged adult females, and analysed velocities, movement tortuosity, range sizes and habitat selection with respect to sex, reproductive status and body mass. There were no differences in 4-day displacements or sea ice habitat selection for sex or population. By contrast, adult females in all years and both populations had significantly more linear movements and significantly larger breeding range sizes than males. We hypothesized that differences were related to encounter rates, and used observed movement metrics to parametrize a simulation model of male-male and male-female encounter. The simulation showed that the more tortuous movement of males leads to significantly longer times to male-male encounter, while having little impact on male-female encounter. By contrast, linear movements of females are consistent with a prioritized search for sparsely distributed prey. These results suggest a possible mechanism for explaining the smaller breeding range sizes of some solitary male carnivores compared to females. PMID:23222446

  16. Females roam while males patrol: divergence in breeding season movements of pack-ice polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    PubMed Central

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Born, Erik W.; Gurarie, Eliezer; Wiig, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Stern, Harry

    2013-01-01

    Intraspecific differences in movement behaviour reflect different tactics used by individuals or sexes to favour strategies that maximize fitness. We report movement data collected from n = 23 adult male polar bears with novel ear-attached transmitters in two separate pack ice subpopulations over five breeding seasons. We compared movements with n = 26 concurrently tagged adult females, and analysed velocities, movement tortuosity, range sizes and habitat selection with respect to sex, reproductive status and body mass. There were no differences in 4-day displacements or sea ice habitat selection for sex or population. By contrast, adult females in all years and both populations had significantly more linear movements and significantly larger breeding range sizes than males. We hypothesized that differences were related to encounter rates, and used observed movement metrics to parametrize a simulation model of male–male and male–female encounter. The simulation showed that the more tortuous movement of males leads to significantly longer times to male–male encounter, while having little impact on male–female encounter. By contrast, linear movements of females are consistent with a prioritized search for sparsely distributed prey. These results suggest a possible mechanism for explaining the smaller breeding range sizes of some solitary male carnivores compared to females. PMID:23222446

  17. Females roam while males patrol: divergence in breeding season movements of pack-ice polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Laidre, Kristin L; Born, Erik W; Gurarie, Eliezer; Wiig, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Stern, Harry

    2013-02-01

    Intraspecific differences in movement behaviour reflect different tactics used by individuals or sexes to favour strategies that maximize fitness. We report movement data collected from n = 23 adult male polar bears with novel ear-attached transmitters in two separate pack ice subpopulations over five breeding seasons. We compared movements with n = 26 concurrently tagged adult females, and analysed velocities, movement tortuosity, range sizes and habitat selection with respect to sex, reproductive status and body mass. There were no differences in 4-day displacements or sea ice habitat selection for sex or population. By contrast, adult females in all years and both populations had significantly more linear movements and significantly larger breeding range sizes than males. We hypothesized that differences were related to encounter rates, and used observed movement metrics to parametrize a simulation model of male-male and male-female encounter. The simulation showed that the more tortuous movement of males leads to significantly longer times to male-male encounter, while having little impact on male-female encounter. By contrast, linear movements of females are consistent with a prioritized search for sparsely distributed prey. These results suggest a possible mechanism for explaining the smaller breeding range sizes of some solitary male carnivores compared to females.

  18. 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...

  19. Contrasting activity patterns of sympatric and allopatric black and grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, C.C.; Cain, S.L.; Podruzny, S.; Cherry, S.; Frattaroli, L.

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of grizzly (Ursus arctos) and American black bears (U. americanus) overlaps in western North America. Few studies have detailed activity patterns where the species are sympatric and no studies contrasted patterns where populations are both sympatric and allopatric. We contrasted activity patterns for sympatric black and grizzly bears and for black bears allopatric to grizzly bears, how human influences altered patterns, and rates of grizzlyblack bear predation. Activity patterns differed between black bear populations, with those sympatric to grizzly bears more day-active. Activity patterns of black bears allopatric with grizzly bears were similar to those of female grizzly bears; both were crepuscular and day-active. Male grizzly bears were crepuscular and night-active. Both species were more night-active and less day-active when ???1 km from roads or developments. In our sympatric study area, 2 of 4 black bear mortalities were due to grizzly bear predation. Our results suggested patterns of activity that allowed for intra- and inter-species avoidance. National park management often results in convergence of locally high human densities in quality bear habitat. Our data provide additional understanding into how bears alter their activity patterns in response to other bears and humans and should help park managers minimize undesirable bearhuman encounters when considering needs for temporal and spatial management of humans and human developments in bear habitats. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  20. Ancient DNA analyses reveal high mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity and parallel morphological evolution of late pleistocene cave bears.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael; Capelli, Cristian; Krings, Matthias; Waits, Lisette; Conard, Nicholas; Münzel, Susanne; Rabeder, Gernot; Nagel, Doris; Paunovic, Maja; Jambrĕsić, Gordana; Meyer, Sonja; Weiss, Gunter; Pääbo, Svante

    2002-08-01

    Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) existed in Europe and western Asia until the end of the last glaciation some 10,000 years ago. To investigate the genetic diversity, population history, and relationship among different cave bear populations, we have determined mitochondrial DNA sequences from 12 cave bears that range in age from about 26,500 to at least 49,000 years and originate from nine caves. The samples include one individual from the type specimen population, as well as two small-sized high-Alpine bears. The results show that about 49,000 years ago, the mtDNA diversity among cave bears was about 1.8-fold lower than the current species-wide diversity of brown bears (Ursus arctos). However, the current brown bear mtDNA gene pool consists of three clades, and cave bear mtDNA diversity is similar to the diversity observed within each of these clades. The results also show that geographically separated populations of the high-Alpine cave bear form were polyphyletic with respect to their mtDNA. This suggests that small size may have been an ancestral trait in cave bears and that large size evolved at least twice independently.

  1. Grizzly bear use of army cutworm moths in the Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, Steven P.; French, Marilynn G.; Knight, Richard R.

    1994-01-01

    The ecology of alpine aggregations of army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris) and the feeding behavior of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) at these areas were studied in the Yellowstone ecosystem from 1988 to 1991. Army cutworm moths migrate to mountain regions each summer to feed at night on the nectar of alpine and subalpine flowers, and during the day they seek shelter under various rock formations. Grizzly bears were observed feeding almost exclusively on moths up to 3 months each summer at the 10 moth-aggregation areas we identified. Fifty-one different grizzly bears were observed feeding at 4 of these areas during a single day in August 1991. Army cutworm moths are a preferred source of nutrition for many grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem and represent a high quality food that is available during hyperphagia.

  2. Identification of functional corridors with movement characteristics of brown bears on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, T.A.; Farley, S.; Goldstein, M.I.; Servheen, C.

    2007-01-01

    We identified primary habitat and functional corridors across a landscape using Global Positioning System (GPS) collar locations of brown bears (Ursus arctos). After deriving density, speed, and angular deviation of movement, we classified landscape function for a group of animals with a cluster analysis. We described areas with high amounts of sinuous movement as primary habitat patches and areas with high amounts of very directional, fast movement as highly functional bear corridors. The time between bear locations and scale of analysis influenced the number and size of corridors identified. Bear locations should be collected at intervals ???6 h to correctly identify travel corridors. Our corridor identification technique will help managers move beyond the theoretical discussion of corridors and linkage zones to active management of landscape features that will preserve connectivity. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  3. Effects of exotic species on Yellowstone's grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reinhart, D.P.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Mattson, D.J.; Gunther, Kerry A.

    2001-01-01

    Humans have affected grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) by direct mortality, competition for space and resources, and introduction of exotic species. Exotic organisms that have affected grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area include common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), nonnative clovers (Trifolium spp.), domesticated livestock, bovine brucellosis (Brucella abortus), lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola). Some bears consume substantial amounts of dandelion and clover. However, these exotic foods provide little digested energy compared to higher-quality bear foods. Domestic livestock are of greater energetic value, but use of this food by bears often leads to conflicts with humans and subsequent increases in bear mortality. Lake trout, blister rust, and brucellosis diminish grizzly bears foods. Lake trout prey on native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) in Yellowstone Lake; white pine blister rust has the potential to destroy native whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) stands; and management response to bovine brucellosis, a disease found in the Yellowstone bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus), could reduce populations of these 2 species. Exotic species will likely cause more harm than good for Yellowstone grizzly bears. Managers have few options to mitigate or contain the impacts of exotics on Yellowstones grizzly bears. Moreover, their potential negative impacts have only begun to unfold. Exotic species may lead to the loss of substantial highquality grizzly bear foods, including much of the bison, trout, and pine seeds that Yellowstone grizzly bears currently depend upon.

  4. Potential energetic effects of mountain climbers on foraging grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.; Kendall, K.C.; Picton, H.D.

    1999-01-01

    Most studies of the effects of human disturbance on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) have not quantified the energetic effects of such interactions. In this study, we characterized activity budgets of adult grizzly bears as they foraged on aggregations of adult army cutworm moths (Euxoa auxiliaris) in the alpine of Glacier National Park, Montana, during 1992, 1994, and 1995. We compared the activity budgets of climber-disturbed bears to those of undisturbed bears to estimate the energetic impact of climber disturbance. When bears detected climbers, they subsequently spent 53% less time foraging on moths, 52% more time moving within the foraging area, and 23% more time behaving aggressively, compared to when they were not disturbed. We estimated that grizzly bears could consume approximately 40,000 moths/day or 1,700 moths/hour. At 0.44 kcal/moth, disruption of moth feeding cost bears approximately 12 kcal/minute in addition to the energy expended in evasive maneuvers and defensive behaviors. To reduce both climber interruption of bear foraging and the potential for aggressive bear-human encounters, we recommend routing climbers around moth sites used by bears or limiting access to these sites during bear-use periods.

  5. Physiologic responses of grizzly bears to different methods of capture.

    PubMed

    Cattet, Marc R; Christison, Katina; Caulkett, Nigel A; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2003-07-01

    The physiologic effects of two methods of capture, chemical immobilization of free-ranging (FR) bears by remote injection from a helicopter and physical restraint (PR) by leg-hold snare prior to chemical immobilization, were compared in 46 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) handled during 90 captures between 1999 and 2001. Induction dosages and times were greater for FR bears than PR bears, a finding consistent with depletion of, or decreased sensitivity to, catecholamines. Free-ranging bears also had higher rectal temperatures 15 min following immobilization and temperatures throughout handling that correlated positively with induction time. Physically restrained bears had higher white blood cell counts, with more neutrophils and fewer lymphocytes and eosinophils, than did FR bears. This white blood cell profile was consistent with a stress leukogram, possibly affected by elevated levels of serum cortisol. Serum concentrations of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase were higher in PR bears that suggested muscle injury. Serum concentrations of sodium and chloride also were higher in PR bears and attributed to reduced body water volume through water deprivation and increased insensible water loss. Overall, different methods of capture resulted in different patterns of physiologic disturbance. Reducing pursuit and drug induction times should help to minimize increase in body temperature and alteration of acid-base balance in bears immobilized by remote injection. Minimizing restraint time and ensuring snare-anchoring cables are short should help to minimize loss of body water and prevent serious muscle injury in bears captured by leg-hold snare.

  6. Roadside bear viewing opportunities in Yellowstone National Park: characteristics, trends, and influence of whitebark pine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haroldson, Mark A.; Gunther, Kerry

    2014-01-01

    Opportunities for viewing grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and American black bears (U. americanus) from roadways in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have increased in recent years. Unlike the panhandling bears common prior to the 1970s, current viewing usually involves bears feeding on natural foods. We define roadside bear viewing opportunities that cause traffic congestion as ‘‘bear-jams.’’ We investigated characteristics of bear-jams and their frequency relative to whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) cone production, an important fall food for bears, during 1990–2004. We observed a difference in diel distribution of bear-jams between species (x2=70.609, 4 df, P<0.001) with the occurrence of grizzly bear-jams being more crepuscular. We found evidence for decreasing distances between bears and roadways and increasing durations of bears-jams. The annual proportion of bear-jams for both species occurring after the week of 13–19 August were 3–4 times higher during poor cone crop years than good. We suggest that native foods found in road corridors may be especially important to some individual bears during years exhibiting poor whitebark pine crops. We discuss management implications of threats to whitebark pine and increasing habituation of bears to people.

  7. Climate and reproduction of grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Picton, Harold D.

    1978-01-01

    Controversy surrounds the conflicts between the requirements of human safety and the preservation of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in western North America. It has been difficult to separate the effect of factors such as the closure of garbage dumps from that of the climate. It has also proved difficult to relate climatic data to changes in the populations of large mammals. I report here a correlation of climatic change with fluctuations in the sizes of litters of grizzly bears born in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, during 1958–1976. The decrease in litter sizes observed since the closure of garbage dumps seems to be largely a consequence of unfavourable weather during the periods of the final fattening of the mother, winter sleep, birth, lactation and early spring foraging. This study represents one of the few times that the effects of climate have been demonstrated for large omnivorous or carnivorous mammals.

  8. Genetic connectivity for two bear species at wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park

    PubMed Central

    Sawaya, Michael A.; Kalinowski, Steven T.; Clevenger, Anthony P.

    2014-01-01

    Roads can fragment and isolate wildlife populations, which will eventually decrease genetic diversity within populations. Wildlife crossing structures may counteract these impacts, but most crossings are relatively new, and there is little evidence that they facilitate gene flow. We conducted a three-year research project in Banff National Park, Alberta, to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife crossings to provide genetic connectivity. Our main objective was to determine how the Trans-Canada Highway and crossing structures along it affect gene flow in grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus). We compared genetic data generated from wildlife crossings with data collected from greater bear populations. We detected a genetic discontinuity at the highway in grizzly bears but not in black bears. We assigned grizzly bears that used crossings to populations north and south of the highway, providing evidence of bidirectional gene flow and genetic admixture. Parentage tests showed that 47% of black bears and 27% of grizzly bears that used crossings successfully bred, including multiple males and females of both species. Differentiating between dispersal and gene flow is difficult, but we documented gene flow by showing migration, reproduction and genetic admixture. We conclude that wildlife crossings allow sufficient gene flow to prevent genetic isolation. PMID:24552834

  9. Genetic connectivity for two bear species at wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park.

    PubMed

    Sawaya, Michael A; Kalinowski, Steven T; Clevenger, Anthony P

    2014-04-01

    Roads can fragment and isolate wildlife populations, which will eventually decrease genetic diversity within populations. Wildlife crossing structures may counteract these impacts, but most crossings are relatively new, and there is little evidence that they facilitate gene flow. We conducted a three-year research project in Banff National Park, Alberta, to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife crossings to provide genetic connectivity. Our main objective was to determine how the Trans-Canada Highway and crossing structures along it affect gene flow in grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus). We compared genetic data generated from wildlife crossings with data collected from greater bear populations. We detected a genetic discontinuity at the highway in grizzly bears but not in black bears. We assigned grizzly bears that used crossings to populations north and south of the highway, providing evidence of bidirectional gene flow and genetic admixture. Parentage tests showed that 47% of black bears and 27% of grizzly bears that used crossings successfully bred, including multiple males and females of both species. Differentiating between dispersal and gene flow is difficult, but we documented gene flow by showing migration, reproduction and genetic admixture. We conclude that wildlife crossings allow sufficient gene flow to prevent genetic isolation.

  10. Genetic connectivity for two bear species at wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park.

    PubMed

    Sawaya, Michael A; Kalinowski, Steven T; Clevenger, Anthony P

    2014-04-01

    Roads can fragment and isolate wildlife populations, which will eventually decrease genetic diversity within populations. Wildlife crossing structures may counteract these impacts, but most crossings are relatively new, and there is little evidence that they facilitate gene flow. We conducted a three-year research project in Banff National Park, Alberta, to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife crossings to provide genetic connectivity. Our main objective was to determine how the Trans-Canada Highway and crossing structures along it affect gene flow in grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus). We compared genetic data generated from wildlife crossings with data collected from greater bear populations. We detected a genetic discontinuity at the highway in grizzly bears but not in black bears. We assigned grizzly bears that used crossings to populations north and south of the highway, providing evidence of bidirectional gene flow and genetic admixture. Parentage tests showed that 47% of black bears and 27% of grizzly bears that used crossings successfully bred, including multiple males and females of both species. Differentiating between dispersal and gene flow is difficult, but we documented gene flow by showing migration, reproduction and genetic admixture. We conclude that wildlife crossings allow sufficient gene flow to prevent genetic isolation. PMID:24552834

  11. Comparative anatomy of the cardiac foramen ovale in cats (Felidae), dogs (Canidae), bears (Ursidae) and hyaenas (Hyaenidae).

    PubMed

    Macdonald, A A; Johnstone, M

    1995-04-01

    The structure of the foramen ovale from 16 species representing 4 carnivore families, the Felidae, Canidae, Ursidae and Hyaenidae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. The Felidae were represented by 9 domestic cat fetuses (Felis catus), 2 snow leopard neonates (Uncia uncia), an ocelot neonate (Leopardus pardalis), 2 lion neonates (Panthera leo), a panther neonate (Panthera pardus) and 3 tigers (Neofelis tigris), comprising 2 fetuses and a neonate. The Canidae were represented by a golden jackal neonate (Canis aureus), a newborn wolf (Canis lupus), 8 domestic dog fetuses (Canis familiaris), 3 red fox neonates (Vulpes vulpes) and a dhole neonate (Cuon alpinus). The Ursidae were represented by a brown bear neonate (Ursus arctos), a day-old grizzly bear cub (Ursus arctos horribilis), a polar bear neonate (Ursus maritimus), and 2 additional bear fetuses (species unknown). The Hyaenidae were represented by a striped hyaena neonate (Hyaena hyaena). In each species, the foramen ovale, when viewed from the terminal part of the caudal vena cava, had the appearance of a short tunnel. A thin fold of tissue, the developed remains of the embryonic septum primum, extended from the distal end of the caudal vena cava for a variable distance into the lumen of the left atrium and contributed towards the 'tunnel' appearance in all specimens. It constituted a large proportion of the tube, and its distal end was straight-edged. There was fibrous material underlying the endothelium of the flap, the apparent morphology of which suggested that it comprised cardiac muscle.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Comparative anatomy of the cardiac foramen ovale in cats (Felidae), dogs (Canidae), bears (Ursidae) and hyaenas (Hyaenidae).

    PubMed

    Macdonald, A A; Johnstone, M

    1995-04-01

    The structure of the foramen ovale from 16 species representing 4 carnivore families, the Felidae, Canidae, Ursidae and Hyaenidae, was studied using the scanning electron microscope. The Felidae were represented by 9 domestic cat fetuses (Felis catus), 2 snow leopard neonates (Uncia uncia), an ocelot neonate (Leopardus pardalis), 2 lion neonates (Panthera leo), a panther neonate (Panthera pardus) and 3 tigers (Neofelis tigris), comprising 2 fetuses and a neonate. The Canidae were represented by a golden jackal neonate (Canis aureus), a newborn wolf (Canis lupus), 8 domestic dog fetuses (Canis familiaris), 3 red fox neonates (Vulpes vulpes) and a dhole neonate (Cuon alpinus). The Ursidae were represented by a brown bear neonate (Ursus arctos), a day-old grizzly bear cub (Ursus arctos horribilis), a polar bear neonate (Ursus maritimus), and 2 additional bear fetuses (species unknown). The Hyaenidae were represented by a striped hyaena neonate (Hyaena hyaena). In each species, the foramen ovale, when viewed from the terminal part of the caudal vena cava, had the appearance of a short tunnel. A thin fold of tissue, the developed remains of the embryonic septum primum, extended from the distal end of the caudal vena cava for a variable distance into the lumen of the left atrium and contributed towards the 'tunnel' appearance in all specimens. It constituted a large proportion of the tube, and its distal end was straight-edged. There was fibrous material underlying the endothelium of the flap, the apparent morphology of which suggested that it comprised cardiac muscle.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7649822

  13. Grizzly bear-human conflicts in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, 1992-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunther, K.A.; Haroldson, M.A.; Cain, S.L.; Copeland, J.; Frey, K.; Schwartz, C.C.

    2004-01-01

    For many years, the primary strategy for managing grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) that came into conflict with humans in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) was to capture and translocate the offending bears away from conflict sites. Translocation usually only temporarily alleviated the problems and most often did not result in long-term solutions. Wildlife managers needed to be able to predict the causes, types, locations, and trends of conflicts to more efficiently allocate resources for pro-active rather than reactive management actions. To address this need, we recorded all grizzly bear-human conflicts reported in the GYE during 1992-2000. We analyzed trends in conflicts over time (increasing or decreasing), geographic location on macro- (inside or outside of the designated Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone [YGBRZ]) and micro- (geographic location) scales, land ownership (public or private), and relationship to the seasonal availability of bear foods. We recorded 995 grizzly bear-human conflicts in the GYE. Fifty-three percent of the conflicts occurred outside and 47% inside the YGBRZ boundary. Fifty-nine percent of the conflicts occurred on public and 41% on private land. Incidents of bears damaging property and obtaining anthropogenic foods were inversely correlated to the abundance of naturally occurring bear foods. Livestock depredations occurred independent of the availability of bear foods. To further aid in prioritizing management strategies to reduce conflicts, we also analyzed conflicts in relation to subsequent human-caused grizzly bear mortality. There were 74 human-caused grizzly bear mortalities during the study, primarily from killing bears in defense of life and property (43%) and management removal of bears involved in bear-human conflicts (28%). Other sources of human-caused mortality included illegal kills, electrocution by downed power-lines, mistaken identification by American black bear (Ursus americanus) hunters, and vehicle strikes

  14. Genomic Evidence for Island Population Conversion Resolves Conflicting Theories of Polar Bear Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, James A.; Green, Richard E.; Fulton, Tara L.; Stiller, Mathias; Jay, Flora; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Salamzade, Rauf; St. John, John; Stirling, Ian; Slatkin, Montgomery; Shapiro, Beth

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive genetic analysis, the evolutionary relationship between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (U. arctos) remains unclear. The two most recent comprehensive reports indicate a recent divergence with little subsequent admixture or a much more ancient divergence followed by extensive admixture. At the center of this controversy are the Alaskan ABC Islands brown bears that show evidence of shared ancestry with polar bears. We present an analysis of genome-wide sequence data for seven polar bears, one ABC Islands brown bear, one mainland Alaskan brown bear, and a black bear (U. americanus), plus recently published datasets from other bears. Surprisingly, we find clear evidence for gene flow from polar bears into ABC Islands brown bears but no evidence of gene flow from brown bears into polar bears. Importantly, while polar bears contributed <1% of the autosomal genome of the ABC Islands brown bear, they contributed 6.5% of the X chromosome. The magnitude of sex-biased polar bear ancestry and the clear direction of gene flow suggest a model wherein the enigmatic ABC Island brown bears are the descendants of a polar bear population that was gradually converted into brown bears via male-dominated brown bear admixture. We present a model that reconciles heretofore conflicting genetic observations. We posit that the enigmatic ABC Islands brown bears derive from a population of polar bears likely stranded by the receding ice at the end of the last glacial period. Since then, male brown bear migration onto the island has gradually converted these bears into an admixed population whose phenotype and genotype are principally brown bear, except at mtDNA and X-linked loci. This process of genome erosion and conversion may be a common outcome when climate change or other forces cause a population to become isolated and then overrun by species with which it can hybridize. PMID:23516372

  15. Genomic evidence for island population conversion resolves conflicting theories of polar bear evolution.

    PubMed

    Cahill, James A; Green, Richard E; Fulton, Tara L; Stiller, Mathias; Jay, Flora; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Salamzade, Rauf; St John, John; Stirling, Ian; Slatkin, Montgomery; Shapiro, Beth

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive genetic analysis, the evolutionary relationship between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (U. arctos) remains unclear. The two most recent comprehensive reports indicate a recent divergence with little subsequent admixture or a much more ancient divergence followed by extensive admixture. At the center of this controversy are the Alaskan ABC Islands brown bears that show evidence of shared ancestry with polar bears. We present an analysis of genome-wide sequence data for seven polar bears, one ABC Islands brown bear, one mainland Alaskan brown bear, and a black bear (U. americanus), plus recently published datasets from other bears. Surprisingly, we find clear evidence for gene flow from polar bears into ABC Islands brown bears but no evidence of gene flow from brown bears into polar bears. Importantly, while polar bears contributed <1% of the autosomal genome of the ABC Islands brown bear, they contributed 6.5% of the X chromosome. The magnitude of sex-biased polar bear ancestry and the clear direction of gene flow suggest a model wherein the enigmatic ABC Island brown bears are the descendants of a polar bear population that was gradually converted into brown bears via male-dominated brown bear admixture. We present a model that reconciles heretofore conflicting genetic observations. We posit that the enigmatic ABC Islands brown bears derive from a population of polar bears likely stranded by the receding ice at the end of the last glacial period. Since then, male brown bear migration onto the island has gradually converted these bears into an admixed population whose phenotype and genotype are principally brown bear, except at mtDNA and X-linked loci. This process of genome erosion and conversion may be a common outcome when climate change or other forces cause a population to become isolated and then overrun by species with which it can hybridize.

  16. Use of naturally occurring mercury to determine the importance of cutthroat trout to Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Felicetti, L.A.; Schwartz, C.C.; Rye, R.O.; Gunther, K.A.; Crock, J.G.; Haroldson, M.A.; Waits, L.; Robbins, C.T.

    2004-01-01

    Spawning cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki (Richardson, 1836)) are a potentially important food resource for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis Ord, 1815) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We developed a method to estimate the amount of cutthroat trout ingested by grizzly bears living in the Yellowstone Lake area. The method utilized (i) the relatively high, naturally occurring concentration of mercury in Yellowstone Lake cutthroat trout (508 ± 93 ppb) and its virtual absence in all other bear foods (6 ppb), (ii) hair snares to remotely collect hair from bears visiting spawning cutthroat trout streams between 1997 and 2000, (iii) DNA analyses to identify the individual and sex of grizzly bears leaving a hair sample, (iv) feeding trials with captive bears to develop relationships between fish and mercury intake and hair mercury concentrations, and (v) mercury analyses of hair collected from wild bears to estimate the amount of trout consumed by each bear. Male grizzly bears consumed an average of 5 times more trout/kg bear than did female grizzly bears. Estimated cutthroat trout intake per year by the grizzly bear population was only a small fraction of that estimated by previous investigators, and males consumed 92% of all trout ingested by grizzly bears.

  17. Dynamics of intertidal foraging by coastal brown bears in Southwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, T.S.; Partridge, S.T.

    2004-01-01

    Shoreline areas provide early season foraging opportunities for coastal bears in Alaska. We investigated use by brown bears (Ursus arctos) of soft-shelled (Mya arenaria) and Pacific razor (Siliqua patula) clams at Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA, to identify the potential importance of these clams to bears. We used direct observations of bear foraging behavior in the summers of 1998, 1999, and 2001 to model the nutritional importance of clamming behavior. We also used previously described models to estimate the relative importance of clamming and vegetative foraging in meeting the maintenance requirements of bears. At the harvest rate that we observed (0.69 ?? 0.46 clams/min), bears achieved higher rates of digestible energy intake than those foraging on vegetation. Although clams are available for only a few hours per day, bears could significantly reduce their total daily foraging time by utilizing clams. Smaller single bears and females with dependent young were the most represented groups of bears using intertidal areas. Large male bears, faced with higher energy requirements, likely are unable to efficiently exploit these intertidal resources. Depending on the relationship between clam size and tissue mass, the relative quality of clams differed by species. Bears foraging on Pacific razor clams required the fewest hours to meet maintenance, followed by bears consuming soft-shelled clams. Our findings highlight the significance of intertidal habitats for coastal bears, especially females.

  18. Grizzly bear density in Glacier National Park, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, K.C.; Stetz, J.B.; Roon, David A.; Waits, L.P.; Boulanger, J.B.; Paetkau, David

    2008-01-01

    We present the first rigorous estimate of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population density and distribution in and around Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. We used genetic analysis to identify individual bears from hair samples collected via 2 concurrent sampling methods: 1) systematically distributed, baited, barbed-wire hair traps and 2) unbaited bear rub trees found along trails. We used Huggins closed mixture models in Program MARK to estimate total population size and developed a method to account for heterogeneity caused by unequal access to rub trees. We corrected our estimate for lack of geographic closure using a new method that utilizes information from radiocollared bears and the distribution of bears captured with DNA sampling. Adjusted for closure, the average number of grizzly bears in our study area was 240.7 (95% CI = 202–303) in 1998 and 240.6 (95% CI = 205–304) in 2000. Average grizzly bear density was 30 bears/1,000 km2, with 2.4 times more bears detected per hair trap inside than outside GNP. We provide baseline information important for managing one of the few remaining populations of grizzlies in the contiguous United States.

  19. From the field: Brown bear habituation to people - Safety, risks, and benefits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herrero, S.; Smith, T.; DeBruyn, T.D.; Gunther, K.; Matt, C.A.

    2005-01-01

    Recently, brown bear (Ursus arctos) viewing has increased in coastal Alaska and British Columbia, as well as in interior areas such as Yellowstone National Park. Viewing is most often being done under conditions that offer acceptable safety to both people and bears. We analyze and comment on the underlying processes that lead brown bears to tolerate people at close range. Although habituation is an important process influencing the distance at which bears tolerate people, other variables also modify levels of bear-to-human tolerance. Because bears may react internally with energetic costs before showing an overt reaction to humans, we propose a new term, the Overt Reaction Distance, to emphasize that what we observe is the external reaction of a bear. In this paper we conceptually analyze bear viewing in terms of benefits and risks to people and bears. We conclude that managers and policy-makers must develop site-specific plans that identify the extent to which bear-to-human habituation and tolerance will be permitted. The proposed management needs scientific underpinning. It is our belief that bear viewing, where appropriate, may promote conservation of bear populations, habitats, and ecosystems as it instills respect and concern in those who participate.

  20. Immobilization of Wyoming bears using carfentanil and xylazine.

    PubMed

    Kreeger, Terry J; Bjornlie, Dan; Thompson, Dan; Clapp, Justin; Clark, Colby; Hansen, Cole; Huizenga, Matt; Lockwood, Sam

    2013-07-01

    Seven grizzly (Ursus arctos; four male, three female) and three black (Ursus americanus; two male, one female) bears caught in culvert traps or leg snares were immobilized in northwestern Wyoming with carfentanil and xylazine at doses, respectively, of 0.011 ± 0.001 and 0.12 ± 0.01 mg/kg for grizzly bears and 0.014 ± 0.002 and 0.15 ± 0.04 mg/kg for black bears. These drugs were antagonized with 1 mg/kg naltrexone and 2 mg/kg tolazoline. Induction and recovery times, respectively, were 4.3 ± 0.5 and 7.1 ± 0.8 min for grizzly bears and 5.2 ± 0.4 and 9.1 ± 2.2 min for black bears. Inductions were smooth and uneventful. Recoveries were characterized initially by increased respiration followed by raising of the head, which quickly led to a full recovery, with the bears recognizing and avoiding humans and moving away, maneuvering around obstacles. All bears experienced respiratory depression, which did not significantly improve with supplemental oxygen on the basis of pulse oximetry (P=0.56). Rectal temperatures were normothermic. Carfentanil-xylazine immobilization of bears provided significant advantages over other drug regimens, including small drug volumes, predictable inductions, quick and complete recoveries, and lower costs. On the basis of these data, both grizzly and black bears can be immobilized effectively with 0.01 mg/kg carfentanil and 0.1 mg/kg xylazine.

  1. Immobilization of Wyoming bears using carfentanil and xylazine.

    PubMed

    Kreeger, Terry J; Bjornlie, Dan; Thompson, Dan; Clapp, Justin; Clark, Colby; Hansen, Cole; Huizenga, Matt; Lockwood, Sam

    2013-07-01

    Seven grizzly (Ursus arctos; four male, three female) and three black (Ursus americanus; two male, one female) bears caught in culvert traps or leg snares were immobilized in northwestern Wyoming with carfentanil and xylazine at doses, respectively, of 0.011 ± 0.001 and 0.12 ± 0.01 mg/kg for grizzly bears and 0.014 ± 0.002 and 0.15 ± 0.04 mg/kg for black bears. These drugs were antagonized with 1 mg/kg naltrexone and 2 mg/kg tolazoline. Induction and recovery times, respectively, were 4.3 ± 0.5 and 7.1 ± 0.8 min for grizzly bears and 5.2 ± 0.4 and 9.1 ± 2.2 min for black bears. Inductions were smooth and uneventful. Recoveries were characterized initially by increased respiration followed by raising of the head, which quickly led to a full recovery, with the bears recognizing and avoiding humans and moving away, maneuvering around obstacles. All bears experienced respiratory depression, which did not significantly improve with supplemental oxygen on the basis of pulse oximetry (P=0.56). Rectal temperatures were normothermic. Carfentanil-xylazine immobilization of bears provided significant advantages over other drug regimens, including small drug volumes, predictable inductions, quick and complete recoveries, and lower costs. On the basis of these data, both grizzly and black bears can be immobilized effectively with 0.01 mg/kg carfentanil and 0.1 mg/kg xylazine. PMID:23778620

  2. Insights from the Den: How Hibernating Bears May Help Us Understand and Treat Human Disease.

    PubMed

    Berg von Linde, Maria; Arevström, Lilith; Fröbert, Ole

    2015-10-01

    Hibernating brown bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) spend half of the year in a physically inactive state inside their winter dens without food intake and defecating and no or little urination. Under similar extreme conditions, humans would suffer from loss of lean body mass, heart failure, thrombosis, azotemia, osteoporosis, and more. However, bears exit the den in the spring strong without organ injuries. Translational animal models are used in human medicine but traditional experimental animals have several shortcomings; thus, we believe that it is time to systematically explore new models. In this review paper, we describe physiological adaptations of hibernating bears and how similar adaptations in humans could theoretically alleviate medical conditions. The bear has solved most of the health challenges faced by humans, including heart and kidney disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Understanding and applying this library of information could lead to a number of major discoveries that could have implications for the understanding and treatment of human disease.

  3. Evaluating estimators for numbers of females with cubs-of-the-year in the Yellowstone grizzly bear population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cherry, S.; White, G.C.; Keating, K.A.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    2007-01-01

    Current management of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas requires annual estimation of the number of adult female bears with cubs-of-the-year. We examined the performance of nine estimators of population size via simulation. Data were simulated using two methods for different combinations of population size, sample size, and coefficient of variation of individual sighting probabilities. We show that the coefficient of variation does not, by itself, adequately describe the effects of capture heterogeneity, because two different distributions of capture probabilities can have the same coefficient of variation. All estimators produced biased estimates of population size with bias decreasing as effort increased. Based on the simulation results we recommend the Chao estimator for model M h be used to estimate the number of female bears with cubs of the year; however, the estimator of Chao and Shen may also be useful depending on the goals of the research.

  4. Consumption of pondweed rhizomes by Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Podruzny, S.R.; Haroldson, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.) are common foods of waterfowl throughout the Northern Hemisphere. However, consumption of pondweeds by bears has been noted only once, in Russia. We documented consumption of pondweed rhizomes by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Yellowstone region, 1977-96, during investigations of telemetry locations obtained from 175 radiomarked bears. We documented pondweed excavations at 25 sites and detected pondweed rhizomes in 18 feces. We observed grizzly bears excavating and consuming pondweed on 2 occasions. All excavations occurred in wetlands that were inundated during and after snowmelt, but dry by late August or early September of most years. These wetlands were typified by the presence of inflated sedge (Carex vesicaria) and occurred almost exclusively on plateaus of Pliocene-Pleistocene detrital sediments or volcanic rhyolite flows. Bears excavated wetlands with pondweeds when they were free of standing water, most commonly during October and occasionally during spring prior to the onset of terminal snowmelt. Most excavations were about 4.5 cm deep, 40 cubic decimeter (dm3) in total volume, and targeted the thickened pondweed rhizomes. Starch content of rhizomes collected near grizzly bear excavations averaged 28% (12% SD; n = 6). These results add to the documented diversity of grizzly bear food habits and, because pondweed is distributed circumboreally, also raise the possibility that consumption of pondweed by grizzly bears has been overlooked in other regions.

  5. Continuity of brown bear maternal lineages in northern England through the Last-glacial period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Ho, Simon Y. W.; Barnett, Ross; Coxon, Peter; Bradley, Daniel G.; Lord, Tom C.; O'Connor, Terry

    2014-07-01

    Brown bears recolonised Europe rapidly after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), but there has been debate about whether bear populations were confined to separate glacial refugia in southern Europe, or if there was continuous gene flow among groups. To look in more detail at recolonisation routes into the British Isles after the LGM, 16 brown bear (Ursus arctos) samples from Lateglacial Yorkshire were analysed for mitochondrial DNA survival. The resulting data were compared with earlier work on Late Pleistocene and Holocene bears from Ireland (Edwards et al., 2011), as well as with both modern and ancient bears from across continental Europe. The results highlight the temporal and spatial continuity of brown bear maternal lineages through the Lateglacial period in northern England. While this region was not a refugial area in the LGM for the Irish Clade 2 brown bears, our data suggest that populations of brown bear in England did act as refugial sources for the later colonisation of Ireland, by Clade 1-i bears, during the Holocene. Our results contribute to a wider understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of brown bears through the Late Quaternary, and lend a valuable perspective on bear migration into peripheral Europe.

  6. Bear use of cutthroat trout spawning streams in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reinhart, D.P.; Mattson, D.J.

    1990-01-01

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (U. americanus) prey on spawning cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki, formerly known as Salmo clarki) in tributary streams of Yellowstone Lake. These tributary streams were surveyed from 1985 to 1987 to determine the presence and level of trout spawning activity and bear use. Indices were developed to enumerate spawner density and levels of bear use. Of 124 known tributaries of Yellowstone Lake, 48% had a spawning run. Of these spawning streams, 93% had associated bear activity, and 61% had associated evidence of bear fishing. Bears were apparently using more spawning streams and fish compared to 10 years earlier. Bear use of cutthroat trout spawning streams appeared to be largely a positive function of volumetric spawner density. We hypothesize that abundance and quality of stream-side vegetation relative to other foraging options influenced bear use. Intra- and interspecific avoidance among bears was suggested by patterns of spawning stream use. Less bear use of spawning streams than expected occurred within 1 km of park developments.

  7. Exploitation of pocket gophers and their food caches by grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    I investigated the exploitation of pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Yellowstone region of the United States with the use of data collected during a study of radiomarked bears in 1977-1992. My analysis focused on the importance of pocket gophers as a source of energy and nutrients, effects of weather and site features, and importance of pocket gophers to grizzly bears in the western contiguous United States prior to historical extirpations. Pocket gophers and their food caches were infrequent in grizzly bear feces, although foraging for pocket gophers accounted for about 20-25% of all grizzly bear feeding activity during April and May. Compared with roots individually excavated by bears, pocket gopher food caches were less digestible but more easily dug out. Exploitation of gopher food caches by grizzly bears was highly sensitive to site and weather conditions and peaked during and shortly after snowmelt. This peak coincided with maximum success by bears in finding pocket gopher food caches. Exploitation was most frequent and extensive on gently sloping nonforested sites with abundant spring beauty (Claytonia lanceolata) and yampah (Perdieridia gairdneri). Pocket gophers are rare in forests, and spring beauty and yampah roots are known to be important foods of both grizzly bears and burrowing rodents. Although grizzly bears commonly exploit pocket gophers only in the Yellowstone region, this behavior was probably widespread in mountainous areas of the western contiguous United States prior to extirpations of grizzly bears within the last 150 years.

  8. Body and diet composition of sympatric black and grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Fortin, Jennifer K.; Teisberg, Justin E.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Servheen, Christopher; Robbins, Charles T.; van Manen, Frank T.

    2013-01-01

    The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) has experienced changes in the distribution and availability of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) food resources in recent decades. The decline of ungulates, fish, and whitebark pine seeds (Pinus albicaulis) has prompted questions regarding their ability to adapt. We examined body composition and diet of grizzly bears using bioelectrical impedance and stable isotopes to determine if 1) we can detect a change in diet quality associated with the decline in either ungulates or whitebark pine, and 2) the combined decline in ungulates, fish, and pine seeds resulted in a change in grizzly bear carrying capacity in the GYE. We contrasted body fat and mass in grizzly bears with a potential competitor, the American black bear (Ursus americanus), to address these questions. Grizzly bears assimilated more meat into their diet and were in better body condition than black bears throughout the study period, indicating the decline in ungulate resources did not affect grizzly bears more than black bears. We also found no difference in autumn fat levels in grizzly bears in years of good or poor pine seed production, and stable isotope analyses revealed this was primarily a function of switching to meat resources during poor seed-producing years. This dietary plasticity was consistent over the course of our study. We did not detect an overall downward trend in either body mass or the fraction of meat assimilated into the diet by grizzly bears over the past decade, but we did detect a downward trend in percent body fat in adult female grizzly bears after 2006. Whether this decline is an artifact of small sample size or due to the population reaching the ecological carrying capacity of the Yellowstone ecosystem warrants further investigation.

  9. Response of Yellowstone grizzly bears to changes in food resources: A synthesis. Final report to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; van Manen, Frank T.; Cecily M, Costello; Haroldson, Mark A.; Daniel D, Bjornlie; Michael R, Ebinger; Kerry A, Gunther; Mary Frances, Mahalovich; Daniel J, Thompson; Megan D, Higgs; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Kristin, Legg; Daniel, Tyers; Landenburger, Lisa; Steven L, Cain; Frey, Kevin L.; Aber, Bryan C.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) was listed as a threatened species in 1975 (Federal Register 40 FR:31734-31736). Since listing, recovery efforts have focused on increasing population size, improving habitat security, managing bear mortalities, and reducing bear-human conflicts. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC; partnership of federal and state agencies responsible for grizzly bear recovery in the lower 48 states) and its Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommitte (YES; federal, state, county, and tribal partners charged with recovery of grizzly bears in the Greater Yelowston Ecosystem [GYE]) tasked the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team to provide information and further research relevant to three concerns arising from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals November 2011 decision: 1) the ability of grizzly bears as omnivores to find alternative foods to whitebark pine seeds; 2) literature to support their conclusions; and 3) the non-intuitive biological reality that impacts can occur to individuals without causing the overall population to decline. Specifically, the IGBC and YES requested a comprehensive synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding whitebark pinbe decline and individual and population-level responses of grizzly bears to changing food resources in the GYE. This research was particularly relevant to grizzly bear conservation given changes in the population trajectory observed during the last decade.

  10. Diet and macronutrient optimization in wild ursids: A comparison of grizzly bears with sympatric and allopatric black bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Costello, Cecily M; Cain, Steven L; Pils, Shannon R; Frattaroli, Leslie; Haroldson, Mark A.; van Manen, Frank T.

    2016-01-01

    When fed ad libitum, ursids can maximize mass gain by selecting mixed diets wherein protein provides 17 ± 4% of digestible energy, relative to carbohydrates or lipids. In the wild, this ability is likely constrained by seasonal food availability, limits of intake rate as body size increases, and competition. By visiting locations of 37 individuals during 274 bear-days, we documented foods consumed by grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in Grand Teton National Park during 2004–2006. Based on published nutritional data, we estimated foods and macronutrients as percentages of daily energy intake. Using principal components and cluster analyses, we identified 14 daily diet types. Only 4 diets, accounting for 21% of days, provided protein levels within the optimal range. Nine diets (75% of days) led to over-consumption of protein, and 1 diet (3% of days) led to under-consumption. Highest protein levels were associated with animal matter (i.e., insects, vertebrates), which accounted for 46–47% of daily energy for both species. As predicted: 1) daily diets dominated by high-energy vertebrates were positively associated with grizzly bears and mean percent protein intake was positively associated with body mass; 2) diets dominated by low-protein fruits were positively associated with smaller-bodied black bears; and 3) mean protein was highest during spring, when high-energy plant foods were scarce, however it was also higher than optimal during summer and fall. Contrary to our prediction: 4) allopatric black bears did not exhibit food selection for high-energy foods similar to grizzly bears. Although optimal gain of body mass was typically constrained, bears usually opted for the energetically superior trade-off of consuming high-energy, high-protein foods. Given protein digestion efficiency similar to obligate carnivores, this choice likely supported mass gain, consistent with studies showing monthly increases in percent body fat among bears in

  11. Diet and Macronutrient Optimization in Wild Ursids: A Comparison of Grizzly Bears with Sympatric and Allopatric Black Bears

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Cecily M.; Cain, Steven L.; Pils, Shannon; Frattaroli, Leslie; Haroldson, Mark A.; van Manen, Frank T.

    2016-01-01

    When fed ad libitum, ursids can maximize mass gain by selecting mixed diets wherein protein provides 17 ± 4% of digestible energy, relative to carbohydrates or lipids. In the wild, this ability is likely constrained by seasonal food availability, limits of intake rate as body size increases, and competition. By visiting locations of 37 individuals during 274 bear-days, we documented foods consumed by grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in Grand Teton National Park during 2004–2006. Based on published nutritional data, we estimated foods and macronutrients as percentages of daily energy intake. Using principal components and cluster analyses, we identified 14 daily diet types. Only 4 diets, accounting for 21% of days, provided protein levels within the optimal range. Nine diets (75% of days) led to over-consumption of protein, and 1 diet (3% of days) led to under-consumption. Highest protein levels were associated with animal matter (i.e., insects, vertebrates), which accounted for 46–47% of daily energy for both species. As predicted: 1) daily diets dominated by high-energy vertebrates were positively associated with grizzly bears and mean percent protein intake was positively associated with body mass; 2) diets dominated by low-protein fruits were positively associated with smaller-bodied black bears; and 3) mean protein was highest during spring, when high-energy plant foods were scarce, however it was also higher than optimal during summer and fall. Contrary to our prediction: 4) allopatric black bears did not exhibit food selection for high-energy foods similar to grizzly bears. Although optimal gain of body mass was typically constrained, bears usually opted for the energetically superior trade-off of consuming high-energy, high-protein foods. Given protein digestion efficiency similar to obligate carnivores, this choice likely supported mass gain, consistent with studies showing monthly increases in percent body fat among bears in

  12. Diet and Macronutrient Optimization in Wild Ursids: A Comparison of Grizzly Bears with Sympatric and Allopatric Black Bears.

    PubMed

    Costello, Cecily M; Cain, Steven L; Pils, Shannon; Frattaroli, Leslie; Haroldson, Mark A; van Manen, Frank T

    2016-01-01

    When fed ad libitum, ursids can maximize mass gain by selecting mixed diets wherein protein provides 17 ± 4% of digestible energy, relative to carbohydrates or lipids. In the wild, this ability is likely constrained by seasonal food availability, limits of intake rate as body size increases, and competition. By visiting locations of 37 individuals during 274 bear-days, we documented foods consumed by grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in Grand Teton National Park during 2004-2006. Based on published nutritional data, we estimated foods and macronutrients as percentages of daily energy intake. Using principal components and cluster analyses, we identified 14 daily diet types. Only 4 diets, accounting for 21% of days, provided protein levels within the optimal range. Nine diets (75% of days) led to over-consumption of protein, and 1 diet (3% of days) led to under-consumption. Highest protein levels were associated with animal matter (i.e., insects, vertebrates), which accounted for 46-47% of daily energy for both species. As predicted: 1) daily diets dominated by high-energy vertebrates were positively associated with grizzly bears and mean percent protein intake was positively associated with body mass; 2) diets dominated by low-protein fruits were positively associated with smaller-bodied black bears; and 3) mean protein was highest during spring, when high-energy plant foods were scarce, however it was also higher than optimal during summer and fall. Contrary to our prediction: 4) allopatric black bears did not exhibit food selection for high-energy foods similar to grizzly bears. Although optimal gain of body mass was typically constrained, bears usually opted for the energetically superior trade-off of consuming high-energy, high-protein foods. Given protein digestion efficiency similar to obligate carnivores, this choice likely supported mass gain, consistent with studies showing monthly increases in percent body fat among bears in this

  13. Diet and Macronutrient Optimization in Wild Ursids: A Comparison of Grizzly Bears with Sympatric and Allopatric Black Bears.

    PubMed

    Costello, Cecily M; Cain, Steven L; Pils, Shannon; Frattaroli, Leslie; Haroldson, Mark A; van Manen, Frank T

    2016-01-01

    When fed ad libitum, ursids can maximize mass gain by selecting mixed diets wherein protein provides 17 ± 4% of digestible energy, relative to carbohydrates or lipids. In the wild, this ability is likely constrained by seasonal food availability, limits of intake rate as body size increases, and competition. By visiting locations of 37 individuals during 274 bear-days, we documented foods consumed by grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) in Grand Teton National Park during 2004-2006. Based on published nutritional data, we estimated foods and macronutrients as percentages of daily energy intake. Using principal components and cluster analyses, we identified 14 daily diet types. Only 4 diets, accounting for 21% of days, provided protein levels within the optimal range. Nine diets (75% of days) led to over-consumption of protein, and 1 diet (3% of days) led to under-consumption. Highest protein levels were associated with animal matter (i.e., insects, vertebrates), which accounted for 46-47% of daily energy for both species. As predicted: 1) daily diets dominated by high-energy vertebrates were positively associated with grizzly bears and mean percent protein intake was positively associated with body mass; 2) diets dominated by low-protein fruits were positively associated with smaller-bodied black bears; and 3) mean protein was highest during spring, when high-energy plant foods were scarce, however it was also higher than optimal during summer and fall. Contrary to our prediction: 4) allopatric black bears did not exhibit food selection for high-energy foods similar to grizzly bears. Although optimal gain of body mass was typically constrained, bears usually opted for the energetically superior trade-off of consuming high-energy, high-protein foods. Given protein digestion efficiency similar to obligate carnivores, this choice likely supported mass gain, consistent with studies showing monthly increases in percent body fat among bears in this

  14. Grizzly bear corticosteroid binding globulin: Cloning and serum protein expression.

    PubMed

    Chow, Brian A; Hamilton, Jason; Alsop, Derek; Cattet, Marc R L; Stenhouse, Gordon; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2010-06-01

    Serum corticosteroid levels are routinely measured as markers of stress in wild animals. However, corticosteroid levels rise rapidly in response to the acute stress of capture and restraint for sampling, limiting its use as an indicator of chronic stress. We hypothesized that serum corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), the primary transport protein for corticosteroids in circulation, may be a better marker of the stress status prior to capture in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos). To test this, a full-length CBG cDNA was cloned and sequenced from grizzly bear testis and polyclonal antibodies were generated for detection of this protein in bear sera. The deduced nucleotide and protein sequences were 1218 bp and 405 amino acids, respectively. Multiple sequence alignments showed that grizzly bear CBG (gbCBG) was 90% and 83% identical to the dog CBG nucleotide and amino acid sequences, respectively. The affinity purified rabbit gbCBG antiserum detected grizzly bear but not human CBG. There were no sex differences in serum total cortisol concentration, while CBG expression was significantly higher in adult females compared to males. Serum cortisol levels were significantly higher in bears captured by leg-hold snare compared to those captured by remote drug delivery from helicopter. However, serum CBG expression between these two groups did not differ significantly. Overall, serum CBG levels may be a better marker of chronic stress, especially because this protein is not modulated by the stress of capture and restraint in grizzly bears.

  15. Grizzly bear corticosteroid binding globulin: Cloning and serum protein expression.

    PubMed

    Chow, Brian A; Hamilton, Jason; Alsop, Derek; Cattet, Marc R L; Stenhouse, Gordon; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2010-06-01

    Serum corticosteroid levels are routinely measured as markers of stress in wild animals. However, corticosteroid levels rise rapidly in response to the acute stress of capture and restraint for sampling, limiting its use as an indicator of chronic stress. We hypothesized that serum corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), the primary transport protein for corticosteroids in circulation, may be a better marker of the stress status prior to capture in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos). To test this, a full-length CBG cDNA was cloned and sequenced from grizzly bear testis and polyclonal antibodies were generated for detection of this protein in bear sera. The deduced nucleotide and protein sequences were 1218 bp and 405 amino acids, respectively. Multiple sequence alignments showed that grizzly bear CBG (gbCBG) was 90% and 83% identical to the dog CBG nucleotide and amino acid sequences, respectively. The affinity purified rabbit gbCBG antiserum detected grizzly bear but not human CBG. There were no sex differences in serum total cortisol concentration, while CBG expression was significantly higher in adult females compared to males. Serum cortisol levels were significantly higher in bears captured by leg-hold snare compared to those captured by remote drug delivery from helicopter. However, serum CBG expression between these two groups did not differ significantly. Overall, serum CBG levels may be a better marker of chronic stress, especially because this protein is not modulated by the stress of capture and restraint in grizzly bears. PMID:20347821

  16. Minimal seasonal alterations in the skeletal muscle of captive brown bears.

    PubMed

    Hershey, John D; Robbins, Charles T; Nelson, O Lynne; Lin, David C

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Previous studies on wild black bears (Ursus americanus) have shown that skeletal muscle morphology, composition, and overall force-generating capacity do not differ drastically between seasons despite prolonged inactivity during hibernation. However, the amount and characteristics of the seasonal variations were not consistent in these studies. The goals of this study were to compare the amount of muscle atrophy in captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) with that observed in wild black bears and measure seasonal differences in twitch characteristics. Samples from the biceps femoris muscle were collected during the summer and winter. Protein concentration, fiber-type composition, and fiber cross-sectional area were measured along with twitch characteristics. The protein concentration of the winter samples was 8.2% lower than that of the summer samples; fiber cross-sectional area and the relative proportion of fast and slow fibers remained unchanged between seasons. Myosin heavy chain isoforms I, IIa, and IIx were identified by immunoblotting and electrophoresis, and the proportions did not change between seasons. The half-rise time in the twitch contractions increased in winter relative to summer samples, which is unexpected under disuse conditions. These results agreed with a study that showed minimal skeletal muscle atrophy between seasons in wild black bears. PMID:18173360

  17. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Suchard, Marc A.; Lemey, Philippe; Welch, John J.; Barnes, Ian; Fulton, Tara L.; Barnett, Ross; O’Connell, Tamsin C.; Coxon, Peter; Monaghan, Nigel; Valdiosera, Cristina E.; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Willerslev, Eske; Baryshnikov, Gennady F.; Rambaut, Andrew; Thomas, Mark G.; Bradley, Daniel G.; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among those species most susceptible to the rapidly changing arctic climate, and their survival is of global concern. Despite this, little is known about polar bear species history. Future conservation strategies would significantly benefit from an understanding of basic evolutionary information, such as the timing and conditions of their initial divergence from brown bears (U. arctos) or their response to previous environmental change. Results We used a spatially explicit phylogeographic model to estimate the dynamics of 242 brown bear and polar bear matrilines sampled throughout the last 120,000 years and across their present and past geographic ranges. Our results show that the present distribution of these matrilines was shaped by a combination of regional stability and rapid, long-distance dispersal from ice-age refugia. In addition, hybridization between polar bears and brown bears may have occurred multiple times throughout the Late Pleistocene. Conclusions The reconstructed matrilineal history of brown and polar bears has two striking features. First, it is punctuated by dramatic and discrete climate-driven dispersal events. Second, opportunistic mating between these two species as their ranges overlapped has left a strong genetic imprint. In particular, a likely genetic exchange with extinct Irish brown bears forms the origin of the modern polar bear matriline. This suggests that interspecific hybridization not only may be more common than previously considered but may be a mechanism by which species deal with marginal habitats during periods of environmental deterioration. PMID:21737280

  18. Prospects for Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knight, R.R.; Eberhardt, L.L.

    1987-01-01

    Recent analyses of data on the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population of Yellowstone National Park and its environs suggest the likelihood of a continuing decline in numbers if losses of fully adult females are not reduced. The size of the population is not known, and a simple projection model has been used to identify some inconsistencies in the available index data. Population dynamics calculations, based on Lotka's equation or a stochastic model, indicate a continuing decrease in numbers, although continued observations through radio-telemetry are needed to verify these trends. The margin between stabilizing the population and a continued decrease appears to be roughly the loss of 2 fully adult female bears per year. At present, the risk of extirpation of this population over the next 30 years appears to be small. Continued monitoring of survivorship will be needed, particularly because "recovery" of the population may be mainly characterized by a shift in the pattern of mortality, from adults to subadults, and not necessarily a reduction in absolute number of losses.

  19. Black and Brown Bear Activity at Selected Coastal Sites in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska: A Preliminary Assessment Using Noninvasive Procedures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Partridge, Steve; Smith, Tom; Lewis, Tania

    2009-01-01

    A number of efforts in recent years have sought to predict bear activity in various habitats to minimize human disturbance and bear/human conflicts. Alaskan coastal areas provide important foraging areas for bears (Ursus americanus and U. arctos), particularly following den emergence when there may be no snow-free foraging alternatives. Additionally, coastal areas provide important food items for bears throughout the year. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (GLBA) in southeastern Alaska has extensive coastal habitats, and the National Park Service (NPS) has been long interested in learning more about the use of these coastal habitats by bears because these same habitats receive extensive human use by park visitors, especially kayaking recreationists. This study provides insight regarding the nature and intensity of bear activity at selected coastal sites within GLBA. We achieved a clearer understanding of bear/habitat relationships within GLBA by analyzing bear activity data collected with remote cameras, bear sign mapping, scat collections, and genetic analysis of bear hair. Although we could not quantify actual levels of bear activity at study sites, agreement among measures of activity (for example, sign counts, DNA analysis, and video record) lends support to our qualitative site assessments. This work suggests that habitat evaluation, bear sign mapping, and periodic scat counts can provide a useful index of bear activity for sites of interest.

  20. Appraising status of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population by counting females with cubs-of-the-year

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knight, Richard R.; Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Eberhardt, L. L.

    1995-01-01

    The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horriblilis) in the lower United States was declared threatened in 1975 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 15-31-1544). According to that Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to prepare a plan to recover populations to levels where the species could be conserved and delisted from its threatened status. The Recovery Plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993) uses counts of distinct females with cubs-of-the-year as a recovery parameter in several grizzly bear ecosystems. The total number of these females is assumed to be the minimum number with cubs born in the current year. To our knowledge, this technique, its methodology, and value as a population indicator have never been adequately explained or discussed. Thus, we describe the methodology and assess its potential for continued use in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

  1. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the Arctic environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, Andreanna J.; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate if polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex, and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide, which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of nitric oxide as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of ATP versus generation of heat (thermogenesis).

  2. Polar Bears Exhibit Genome-Wide Signatures of Bioenergetic Adaptation to Life in the Arctic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Welch, Andreanna J.; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate whether polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide (NO), which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of NO as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate versus generation of heat (thermogenesis). PMID:24504087

  3. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Welch, Andreanna J; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-02-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate whether polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide (NO), which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of NO as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate versus generation of heat (thermogenesis). PMID:24504087

  4. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the arctic environment.

    PubMed

    Welch, Andreanna J; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-02-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate whether polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide (NO), which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of NO as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate versus generation of heat (thermogenesis).

  5. Seasonal regulation of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-I axis in the American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, Stanley; Morgan-Boyd, Rebecca; Nelson, Ralph; Garshelis, David L; Turyk, Mary E; Unterman, Terry

    2011-10-01

    The American black bear maintains lean body mass for months without food during winter denning. We asked whether changes in the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I (GH-IGF-I) axis may contribute to this remarkable adaptation to starvation. Serum IGF-I levels were measured by radioimmunoassay, and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) were analyzed by ligand blotting. Initial studies in bears living in the wild showed that IGF-I levels are highest in summer and lowest in early winter denning. Detailed studies in captive bears showed that IGF-I levels decline in autumn when bears are hyperphagic, continue to decline in early denning, and later rise above predenning levels despite continued starvation in the den. IGFBP-2 increased and IGFBP-3 decreased in early denning, and these changes were also reversed in later denning. Treatment with GH (0.1 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) × 6 days) during early denning increased serum levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 and lowered levels of IGFBP-2, indicating that denning bears remain responsive to GH. GH treatment lowered blood urea nitrogen levels, reflecting effects on protein metabolism. GH also accelerated weight loss and markedly increased serum levels of free fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate, resulting in a ketoacidosis (bicarbonate decreased to 15 meq/l), which was reversed when GH was withdrawn. These results demonstrate seasonal regulation of GH/IGF-I axis activity in black bears. Diminished GH activity may promote fat storage in autumn in preparation for denning and prevent excessive mobilization and premature exhaustion of fat stores in early denning, whereas restoration of GH/IGF activity in later denning may prepare the bear for normal activity outside the den. PMID:21730258

  6. Polyhalogenated compounds (PCBs, chlordanes, HCB and BFRs) in four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that swam malnourished from East Greenland to Iceland.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Walter; Gall, Vanessa; Skírnisson, Karl

    2015-11-15

    Levels of organohalogen compounds (PCBs, chlordane, PBB 153, PBDEs, HCB) were determined in adipose tissue, liver, kidney and muscle of four polar bears which swam and/or drifted to Iceland in extremely malnourished condition. Since the colonization in the 9th century polar bears have been repeatedly observed in Iceland. However, in recent years three of the animals have clearly left their natural habitat in poor condition in May or June, i.e. at the end of the major feeding season. The fourth bear is believed to have drifted with melting ice to North-Eastern Iceland in mid-winter. The concentrations of the POPs were within the range or higher than the typical concentrations measured in polar bears from the East Greenland population. In addition to the targeted compounds, we tentatively detected Dechlorane 602 and its potential hydrodechlorinated Cl11-metabolite in all samples. Moreover, a polychlorinated compound which partly co-eluted with PCB 209 was detected in all liver samples but not in adipose tissue, kidney or muscle. The mass spectrum of the potential metabolite did not allow determining its structure. Polar bears are good swimmers and can reach Iceland from the ice edge of East Greenland within a few days. Potential reasons for the swims are briefly discussed.

  7. Polyhalogenated compounds (PCBs, chlordanes, HCB and BFRs) in four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that swam malnourished from East Greenland to Iceland.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Walter; Gall, Vanessa; Skírnisson, Karl

    2015-11-15

    Levels of organohalogen compounds (PCBs, chlordane, PBB 153, PBDEs, HCB) were determined in adipose tissue, liver, kidney and muscle of four polar bears which swam and/or drifted to Iceland in extremely malnourished condition. Since the colonization in the 9th century polar bears have been repeatedly observed in Iceland. However, in recent years three of the animals have clearly left their natural habitat in poor condition in May or June, i.e. at the end of the major feeding season. The fourth bear is believed to have drifted with melting ice to North-Eastern Iceland in mid-winter. The concentrations of the POPs were within the range or higher than the typical concentrations measured in polar bears from the East Greenland population. In addition to the targeted compounds, we tentatively detected Dechlorane 602 and its potential hydrodechlorinated Cl11-metabolite in all samples. Moreover, a polychlorinated compound which partly co-eluted with PCB 209 was detected in all liver samples but not in adipose tissue, kidney or muscle. The mass spectrum of the potential metabolite did not allow determining its structure. Polar bears are good swimmers and can reach Iceland from the ice edge of East Greenland within a few days. Potential reasons for the swims are briefly discussed. PMID:26172596

  8. Formal behavioral evaluation of enrichment programs on a zookeeper's schedule: a case study with a polar bear (Ursus Maritimus) at the Bronx Zoo.

    PubMed

    Canino, Wendy; Powell, David

    2010-01-01

    We conducted a brief study of the effectiveness of environmental enrichment for a polar bear at the Bronx Zoo with two objectives in mind. First we wanted to determine if a novel method of collecting data that easily fits into a zookeeper's work routine would produce usable data and if so, we wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of some new items that had been purchased for enriching the polar bear in reducing his pacing behavior. Observations were recorded for 119 days over a period of 5 months from April 2007 through August 2007. Five new items and eight previously used items were rotated and presented to the polar bear in the morning and afternoon. We recorded the bear's behavior five times per day as we passed by his exhibit during our regular work routine. Predictably, we found that the newer enrichment items were more effective at increasing play and decreasing pacing, as well as other more subtle effects on his behavior that helped us to design a better enrichment routine. More importantly, we found that this method of "multi-point scan sampling" was effective at producing ample and reliable data that could be used to analyze the bear's behavior without adding significant work to the keepers' daily routine.

  9. Spring feeding on ungulate carcasses by grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, Gerald I.; Mattson, D.J.; Peek, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    We studied the spring use of ungulate carcasses by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) on ungulate winter ranges in Yellowstone National Park. We observed carcasses and bear tracks on survey routes that were travelled biweekly during spring of 1985-90 in the Firehole-Gibbon winter range and spring of 1987-90 in the Northern winter range. The probability that grizzly bears used a carcass was positively related to elevation and was lower within 400 m of a road, or within 5 km of a major recreational development compared to elsewhere. Carcass use peaked in April, coincident with peak ungulate deaths. Grizzly bears also were more likely to use carcasses in the Firehole-Gibbon compared to Northern Range study area. We attributed the effects of study area and elevation to the fact that grizzly bears den and are first active in the spring at high elevations and to differences in densities of competing scavengers. Probability of grizzly bear use was strongly related to body mass of carcasses on the Northern Range where densities of coyotes (Canis latrans) and black bears (U. americanus) appeared to be much higher than in the Firehole-Gibbon study area. We suggest that additional restrictions on human activity in ungulate winter ranges or movement of carcasses to remote areas could increase grizzly bear use of carrion. Fewer competing scavengers and greater numbers of adult ungulates vulnerable to winter mortality could have the same effect.

  10. Recent observations of intraspecific predation and cannibalism among polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.; Smith, T.S.; Perham, C.; Thiemann, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Intraspecific killing has been reported among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus). Although cannibalism is one motivation for such killings, the ecological factors mediating such events are poorly understood. Between 24 January and 10 April 2004, we confirmed three instances of intraspecific predation and cannibalism in the Beaufort Sea. One of these, the first of this type ever reported for polar bears, was a parturient female killed at her maternal den. The predating bear was hunting in a known maternal denning area and apparently discovered the den by scent. A second predation event involved an adult female and cub recently emerged from their den, and the third involved a yearling male. During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears. We hypothesize that nutritional stresses related to the longer ice-free seasons that have occurred in the Beaufort Sea in recent years may have led to the cannibalism incidents we observed in 2004. ?? Springer-Verlag 2006.

  11. Bacterial populations and metabolites in the feces of free roaming and captive grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Clarissa; Cristescu, Bogdan; Boyce, Mark S; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Gänzle, Michael

    2009-12-01

    Gut physiology, host phylogeny, and diet determine the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) belong to the Order Carnivora, yet feed on an omnivorous diet. The role of intestinal microflora in grizzly bear digestion has not been investigated. Microbiota and microbial activity were analysed from the feces of wild and captive grizzly bears. Bacterial composition was determined using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The feces of wild and captive grizzly bears contained log 9.1 +/- 0.5 and log 9.2 +/- 0.3 gene copies x g(-1), respectively. Facultative anaerobes Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci were dominant in wild bear feces. Among the strict anaerobes, the Bacteroides-Prevotella-Porphyromonas group was most prominent. Enterobacteriaceae were predominant in the feces of captive grizzly bears, at log 8.9 +/- 0.5 gene copies x g(-1). Strict anaerobes of the Bacteroides-Prevotella-Porphyromonas group and the Clostridium coccoides cluster were present at log 6.7 +/- 0.9 and log 6.8 +/- 0.8 gene copies x g(-1), respectively. The presence of lactate and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) verified microbial activity. Total SCFA content and composition was affected by diet. SCFA composition in the feces of captive grizzly bears resembled the SCFA composition of prey-consuming wild animals. A consistent data set was obtained that associated fecal microbiota and metabolites with the distinctive gut physiology and diet of grizzly bears.

  12. Bacterial populations and metabolites in the feces of free roaming and captive grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Clarissa; Cristescu, Bogdan; Boyce, Mark S; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Gänzle, Michael

    2009-12-01

    Gut physiology, host phylogeny, and diet determine the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) belong to the Order Carnivora, yet feed on an omnivorous diet. The role of intestinal microflora in grizzly bear digestion has not been investigated. Microbiota and microbial activity were analysed from the feces of wild and captive grizzly bears. Bacterial composition was determined using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The feces of wild and captive grizzly bears contained log 9.1 +/- 0.5 and log 9.2 +/- 0.3 gene copies x g(-1), respectively. Facultative anaerobes Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci were dominant in wild bear feces. Among the strict anaerobes, the Bacteroides-Prevotella-Porphyromonas group was most prominent. Enterobacteriaceae were predominant in the feces of captive grizzly bears, at log 8.9 +/- 0.5 gene copies x g(-1). Strict anaerobes of the Bacteroides-Prevotella-Porphyromonas group and the Clostridium coccoides cluster were present at log 6.7 +/- 0.9 and log 6.8 +/- 0.8 gene copies x g(-1), respectively. The presence of lactate and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) verified microbial activity. Total SCFA content and composition was affected by diet. SCFA composition in the feces of captive grizzly bears resembled the SCFA composition of prey-consuming wild animals. A consistent data set was obtained that associated fecal microbiota and metabolites with the distinctive gut physiology and diet of grizzly bears. PMID:20029525

  13. Use of lodgepole pine cover types by Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests are a large and dynamic part of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) habitat in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Research in other areas suggests that grizzly bears select for young open forest stands, especially for grazing and feeding on berries. Management guidelines accordingly recommend timber harvest as a technique for improving habitat in areas potentially dominated by lodgepole pine. In this paper I examine grizzly bear use of lodgepole pine forests in the Yellowstone area, and test several hypotheses with relevance to a new generation of management guidelines. Differences in grizzly bear selection of lodgepole pine cover types (defined on the basis of stand age and structure) were not pronounced. Selection furthermore varied among years, areas, and individuals. Positive selection for any lodgepole pine type was uncommon. Estimates of selection took 5-11 years or 4-12 adult females to stabilize, depending upon the cover type. The variances of selection estimates tended to stabilize after 3-5 sample years, and were more-or-less stable to slightly increasing with progressively increased sample area. There was no conclusive evidence that Yellowstone's grizzlies favored young (<40 yr) stands in general or for their infrequent use of berries. On the other hand, these results corroborated previous observations that grizzlies favored open and/or young stands on wet and fertile sites for grazing. These results also supported the proposition that temporally and spatially robust inferences require extensive, long-duration studies, especially for wide-ranging vertebrates like grizzly bears.

  14. Active fans and grizzly bears: Reducing risks for wilderness campers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakals, M. E.; Wilford, D. J.; Wellwood, D. W.; MacDougall, S. A.

    2010-03-01

    Active geomorphic fans experience debris flows, debris floods and/or floods (hydrogeomorphic processes) that can be hazards to humans. Grizzly bears ( Ursus arctos) can also be a hazard to humans. This paper presents the results of a cross-disciplinary study that analyzed both hydrogeomorphic and grizzly bear hazards to wilderness campers on geomorphic fans along a popular hiking trail in Kluane National Park and Reserve in southwestern Yukon Territory, Canada. Based on the results, a method is proposed to reduce the risks to campers associated with camping on fans. The method includes both landscape and site scales and is based on easily understood and readily available information regarding weather, vegetation, stream bank conditions, and bear ecology and behaviour. Educating wilderness campers and providing a method of decision-making to reduce risk supports Parks Canada's public safety program; a program based on the principle of user self-sufficiency. Reducing grizzly bear-human conflicts complements the efforts of Parks Canada to ensure a healthy grizzly bear population.

  15. In vivo and in vitro changes in neurochemical parameters related to mercury concentrations from specific brain regions of polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) has been detected in polar bear brain tissue, but its biological effects are not well known. Relationships between Hg concentrations and neurochemical enzyme activities and receptor binding were assessed in the cerebellum, frontal lobes, and occipital lobes of 24 polar bears collected from Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Canada. The concentration-response relationship was further studied with in vitro experiments using pooled brain homogenate of 12 randomly chosen bears. In environmentally exposed brain samples, there was no correlative relationship between Hg concentration and cholinesterase (ChE) activity or muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) binding in any of the 3 brain regions. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity in the occipital lobe showed a negative correlative relationship with total Hg concentration. In vitro experiments, however, demonstrated that Hg (mercuric chloride and methylmercury chloride) can inhibit ChE and MAO activities and muscarinic mAChR binding. These results show that Hg can alter neurobiochemical parameters but the current environmental Hg exposure level does have an effect on the neurochemistry of polar bears from northern Canada. PMID:25264143

  16. Effects of intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Brito, Leonardo F C; Sertich, Patricia L; Rives, William; Knobbe, Marc; Del Piero, Fabio; Stull, Gordon B

    2011-05-01

    Eight adult American black bears were used to evaluate the effects of chemical castration by intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion. Treatment did not affect testicular dimensions and did not result in decreased resting or GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion. Multifocal hyperchoic areas in the testicular parenchyma were observed on ultrasound examination, and white foci were observed on gross pathology examination after zinc gluconate treatment. Histologically, there were normal seminiferous tubules containing either round or elongated spermatids, along with abnormal tubules in all bears after treatment. Vacuolation of the seminiferous epithelium, sloughing of germ cells into the tubules' lumen, presence of multinuclear giant cells, and reduced height of the seminiferous epithelium with missing generations of germ cells were commonly observed. The most severe testicular changes were multifocal and included fibrosis, complete degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium with shrinkage of the tubule, and sperm stasis. Epididymal sperm reserve was 982.74 ± 654.16 × 10(6) sperm (mean ± SEM) and motile sperm were observed in the epididymis of all but one of the bears. In conclusion, although intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment in black bears resulted in testicular degenerative changes detected by ultrasound and histology examinations, sperm production was not completely ablated. We inferred that normal fertility might have been compromised, but treatment unlikely resulted in sterility. PMID:21356548

  17. In vivo and in vitro changes in neurochemical parameters related to mercury concentrations from specific brain regions of polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) has been detected in polar bear brain tissue, but its biological effects are not well known. Relationships between Hg concentrations and neurochemical enzyme activities and receptor binding were assessed in the cerebellum, frontal lobes, and occipital lobes of 24 polar bears collected from Nunavik (Northern Quebec), Canada. The concentration-response relationship was further studied with in vitro experiments using pooled brain homogenate of 12 randomly chosen bears. In environmentally exposed brain samples, there was no correlative relationship between Hg concentration and cholinesterase (ChE) activity or muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) binding in any of the 3 brain regions. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity in the occipital lobe showed a negative correlative relationship with total Hg concentration. In vitro experiments, however, demonstrated that Hg (mercuric chloride and methylmercury chloride) can inhibit ChE and MAO activities and muscarinic mAChR binding. These results show that Hg can alter neurobiochemical parameters but the current environmental Hg exposure level does have an effect on the neurochemistry of polar bears from northern Canada.

  18. Spatial and temporal trends of selected trace elements in liver tissue from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, Canada and Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Routti, H.; Letcher, R.J.; Born, E.W.; Branigan, M.; Dietz, R.; Evans, T.J.; Fisk, A.T.; Peacock, E.; Sonne, C.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial trends and comparative changes in time of selected trace elements were studied in liver tissue from polar bears from ten different subpopulation locations in Alaska, Canadian Arctic and East Greenland. For nine of the trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se and Zn) spatial trends were investigated in 136 specimens sampled during 2005-2008 from bears from these ten subpopulations. Concentrations of Hg, Se and As were highest in the (northern and southern) Beaufort Sea area and lowest in (western and southern) Hudson Bay area and Chukchi/Bering Sea. In contrast, concentrations of Cd showed an increasing trend from east to west. Minor or no spatial trends were observed for Cu, Mn, Rb and Zn. Spatial trends were in agreement with previous studies, possibly explained by natural phenomena. To assess temporal changes of Cd, Hg, Se and Zn concentrations during the last decades, we compared our results to previously published data. These time comparisons suggested recent Hg increase in East Greenland polar bears. This may be related to Hg emissions and/or climate-induced changes in Hg cycles or changes in the polar bear food web related to global warming. Also, Hg:Se molar ratio has increased in East Greenland polar bears, which suggests there may be an increased risk for Hg 2+-mediated toxicity. Since the underlying reasons for spatial trends or changes in time of trace elements in the Arctic are still largely unknown, future studies should focus on the role of changing climate and trace metal emissions on geographical and temporal trends of trace elements. ?? 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  19. Grizzly bear predation rates on caribou calves in northeastern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, D.D.; McCabe, T.R.

    1997-01-01

    During June 1993 and 1994, 11 radiocollared and 7 unmarked grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) were monitored visually (observation) from fixed-wing aircraft to document predation on calves of the Porcupine Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) Herd (PCH) in northeastern Alaska. Twenty-six (72%) grizzly bear observations were completed (???60 min) successfully (median duration = 180 min; ??95% CI = 136-181 min; range = 67-189 min) and 10 were discontinued (duration ???24 min) due to disturbance to the bear, or unfavorable weather conditions. Of the 26 successfully completed observations, 15 (58%) included predatory activity (encounter) directed at caribou calves and 8 (31%) included kills. Of 32 encounters, 9 resulted in kills, for a success rate of 28%. The median duration of encounters was 1 minute (??95% CI = 1-2 min; range = 1-6 min; n = 32;), and the median time spent at a kill was 14 minutes (??95% CI = 9-23 min; range = 6-56 min; n = 9). Sows with young (n = 4) killed more frequently (75%; P = 0.0178) than barren sows, boars, and consorting pairs combined (17%; n = 18). Estimated kill rate was highest for sows with young (6.3 kills/bear/day; n = 4), followed by barren sows (4.6 kills/bear/day; n = 5), boars (1.9 kills/bear/day; n = 5), and, finally, consorting pairs (1.0 kills/bear/day; n = 8). Estimated kill rate obtained via conventional radiotracking point surveys (4.8 kills/bear/day) was higher than that obtained via concurrent bear observations (3.1 kills/bear/day). Our research provides baseline estimates of predation rates by grizzly bears on caribou calves that will enhance the capability of wildlife professionals in managing populations of both predators and their prey.

  20. Computed tomographic, magnetic resonance imaging, and cross-sectional anatomic features of the manus in a normal American black bear (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Ober, C P; Freeman, L E

    2010-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed description of cross-sectional anatomic structures of the manus of a black bear cadaver and correlate anatomic findings with corresponding features in computed tomographic (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images. CT, MR imaging, and transverse sectioning were performed on the thoracic limb of a cadaver female black bear which had no evidence of lameness or thoracic limb abnormality prior to death. Features in CT and MR images corresponding to clinically important anatomic structures in anatomic sections were identified. Most of the structures identified in transverse anatomic sections were also identified using CT and MR imaging. Bones, muscles and tendons were generally easily identified with both imaging modalities, although divisions between adjacent muscles were rarely visible with CT and only visible sometimes with MR imaging. Vascular structures could not be identified with either imaging modality. PMID:20500743

  1. Persistent organic pollutants in British Columbia grizzly bears: consequence of divergent diets.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jennie R; MacDuffee, Misty; Macdonald, Robie W; Whiticar, Michael; Ross, Peter S

    2005-09-15

    Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures in growing hair reveal that while some British Columbia grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) rely entirely on terrestrial foods, others switch in late summer to returning Pacific salmon (Oncorynchus spp.). Implications for persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations and patterns measured in the two feeding groups of grizzly bears were profound. While the bears consuming a higher proportion of terrestrial vegetation ("interior" grizzlies) exhibited POP patterns dominated bythe more volatile organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the heavier polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs: e.g., BDE-209), the bears consuming salmon were dominated by the more bioaccumulative POPs (e.g., DDT, chlordanes, and BDE-47). The ocean-salmon-bear pathway appeared to preferentially select for those contaminants with intermediate partitioning strength from water into lipid (log Kow approximately 6.5). This pattern reflects an optimum contaminant log Kow range for atmospheric transport, deposition into the marine environment, uptake into marine biota, accumulation through the food web, and retention in the bear tissues. We estimate that salmon deliver 70% of all OC pesticides, up to 85% of the lower brominated PBDE congeners, and 90% of PCBs found in salmon-eating grizzly bears, thereby inextricably linking these terrestrial predators to contaminants from the North Pacific Ocean. PMID:16201616

  2. Selection of microsites by grizzly bears to excavate biscuitroots (Lomatium cous)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    Roots of the biscuitroot (Lomatium cous) are a common food of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in drier parts of their southern range. I used random sampling and locations of radiomarked bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem to investigate the importance of mass and starch content of roots, digability of the site, and density of plants relative to selection of sites by grizzly bears to dig biscuitroots. Where biscuitroots were present, most differences between dug and undug sites were related to digability of the site and mass and starch content of roots. Grizzly bears more often dug in sites where average milligrams of starch per kilogram of pull per root (a??energy gain) was high. Density of biscuitroots was not related to selection of sites by grizzly bears. Mass of biscuitroot stems also provided relatively little information about mass of roots. Distribution of biscuitroots was associated with increased cover of rocks and exposure to wind, and with decreased slopes and cover of forbs. Digs by grizzly bears were associated with the presence of biscuitroots, proximity to edge of forest, and increased cover of rocks. Results were consistent with previously observed tendencies of grizzly bears to concentrate their feeding within 50-100 m of cover.

  3. Persistent organic pollutants in British Columbia grizzly bears: consequence of divergent diets.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jennie R; MacDuffee, Misty; Macdonald, Robie W; Whiticar, Michael; Ross, Peter S

    2005-09-15

    Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures in growing hair reveal that while some British Columbia grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) rely entirely on terrestrial foods, others switch in late summer to returning Pacific salmon (Oncorynchus spp.). Implications for persistent organic pollutant (POP) concentrations and patterns measured in the two feeding groups of grizzly bears were profound. While the bears consuming a higher proportion of terrestrial vegetation ("interior" grizzlies) exhibited POP patterns dominated bythe more volatile organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the heavier polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs: e.g., BDE-209), the bears consuming salmon were dominated by the more bioaccumulative POPs (e.g., DDT, chlordanes, and BDE-47). The ocean-salmon-bear pathway appeared to preferentially select for those contaminants with intermediate partitioning strength from water into lipid (log Kow approximately 6.5). This pattern reflects an optimum contaminant log Kow range for atmospheric transport, deposition into the marine environment, uptake into marine biota, accumulation through the food web, and retention in the bear tissues. We estimate that salmon deliver 70% of all OC pesticides, up to 85% of the lower brominated PBDE congeners, and 90% of PCBs found in salmon-eating grizzly bears, thereby inextricably linking these terrestrial predators to contaminants from the North Pacific Ocean.

  4. Brown bear response to elevated viewing structures at Brooks River, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeBruyn, T.D.; Smith, T.S.; Proffitt, K.; Partridge, S.; Drummer, T.D.

    2004-01-01

    The increasing popularity of brown bear (Ursus arctos) viewing at Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska has resulted in overcrowded facilities, increasing bear-human conflicts, displacement of bears from important habitats, and degradation of cultural resources. To partially address these issues, the National Park Service (NPS) constructed a 300-m-long elevated boardwalk with interconnected viewing platforms in August 2000. To determine what effects the new structures might have on individual bears, we observed bear movements and behaviors before and after construction. We used direct observations and motion-detection cameras to construct temporal-spatial profiles of bear activity. Although bear numbers were similar (59 bears in 2000 and 56 bears in 2001) and bear activity within the greater Brooks River area did not differ (P = 0.62, n = 29) between the 2 years of this study, trail crossings in the vicinity of the new structures decreased 78% (7,436 crossings in 2000 and 1,646 crossings in 2001; ??2 = 762, df = 14, P < 0.001). Bear temporal use of the boardwalk area changed such that when human use was highest, bear use was proportionally lower in the post- versus pre-construction phase (??2 = 34, df = 3, P < 0.005). Of 123 direct observations of bears approaching to pass beneath the structures, only 19.5% rerouted or avoided crossing under the structures. Bears' responses to the new structures were influenced by the behavior of visitors upon the structures. Potential management tools to minimize impacts of these structures on bears include enhanced public education regarding visitor conduct on the boardwalk, as well as visitor management and monitoring.

  5. Seasonal changes in isoform composition of giant proteins of thick and thin filaments and titin (connectin) phosphorylation level in striated muscles of bears (Ursidae, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Salmov, N N; Vikhlyantsev, I M; Ulanova, A D; Gritsyna, Yu V; Bobylev, A G; Saveljev, A P; Makariushchenko, V V; Maksudov, G Yu; Podlubnaya, Z A

    2015-03-01

    Seasonal changes in the isoform composition of thick and thin filament proteins (titin, myosin heavy chains (MyHCs), nebulin), as well as in the phosphorylation level of titin in striated muscles of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and hibernating Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus ussuricus) were studied. We found that the changes that lead to skeletal muscle atrophy in bears during hibernation are not accompanied by a decrease in the content of nebulin and intact titin-1 (T1) isoforms. However, a decrease (2.1-3.4-fold) in the content of T2 fragments of titin was observed in bear skeletal muscles (m. gastrocnemius, m. longissimus dorsi, m. biceps) during hibernation. The content of the stiffer N2B titin isoform was observed to increase relative to the content of its more compliant N2BA isoform in the left ventricles of hibernating bears. At the same time, in spite of the absence of decrease in the total content of T1 in the myocardium of hibernating brown bear, the content of T2 fragments decreased ~1.6-fold. The level of titin phosphorylation only slightly increased in the cardiac muscle of hibernating brown bear. In the skeletal muscles of brown bear, the level of titin phosphorylation did not vary between seasons. However, changes in the composition of MyHCs aimed at increasing the content of slow (I) and decreasing the content of fast (IIa) isoforms of this protein during hibernation of brown bear were detected. Content of MyHCs I and IIa in the skeletal muscles of hibernating Himalayan black bear corresponded to that in the skeletal muscles of hibernating brown bear.

  6. Fire, red squirrels, whitebark pine, and Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Podruzny, Shannon; Reinhart, D.P.; Mattson, David J.

    1999-01-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) habitats are important to Yellowstone grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) as refugia and sources of food. Ecological relationships between whitebark pine, red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), and grizzly bear use of pine seeds on Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, were examined during 1984-86. Following large-scale fires in 1988, we repeated the study in 1995-97 to examine the effects of fire on availability of whitebark pine seed in red squirrel middens and on bear use of middens. Half of the total length of the original line transects burned. We found no red squirrel middens in burned areas. Post-fire linear-abundance (no./km) of active squirrel middens that were pooled from burned and unburned areas decreased 27% compared to pre-fire abundance, but increased in unburned portions of some habitat types. Mean size of active middens decreased 54% post-fire. Use of pine seeds by bears (linear abundance of excavated middens) in pooled burned and unburned habitats decreased by 64%, likely due to the combined effects of reduced midden availability and smaller midden size. We discourage any further large-scale losses of seed producing trees from management-prescribed fires or timber harvesting until the effects of fire on ecological relationships in the whitebark pine zone are better understood.

  7. Salmon fishing by bears and the dawn of cooperative predation.

    PubMed

    Stringham, Stephen F

    2012-11-01

    Although bears are an epitome of solitary predation, black (Ursus americanus) and brown bears (U. arctos) occasionally act in pairs to capture salmon (Onchorynchous spp.). I sought to identify conditions that promote pairing and how this relates to optimal foraging. This study on Alaskan black bears assessed whether each mode of fishing (solo vs. paired) occurs mainly where it is most efficient at harvesting salmon--that is, whether modal group size (1 vs. 2) is also optimal size. Not in this case. Pairing increased captures per attempt (benefit/cost ratio = profitability) by up to 47% and captures per minute by up to 5.2-fold. Yet, the ratio of paired versus solo fishing was significantly lower than either profitability or chance explains. Modal group size was 1, optimal size was 2. This discrepancy did not result from intervention by other current benefits and costs, but from unnecessary defensiveness toward any rapidly approaching conspecific, even though it was chasing salmon, not threatening. For bears to regularly hunt cooperatively, they would have to more readily habituate to agonistic-like predatory actions, communicate intentions from > 10 m apart, and assess situational variations in benefit/cost ratios for solo versus paired hunting. It would be revealing to discover how social carnivores overcame these challenges. PMID:23088647

  8. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker responses in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Eggers Pedersen, Kathrine; Basu, Niladri; Letcher, Robert; Greaves, Alana K; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2015-04-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a growing class of contaminants in the Arctic environment, and include the established perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs; especially perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and carboxylic acids (PFCAs). PFSAs and PFCAs of varying chain length have been reported to bioaccumulate in lipid rich tissues of the brain among other tissues such as liver, and can reach high concentrations in top predators including the polar bear. PFCA and PFSA bioaccummulation in the brain has the potential to pose neurotoxic effects and therefore we conducted a study to investigate if variations in neurochemical transmitter systems i.e. the cholinergic, glutaminergic, dopaminergic and GABAergic, could be related to brain-specific bioaccumulation of PFASs in East Greenland polar bears. Nine brain regions from nine polar bears were analyzed for enzyme activity (monoamine oxidase (MAO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutamine synthetase (GS)) and receptor density (dopamine-2 (D2), muscarinic cholinergic (mAChR) and gamma-butyric acid type A (GABA-A)) along with PFSA and PFCA concentrations. Average brain ∑PFSA concentration was 25ng/g ww where PFOS accounted for 91%. Average ∑PFCA concentration was 88ng/g ww where PFUnDA, PFDoDA and PFTrDA combined accounted for 79%. The highest concentrations of PFASs were measured in brain stem, cerebellum and hippocampus. Correlative analyses were performed both across and within brain regions. Significant positive correlations were found between PFASs and MAO activity in occipital lobe (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.83, p=0.041, n=6) and across brain regions (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.47, p=0.001, ∑PFSA; rp=0.44, p>0.001; n=50). GABA-A receptor density was positively correlated with two PFASs across brain regions (PFOS; rp=0.33, p=0.02 and PFDoDA; rp=0.34, p=0.014; n=52). Significant negative correlations were found between mAChR density and PFASs in cerebellum (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=-0.95, p=0.013, n=5) and across brain regions (e.g.

  9. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker responses in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    PubMed

    Eggers Pedersen, Kathrine; Basu, Niladri; Letcher, Robert; Greaves, Alana K; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2015-04-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a growing class of contaminants in the Arctic environment, and include the established perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs; especially perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and carboxylic acids (PFCAs). PFSAs and PFCAs of varying chain length have been reported to bioaccumulate in lipid rich tissues of the brain among other tissues such as liver, and can reach high concentrations in top predators including the polar bear. PFCA and PFSA bioaccummulation in the brain has the potential to pose neurotoxic effects and therefore we conducted a study to investigate if variations in neurochemical transmitter systems i.e. the cholinergic, glutaminergic, dopaminergic and GABAergic, could be related to brain-specific bioaccumulation of PFASs in East Greenland polar bears. Nine brain regions from nine polar bears were analyzed for enzyme activity (monoamine oxidase (MAO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutamine synthetase (GS)) and receptor density (dopamine-2 (D2), muscarinic cholinergic (mAChR) and gamma-butyric acid type A (GABA-A)) along with PFSA and PFCA concentrations. Average brain ∑PFSA concentration was 25ng/g ww where PFOS accounted for 91%. Average ∑PFCA concentration was 88ng/g ww where PFUnDA, PFDoDA and PFTrDA combined accounted for 79%. The highest concentrations of PFASs were measured in brain stem, cerebellum and hippocampus. Correlative analyses were performed both across and within brain regions. Significant positive correlations were found between PFASs and MAO activity in occipital lobe (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.83, p=0.041, n=6) and across brain regions (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.47, p=0.001, ∑PFSA; rp=0.44, p>0.001; n=50). GABA-A receptor density was positively correlated with two PFASs across brain regions (PFOS; rp=0.33, p=0.02 and PFDoDA; rp=0.34, p=0.014; n=52). Significant negative correlations were found between mAChR density and PFASs in cerebellum (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=-0.95, p=0.013, n=5) and across brain regions (e.g.

  10. Population-level resource selection by sympatric brown and American black bears in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belant, J.L.; Griffith, B.; Zhang, Y.; Follmann, E.H.; Adams, L.G.

    2010-01-01

    Distribution theory predicts that for two species living in sympatry, the subordinate species would be constrained from using the most suitable resources (e.g., habitat), resulting in its use of less suitable habitat and spatial segregation between species. We used negative binomial generalized linear mixed models with fixed effects to estimate seasonal population-level resource selection at two spatial resolutions for female brown bears (Ursus arctos) and female American black bears (U. americanus) in southcentral Alaska during May-September 2000. Black bears selected areas occupied by brown bears during spring which may be related to spatially restricted (i.e., restricted to low elevations) but dispersed or patchy availability of food. In contrast, black bears avoided areas occupied by brown bears during summer. Brown bears selected areas near salmon streams during summer, presumably to access spawning salmon. Use of areas with high berry production by black bears during summer appeared in response to avoidance of areas containing brown bears. Berries likely provided black bears a less nutritious, but adequate food source. We suggest that during summer, black bears were displaced by brown bears, which supports distribution theory in that black bears appeared to be partially constrained from areas containing salmon, resulting in their use of areas containing less nutritious forage. Spatial segregation of brown and American black bears apparently occurs when high-quality resources are spatially restricted and alternate resources are available to the subordinate species. This and previous work suggest that individual interactions between species can result in seasonal population-level responses. ?? US Government 2009.

  11. Target tissue selectivity and burdens of diverse classes of brominated and chlorinated contaminants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland.

    PubMed

    Gebbink, Wouter A; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Kirkegaard, Maja; Born, Erik W; Muir, Derek C G; Letcher, Robert J

    2008-02-01

    The tissue-specific composition of sum classes of brominated and chlorinated contaminants and metabolic/degradation byproducts was determined in adult male and female polar bears from East Greenland. Significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of sigma-PCBs, various other organochlorines such as sigma-CHL, p,p'-DDE, sigma-CBz, sigma-HCHs, octachlorostyrene (OCS), sigma-mirex, dieldrin, the flame retardants sigma-PBDEs, and total-(alpha)-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), sigma-methylsulfonyl (MeSO2)-PCBs and 3-MeSO2-p,p'-DDE, were found in the adipose and liver tissues relative to whole blood and brain. In contrast, sigma-hydroxyl (OH)-PCB, 4-OH-heptachlorostyrene and sigma-OH-PBDE concentrations were significantly highest (p < 0.05) in whole blood, whereas the highest concentrations of sigma-OH-PBBs were found in the adipose tissue. Based on the total concentrations of all organohalogens in all three tissues and blood, the combined body burden was estimated to be 1.34 +/- 0.12 g, where > 91% of this amount was accounted for by the adipose tissue alone, followed by the liver, whole blood, and brain. These results show that factors such as protein association and lipid solubility appear to be differentially influencing the toxicokinetics, in terms of tissue composition/ localization and burden, of organohalogen classes with respect to chemical structure and properties such as the type of halogenation (e.g., chlorination or bromination), and the presence or absence of additional phenyl group substituents (e.g., MeO and OH groups). The tissue- and blood-specific accumulation (or retention) among organohalogen classes indicates that exposure and any potential contaminant-mediated effects in these polar bears are likely tissue or blood specific. PMID:18323098

  12. Study design and sampling intensity for demographic analyses of bear populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, R.B.; Schwartz, C.C.; Mace, R.D.; Haroldson, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    The rate of population change through time (??) is a fundamental element of a wildlife population's conservation status, yet estimating it with acceptable precision for bears is difficult. For studies that follow known (usually marked) bears, ?? can be estimated during some defined time by applying either life-table or matrix projection methods to estimates of individual vital rates. Usually however, confidence intervals surrounding the estimate are broader than one would like. Using an estimator suggested by Doak et al. (2005), we explored the precision to be expected in ?? from demographic analyses of typical grizzly (Ursus arctos) and American black (U. americanus) bear data sets. We also evaluated some trade-offs among vital rates in sampling strategies. Confidence intervals around ?? were more sensitive to adding to the duration of a short (e.g., 3 yrs) than a long (e.g., 10 yrs) study, and more sensitive to adding additional bears to studies with small (e.g., 10 adult females/yr) than large (e.g., 30 adult females/yr) sample sizes. Confidence intervals of ?? projected using process-only variance of vital rates were only slightly smaller than those projected using total variances of vital rates. Under sampling constraints typical of most bear studies, it may be more efficient to invest additional resources into monitoring recruitment and juvenile survival rates of females already a part of the study, than to simply increase the sample size of study females. ?? 2011 International Association for Bear Research and Management.

  13. Factors influencing human-grizzly bear interactions in a backcountry setting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chester, James M.

    1980-01-01

    Interactins between humans and 7 species of wildlife, including grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis), were investigated in backcountry areas of the Gallatin Range, Yellowstone National Park, during the summers of 1973 and 1974. Grizzly bear distribution, movements, and behavior and human behavior were examined. Because grizzlies utilized areas with elevations much in excess of the study area's average trail elevation, he likelihood of the off-trail party observing a grizzly bear was 3-4 times greater than that of a trail-traveling party. During the hiking season, grizzliess exhibited an elevational migration. The frequencies of on-trail and combined on- and off-trail observations and sign discoveries per party tended to peak during those periods that grizzlies were found at low elevations. Activitiy patterns of grizzlies at the point of first observation or after the bears had become aware of the human presence did not indicate behavioral traits likely to accentuate the possibilities of human-bear confrontations. Some backcountry travelers engaged in activites that could increase detrimental encounters with grizzly bears.

  14. Dietary breadth of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunther, Kerry A.; Shoemaker, Rebecca; Frey, Kevin L.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Cain, Steven L; van Manen, Frank T.; Fortin, Jennifer K.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Distribution of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, 2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, C.C.; Haroldson, M.A.; Gunther, K.; Moody, D.

    2006-01-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed delisting the Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in November 2005. Part of that process required knowledge of the most current distribution of the species. Here, we update an earlier estimate of occupied range (1990–2000) with data through 2004. We used kernel estimators to develop distribution maps of occupied habitats based on initial sightings of unduplicated females (n = 481) with cubs of the year, locations of radiomarked bears (n = 170), and spatially unique locations of conflicts, confrontations, and mortalities (n = 1,075). Although each data set was constrained by potential sampling bias, together they provided insight into areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) currently occupied by grizzly bears. The current distribution of 37,258 km2 (1990–2004) extends beyond the distribution map generated with data from 1990–2000 (34,416 km2 ). Range expansion is particularly evident in parts of the Caribou–Targhee National Forest in Idaho and north of Spanish Peaks on the Gallatin National Forest in Montana.

  16. Size and growth patterns of the Yellowstone grizzly bear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blanchard, Bonnie M.

    1987-01-01

    Weights and/or measurements of 151 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) captured 261 times were recorded from 1975 to 1985. Males were consistently heavier than females within all age classes beginning at age 2. Mean weight for 65 captive males (5+ years old) was 192 kg and 135 kg for 63 adult females (5+ years old). Mean monthly weights by sex and age class indicated adults lost weight from den emergence through July, generally regaining emergence weight by August. Weaned yearlings lost weight July-Septmber, whereas unweaned yearlings gained weight during the same period. Sexual dimorphism in body measurements within age classes was apparent in cubs and became significant in all body measurements by age 3. Girth was the measurement most closely correlated with weight for both males and females. Adults feeding at garbage dumps weighted more than bears relying on natural food sources. Bears were smaller and weighed less in this study than during the period 1959-70, when major dumps were available as a food source. Mean annual weights of nondump females were highly correlated with annual habitat productivity indices for Yellowstone Park. Correlations between mean adult female weight an cub litter size (r) = 0.92) and mean age at 1st cub production (r = -0.52) were apparent. In general, females with reliable high-energy foods tended to attain larger body sizes, mature at an earlier age, and have larger cub litters than females using relatively low-energy foods.

  17. Energy homeostasis regulatory peptides in hibernating grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Gardi, János; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Szentirmai, Eva; Kapás, Levente; Krueger, James M

    2011-05-15

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are inactive for up to 6 months during hibernation. They undergo profound seasonal changes in food intake, body mass, and energy expenditure. The circa-annual regulation of metabolism is poorly understood. In this study, we measured plasma ghrelin, leptin, obestatin, and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) levels, hormones known to be involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, in ten grizzly bears. Blood samples were collected during the active summer period, early hibernation and late hibernation. Plasma levels of leptin, obestatin, and NPY did not change between the active and the hibernation periods. Plasma total ghrelin and desacyl-ghrelin concentrations significantly decreased during the inactive winter period compared to summer levels. The elevated ghrelin levels may help enhance body mass during pre-hibernation, while the low plasma ghrelin concentrations during hibernation season may contribute to the maintenance of hypophagia, low energy utilization and behavioral inactivity. Our results suggest that ghrelin plays a potential role in the regulation of metabolic changes and energy homeostasis during hibernation in grizzly bears.

  18. Energy homeostasis regulatory peptides in hibernating grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Gardi, János; Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Szentirmai, Eva; Kapás, Levente; Krueger, James M

    2011-05-15

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are inactive for up to 6 months during hibernation. They undergo profound seasonal changes in food intake, body mass, and energy expenditure. The circa-annual regulation of metabolism is poorly understood. In this study, we measured plasma ghrelin, leptin, obestatin, and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) levels, hormones known to be involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, in ten grizzly bears. Blood samples were collected during the active summer period, early hibernation and late hibernation. Plasma levels of leptin, obestatin, and NPY did not change between the active and the hibernation periods. Plasma total ghrelin and desacyl-ghrelin concentrations significantly decreased during the inactive winter period compared to summer levels. The elevated ghrelin levels may help enhance body mass during pre-hibernation, while the low plasma ghrelin concentrations during hibernation season may contribute to the maintenance of hypophagia, low energy utilization and behavioral inactivity. Our results suggest that ghrelin plays a potential role in the regulation of metabolic changes and energy homeostasis during hibernation in grizzly bears. PMID:21187098

  19. Interactions between wolves and female grizzly bears with cubs in Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunther, Kerry A.; Smith, Douglas W.

    2004-01-01

    Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were extirpated from Yellowstone National Park (YNP) by the 1920s through predator control actions (Murie 1940,Young and Goldman 1944, Weaver 1978), then reintroduced into the park from 1995 to 1996 to restore ecological integrity and adhere to legal mandates (Bangs and Fritts 1996, Phillips and Smith 1996, Smith et al. 2000). Prior to reintroduction, the potential effects of wolves on the region’s threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population were evaluated (Servheen and Knight 1993). In areas where wolves and grizzly bears are sympatric, interspecific killing by both species occasionally occurs (Ballard 1980, 1982; Hayes and Baer 1992). Most agonistic interactions between wolves and grizzly bears involve defense of young or competition for carcasses (Murie 1944, 1981; Ballard 1982; Hornbeck and Horejsi 1986; Hayes and Mossop 1987; Kehoe 1995; McNulty et al. 2001). Servheen and Knight (1993) predicted that reintroduced wolves could reduce the frequency of winter-killed and disease-killed ungulates available for bears to scavenge, and that grizzly bears would occasionally usurp wolf-killed ungulate carcasses. Servheen and Knight (1993) hypothesized that interspecific killing and competition for carcasses would have little or no population level effect on either species.

  20. Whitebark pine, population density, and home-range size of grizzly bears in the greater yellowstone ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bjornlie, Daniel D; Van Manen, Frank T; Ebinger, Michael R; Haroldson, Mark A; Thompson, Daniel J; Costello, Cecily M

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size.

  1. Whitebark pine, population density, and home-range size of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daniel D, Bjornlie; van Manen, Frank T.; Michael R, Ebinger; Haroldson, Mark A.; Daniel J, Thompson; Cecily M, Costello

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size.

  2. Whitebark Pine, Population Density, and Home-Range Size of Grizzly Bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Bjornlie, Daniel D.; Van Manen, Frank T.; Ebinger, Michael R.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Thompson, Daniel J.; Costello, Cecily M.

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size. PMID:24520354

  3. Plant consumption by grizzly bears reduces biomagnification of salmon-derived polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and organochlorine pesticides.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    The present study characterizes the uptake and loss of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) by sampling and analyzing their terrestrial and marine foods and fecal material from a remote coastal watershed in British Columbia, Canada. The authors estimate that grizzly bears consume 341 to 1,120 µg of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 3.9 to 33 µg of polybrominated diphenyl ethers daily in the fall when they have access to an abundant supply of returning salmon. The authors also estimate that POP elimination by grizzly bears through defecation is very low following salmon consumption (typically <2% of intake) but surprisingly high following plant consumption (>100% for PCBs and organochlorine pesticides). Excretion of individual POPs is largely driven by a combination of fugacity (differences between bear and food concentrations) and the digestibility of the food. The results of the present study are substantiated by a principal components analysis, which also demonstrates a strong role for log KOW in governing the excretion of different POPs in grizzly bears. Collectively, the present study's results reveal that grizzly bears experience a vegetation-associated drawdown of POPs previously acquired through the consumption of salmon, to such an extent that net biomagnification is reduced.

  4. Plant consumption by grizzly bears reduces biomagnification of salmon-derived polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and organochlorine pesticides.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    The present study characterizes the uptake and loss of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) by sampling and analyzing their terrestrial and marine foods and fecal material from a remote coastal watershed in British Columbia, Canada. The authors estimate that grizzly bears consume 341 to 1,120 µg of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 3.9 to 33 µg of polybrominated diphenyl ethers daily in the fall when they have access to an abundant supply of returning salmon. The authors also estimate that POP elimination by grizzly bears through defecation is very low following salmon consumption (typically <2% of intake) but surprisingly high following plant consumption (>100% for PCBs and organochlorine pesticides). Excretion of individual POPs is largely driven by a combination of fugacity (differences between bear and food concentrations) and the digestibility of the food. The results of the present study are substantiated by a principal components analysis, which also demonstrates a strong role for log KOW in governing the excretion of different POPs in grizzly bears. Collectively, the present study's results reveal that grizzly bears experience a vegetation-associated drawdown of POPs previously acquired through the consumption of salmon, to such an extent that net biomagnification is reduced. PMID:23401324

  5. Whitebark pine, population density, and home-range size of grizzly bears in the greater yellowstone ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bjornlie, Daniel D; Van Manen, Frank T; Ebinger, Michael R; Haroldson, Mark A; Thompson, Daniel J; Costello, Cecily M

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size. PMID:24520354

  6. Methods to estimate distribution and range extent of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haroldson, Mark A.; Schwartz, Charles C.; , Daniel D. Bjornlie; , Daniel J. Thompson; , Kerry A. Gunther; , Steven L. Cain; , Daniel B. Tyers; Frey, Kevin L.; Aber, Bryan C.

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Yellowstone grizzly bear mortality, human habituation, and whitebark pine seed crops

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, David J.; Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R.

    1992-01-01

    The Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population may be extirpated during the next 100-200 years unless mortality rates stabilize and remain at acceptable low levels. Consequently, we analyzed relationships between Yellowstone grizzly bear mortality and frequency of human habituation among bears and size of the whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) seed crop. During years of large seed crops, bears used areas within 5 km of roads and 8 km of developments half as intensively as during years of small seed crops because whitebark pine's high elevation distribution is typically remote from human facilities. On average, management trappings of bears were 6.2 times higher, mortality of adult females 2.3 times higher, and mortality of subadult males 3.3 times higher during years of small seed crops. We hypothesize that high mortality of adult females and subadult males during small seed crop years was a consequence of their tendency to range closest (of all sex-age cohorts) to human facilities; they also had a higher frequency of human habituation compared with adult males. We also hypothesize that low morality among subadult females during small seed crop years was a result of fewer energetic stressors compared with adult females and greater familiarity with their range compared with subadult males; mortality was low even though they ranged close to humans and exhibited a high frequency of human habituation. Human-habituated and food-conditioned bears were 2.9 times as likely to range within 4 km of developments and 3.1 times as often killed by humans compared with nonhabituated bears. We argue that destruction of habituated bears that use native foods near humans results in a decline in the overall ability of bears to use available habitat; and that the number and extent of human facilities in occupied grizzly bear habitat needs to be minimized unless habituated bears are preserved and successful ways to manage the associated risks to humans are developed.

  8. Titin isoform switching is a major cardiac adaptive response in hibernating grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Wu, Yiming; Granzier, Henk

    2008-07-01

    The hibernation phenomenon captures biological as well as clinical interests to understand how organs adapt. Here we studied how hibernating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) tolerate extremely low heart rates without developing cardiac chamber dilation. We evaluated cardiac filling function in unanesthetized grizzly bears by echocardiography during the active and hibernating period. Because both collagen and titin are involved in altering diastolic function, we investigated both in the myocardium of active and hibernating grizzly bears. Heart rates were reduced from 84 beats/min in active bears to 19 beats/min in hibernating bears. Diastolic volume, stroke volume, and left ventricular ejection fraction were not different. However, left ventricular muscle mass was significantly lower (300 +/- 12 compared with 402 +/- 14 g; P = 0.003) in the hibernating bears, and as a result the diastolic volume-to-left ventricular muscle mass ratio was significantly greater. Early ventricular filling deceleration times (106.4 +/- 14 compared with 143.2 +/- 20 ms; P = 0.002) were shorter during hibernation, suggesting increased ventricular stiffness. Restrictive pulmonary venous flow patterns supported this conclusion. Collagen type I and III comparisons did not reveal differences between the two groups of bears. In contrast, the expression of titin was altered by a significant upregulation of the stiffer N2B isoform at the expense of the more compliant N2BA isoform. The mean ratio of N2BA to N2B titin was 0.73 +/- 0.07 in the active bears and decreased to 0.42 +/- 0.03 (P = 0.006) in the hibernating bears. The upregulation of stiff N2B cardiac titin is a likely explanation for the increased ventricular stiffness that was revealed by echocardiography, and we propose that it plays a role in preventing chamber dilation in hibernating grizzly bears. Thus our work identified changes in the alternative splicing of cardiac titin as a major adaptive response in hibernating grizzly

  9. Titin isoform switching is a major cardiac adaptive response in hibernating grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Nelson, O Lynne; Robbins, Charles T; Wu, Yiming; Granzier, Henk

    2008-07-01

    The hibernation phenomenon captures biological as well as clinical interests to understand how organs adapt. Here we studied how hibernating grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) tolerate extremely low heart rates without developing cardiac chamber dilation. We evaluated cardiac filling function in unanesthetized grizzly bears by echocardiography during the active and hibernating period. Because both collagen and titin are involved in altering diastolic function, we investigated both in the myocardium of active and hibernating grizzly bears. Heart rates were reduced from 84 beats/min in active bears to 19 beats/min in hibernating bears. Diastolic volume, stroke volume, and left ventricular ejection fraction were not different. However, left ventricular muscle mass was significantly lower (300 +/- 12 compared with 402 +/- 14 g; P = 0.003) in the hibernating bears, and as a result the diastolic volume-to-left ventricular muscle mass ratio was significantly greater. Early ventricular filling deceleration times (106.4 +/- 14 compared with 143.2 +/- 20 ms; P = 0.002) were shorter during hibernation, suggesting increased ventricular stiffness. Restrictive pulmonary venous flow patterns supported this conclusion. Collagen type I and III comparisons did not reveal differences between the two groups of bears. In contrast, the expression of titin was altered by a significant upregulation of the stiffer N2B isoform at the expense of the more compliant N2BA isoform. The mean ratio of N2BA to N2B titin was 0.73 +/- 0.07 in the active bears and decreased to 0.42 +/- 0.03 (P = 0.006) in the hibernating bears. The upregulation of stiff N2B cardiac titin is a likely explanation for the increased ventricular stiffness that was revealed by echocardiography, and we propose that it plays a role in preventing chamber dilation in hibernating grizzly bears. Thus our work identified changes in the alternative splicing of cardiac titin as a major adaptive response in hibernating grizzly

  10. Predicting Grizzly Bear Density in Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Mowat, Garth; Heard, Douglas C.; Schwarz, Carl J.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is often controversial and the disagreement often is focused on the estimates of density used to calculate allowable kill. Many recent estimates of grizzly bear density are now available but field-based estimates will never be available for more than a small portion of hunted populations. Current methods of predicting density in areas of management interest are subjective and untested. Objective methods have been proposed, but these statistical models are so dependent on results from individual study areas that the models do not generalize well. We built regression models to relate grizzly bear density to ultimate measures of ecosystem productivity and mortality for interior and coastal ecosystems in North America. We used 90 measures of grizzly bear density in interior ecosystems, of which 14 were currently known to be unoccupied by grizzly bears. In coastal areas, we used 17 measures of density including 2 unoccupied areas. Our best model for coastal areas included a negative relationship with tree cover and positive relationships with the proportion of salmon in the diet and topographic ruggedness, which was correlated with precipitation. Our best interior model included 3 variables that indexed terrestrial productivity, 1 describing vegetation cover, 2 indices of human use of the landscape and, an index of topographic ruggedness. We used our models to predict current population sizes across Canada and present these as alternatives to current population estimates. Our models predict fewer grizzly bears in British Columbia but more bears in Canada than in the latest status review. These predictions can be used to assess population status, set limits for total human-caused mortality, and for conservation planning, but because our predictions are static, they cannot be used to assess population trend. PMID:24367552

  11. Predicting grizzly bear density in western North America.

    PubMed

    Mowat, Garth; Heard, Douglas C; Schwarz, Carl J

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is often controversial and the disagreement often is focused on the estimates of density used to calculate allowable kill. Many recent estimates of grizzly bear density are now available but field-based estimates will never be available for more than a small portion of hunted populations. Current methods of predicting density in areas of management interest are subjective and untested. Objective methods have been proposed, but these statistical models are so dependent on results from individual study areas that the models do not generalize well. We built regression models to relate grizzly bear density to ultimate measures of ecosystem productivity and mortality for interior and coastal ecosystems in North America. We used 90 measures of grizzly bear density in interior ecosystems, of which 14 were currently known to be unoccupied by grizzly bears. In coastal areas, we used 17 measures of density including 2 unoccupied areas. Our best model for coastal areas included a negative relationship with tree cover and positive relationships with the proportion of salmon in the diet and topographic ruggedness, which was correlated with precipitation. Our best interior model included 3 variables that indexed terrestrial productivity, 1 describing vegetation cover, 2 indices of human use of the landscape and, an index of topographic ruggedness. We used our models to predict current population sizes across Canada and present these as alternatives to current population estimates. Our models predict fewer grizzly bears in British Columbia but more bears in Canada than in the latest status review. These predictions can be used to assess population status, set limits for total human-caused mortality, and for conservation planning, but because our predictions are static, they cannot be used to assess population trend. PMID:24367552

  12. Predicting grizzly bear density in western North America.

    PubMed

    Mowat, Garth; Heard, Douglas C; Schwarz, Carl J

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is often controversial and the disagreement often is focused on the estimates of density used to calculate allowable kill. Many recent estimates of grizzly bear density are now available but field-based estimates will never be available for more than a small portion of hunted populations. Current methods of predicting density in areas of management interest are subjective and untested. Objective methods have been proposed, but these statistical models are so dependent on results from individual study areas that the models do not generalize well. We built regression models to relate grizzly bear density to ultimate measures of ecosystem productivity and mortality for interior and coastal ecosystems in North America. We used 90 measures of grizzly bear density in interior ecosystems, of which 14 were currently known to be unoccupied by grizzly bears. In coastal areas, we used 17 measures of density including 2 unoccupied areas. Our best model for coastal areas included a negative relationship with tree cover and positive relationships with the proportion of salmon in the diet and topographic ruggedness, which was correlated with precipitation. Our best interior model included 3 variables that indexed terrestrial productivity, 1 describing vegetation cover, 2 indices of human use of the landscape and, an index of topographic ruggedness. We used our models to predict current population sizes across Canada and present these as alternatives to current population estimates. Our models predict fewer grizzly bears in British Columbia but more bears in Canada than in the latest status review. These predictions can be used to assess population status, set limits for total human-caused mortality, and for conservation planning, but because our predictions are static, they cannot be used to assess population trend.

  13. Extirpations of grizzly bears in the contiguous United States of America, 1850-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, David J.; Merrill, Troy

    2002-01-01

    We investigated factors associated with the distribution of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in 1850 and their extirpation during 1850–1920 and 1920–1970 in the contiguous United States. We used autologistic regression to describe relations between grizzly bear range in 1850, 1920, and 1970 and potential explanatory factors specified for a comprehensive grid of cells, each 900 km2 in size. We also related persistence, 1920–1970, to range size and shape. Grizzly bear range in 1850 was positively related to occurrence in mountainous ecoregions and the ranges of oaks (Quercus spp.), piñon pines (Pinus edulis and P. monophylla), whitebark pine (P. albicaulis), and bison (Bos bison) and negatively related to occurrence in prairie and hot desert ecoregions. Relations with salmon (Oncorynchus spp.) range and human factors were complex. Persistence of grizzly bear range, 1850–1970, was positively related to occurrence in the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine range, and local size of grizzly bear range at the beginning of each period, and negatively related to number of humans and the ranges of bison, salmon, and piñon pines. We speculate that foods affected persistence primarily by influencing the frequency of contact between humans and bears. With respect to current conservation, grizzly bears survived from 1920 to 1970 most often where ranges at the beginning of this period were either larger than 20,000 km2 or larger than 7,000 km2 but with a ratio of perimeter to area of <2. Without reductions in human lethality after 1970, there would have been no chance that core grizzly bear range would be as extensive as it is now. Although grizzly bear range in the Yellowstone region is currently the most robust of any to potential future increases in human lethality, bears in this region are threatened by the loss of whitebark pine.

  14. Idiosyncratic responses of grizzly bear habitat to climate change based on projected food resource changes.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David R; Nielsen, Scott E; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2014-07-01

    Climate change vulnerability assessments for species of conservation concern often use species distribution and ecological niche modeling to project changes in habitat. One of many assumptions of these approaches is that food web dependencies are consistent in time and environmental space. Species at higher trophic levels that rely on the availability of species at lower trophic levels as food may be sensitive to extinction cascades initiated by changes in the habitat of key food resources. Here we assess climate change vulnerability for Ursus arctos (grizzly bears) in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains using projected changes to 17 of the most commonly consumed plant food items. We used presence-absence information from 7088 field plots to estimate ecological niches and to project changes in future distributions of each species. Model projections indicated idiosyncratic responses among food items. Many food items persisted or even increased, although several species were found to be vulnerable based on declines or geographic shifts in suitable habitat. These included Hedysarum alpinum (alpine sweet vetch), a critical spring and autumn root-digging resource when little else is available. Potential habitat loss was also identified for three fruiting species of lower importance to bears: Empetrum nigrum (crowberry), Vaccinium scoparium (grouseberry), and Fragaria virginiana (strawberry). A general trend towards uphill migration of bear foods may result in higher vulnerability to bear populations at low elevations, which are also those that are most likely to have human-bear conflict problems. Regardless, a wide diet breadth of grizzly bears, as well as wide environmental niches of most food items, make climate change a much lower threat to grizzly bears than other bear species such as polar bears and panda bears. We cannot exclude, however, future alterations in human behavior and land use resulting from climate change that may reduce survival rates.

  15. Idiosyncratic responses of grizzly bear habitat to climate change based on projected food resource changes.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David R; Nielsen, Scott E; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2014-07-01

    Climate change vulnerability assessments for species of conservation concern often use species distribution and ecological niche modeling to project changes in habitat. One of many assumptions of these approaches is that food web dependencies are consistent in time and environmental space. Species at higher trophic levels that rely on the availability of species at lower trophic levels as food may be sensitive to extinction cascades initiated by changes in the habitat of key food resources. Here we assess climate change vulnerability for Ursus arctos (grizzly bears) in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains using projected changes to 17 of the most commonly consumed plant food items. We used presence-absence information from 7088 field plots to estimate ecological niches and to project changes in future distributions of each species. Model projections indicated idiosyncratic responses among food items. Many food items persisted or even increased, although several species were found to be vulnerable based on declines or geographic shifts in suitable habitat. These included Hedysarum alpinum (alpine sweet vetch), a critical spring and autumn root-digging resource when little else is available. Potential habitat loss was also identified for three fruiting species of lower importance to bears: Empetrum nigrum (crowberry), Vaccinium scoparium (grouseberry), and Fragaria virginiana (strawberry). A general trend towards uphill migration of bear foods may result in higher vulnerability to bear populations at low elevations, which are also those that are most likely to have human-bear conflict problems. Regardless, a wide diet breadth of grizzly bears, as well as wide environmental niches of most food items, make climate change a much lower threat to grizzly bears than other bear species such as polar bears and panda bears. We cannot exclude, however, future alterations in human behavior and land use resulting from climate change that may reduce survival rates. PMID:25154102

  16. Modeling survival: application of the Andersen-Gill model to Yellowstone grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Boyce, Mark S.; Schwartz, Charles C.; Haroldson, Mark A.

    2004-01-01

     Wildlife ecologists often use the Kaplan-Meier procedure or Cox proportional hazards model to estimate survival rates, distributions, and magnitude of risk factors. The Andersen-Gill formulation (A-G) of the Cox proportional hazards model has seen limited application to mark-resight data but has a number of advantages, including the ability to accommodate left-censored data, time-varying covariates, multiple events, and discontinuous intervals of risks. We introduce the A-G model including structure of data, interpretation of results, and assessment of assumptions. We then apply the model to 22 years of radiotelemetry data for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, USA. We used Akaike's Information Criterion (AICc) and multi-model inference to assess a number of potentially useful predictive models relative to explanatory covariates for demography, human disturbance, and habitat. Using the most parsimonious models, we generated risk ratios, hypothetical survival curves, and a map of the spatial distribution of high-risk areas across the recovery zone. Our results were in agreement with past studies of mortality factors for Yellowstone grizzly bears. Holding other covariates constant, mortality was highest for bears that were subjected to repeated management actions and inhabited areas with high road densities outside Yellowstone National Park. Hazard models developed with covariates descriptive of foraging habitats were not the most parsimonious, but they suggested that high-elevation areas offered lower risks of mortality when compared to agricultural areas.

  17. Genetic analysis of individual origins supports isolation of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haroldson, Mark A.; Schwartz, Charles; Kendall, Katherine C.; Gunther, Kerry A.; Moody, David S.; Frey, Kevin L.; Paetkau, David

    2010-01-01

    The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) supports the southernmost of the 2 largest remaining grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) populations in the contiguous United States. Since the mid-1980s, this population has increased in numbers and expanded in range. However, concerns for its long-term genetic health remain because of its presumed continued isolation. To test the power of genetic methods for detecting immigrants, we generated 16-locus microsatellite genotypes for 424 individual grizzly bears sampled in the GYE during 1983–2007. Genotyping success was high (90%) and varied by sample type, with poorest success (40%) for hair collected from mortalities found ≥1 day after death. Years of storage did not affect genotyping success. Observed heterozygosity was 0.60, with a mean of 5.2 alleles/marker. We used factorial correspondence analysis (Program GENETIX) and Bayesian clustering (Program STRUCTURE) to compare 424 GYE genotypes with 601 existing genotypes from grizzly bears sampled in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) (FST  =  0.096 between GYE and NCDE). These methods correctly classified all sampled individuals to their population of origin, providing no evidence of natural movement between the GYE and NCDE. Analysis of 500 simulated first-generation crosses suggested that over 95% of such bears would also be detectable using our 16-locus data set. Our approach provides a practical method for detecting immigration in the GYE grizzly population. We discuss estimates for the proportion of the GYE population sampled and prospects for natural immigration into the GYE.

  18. Determinants of lifetime reproduction in female brown bears: early body mass, longevity, and hunting regulations.

    PubMed

    Zedrosser, Andreas; Pelletier, Fanie; Bischof, Richard; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Swenson, Jon E

    2013-01-01

    In iteroparous mammals, conditions experienced early in life may have long-lasting effects on lifetime reproductive success. Human-induced mortality is also an important demographic factor in many populations of large mammals and may influence lifetime reproductive success. Here, we explore the effects of early development, population density, and human hunting on survival and lifetime reproductive success in brown bear (Ursus arctos) females, using a 25-year database of individually marked bears in two populations in Sweden. Survival of yearlings to 2 years was not affected by population density or body mass. Yearlings that remained with their mother had higher survival than independent yearlings, partly because regulations prohibit the harvest of bears in family groups. Although mass as a yearling did not affect juvenile survival, it was positively associated with measures of lifetime reproductive success and individual fitness. The majority of adult female brown bear mortality (72%) in our study was due to human causes, mainly hunting, and many females were killed before they reproduced. Therefore, factors allowing females to survive several hunting seasons had a strong positive effect on lifetime reproductive success. We suggest that, in many hunted populations of large mammals, sport harvest is an important influence on both population dynamics and life histories. PMID:23600257

  19. Distribution of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, 1990-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Gunther, Kerry A.; Moody, D.

    2002-01-01

    The Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) has been expanding its range during the past 2 decades and now occupies historic habitats that had been vacant. A current understanding of the distribution of grizzly bears within the ecosystem is useful in the recovery process and to help guide the state and federal land management agencies and state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana as they prepare management plans. We used kernel estimators to develop distribution maps of occupied habitats based on initial sightings of unduplicated females (n = 300) with cubs-of-the-year, information from radiomarked bears (n = 105), and locations of conflicts, confrontations, and mortalities (n = 1,235). Although each data set was constrained by potential sampling bias, together they provided insight into areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) currently occupied by grizzly bears. The current distribution (1990–2000) extends beyond the recovery zone identified in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Recovery Plan. Range expansion is particularly evident in the southern portion of the ecosystem in Wyoming. A comparison of our results from the 1990s to previously published distribution maps show an approximate increase in occupied habitat of 48% and 34% from the 1970s and 1980s, respectively. We discuss data biases and problems implicit to the analysis

  20. Grizzly bear denning and potential conflict areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Podruzny, Shannon; Cherry, Steve; Schwartz, Charles C.; Landenburger, Lisa

    2002-01-01

    Increasing winter use of steep, high-elevation terrain by backcountry recreationists has elevated concern about disturbance of denning grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). To help identify areas where such conflicts might occur, we developed a spatially explicit model to predict potential denning areas in the GYE. Using a scan area of 630 m around each location, we assigned site attributes to 344 den locations of radio-trackedg rizzly bears from 1975-99. Attributesi dentified as predictorsf or the analysis included elevation, slope, an index of solar radiation, and forest cover. We used the Mahalanobis distance statistic to model the similarity between sites used by denning bears and each cell in the data layers. We used the final Mahalanobis distance model to produce maps of the study area. Potential denning habitat, based upon the model, is abundantw ithin the GYE. Ourr esultsc an be used by land managementa gencies to identifyp otentialc onflict sites and minimize effects of regulated activities on denning grizzly bears. We illustrate how the Gallatin National Forest (GNF) used the model to examine the overlap between potential snowmobile use areas and potential denning habitat as part of a Biological Assessment submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. Estimating total human-caused mortality from reported mortality using data from radio-instrumented grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cherry, S.; Haroldson, M.A.; Robison-Cox, J.; Schwartz, C.C.

    2002-01-01

    Tracking mortality of the Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) is an essential issue of the recovery process. Problem bears removed by agencies are well documented. Deaths of radiocollared bears are known or, in many cases, can be reliably inferred. Additionally, the public reports an unknown proportion of deaths of uncollared bears. Estimating the number of non-agency human-caused mortalities is a necessary element that must be factored into the total annual mortality. Here, we describe a method of estimating the number of such deaths from records of reported human-caused bear mortalities. We used a hierarchical Bayesian model with a non-informative prior distribution for the number of deaths. Estimates of reporting rates developed from deaths of radio-instrumented bears from 1983 to 2000 were used to develop beta prior probability distributions that the public will report a death. Twenty-seven known deaths of radio-instrumented bears occurred during this period with 16 reported. Additionally, fates of 23 radio-instrumented bears were unknown and are considered possible unreported mortalities. We describe 3 ways of using this information to specify prior distributions on the probability a death will be reported by the public. We estimated total deaths of noninstrumented bears in running 3-year periods from 1993 to 2000. Thirty-nine known deaths of non-instrumented bears were reported during this period, ranging from 0 to 7/year. Seven possible mortalities were recorded. We applied the method to both sets of mortality data. Results from this method can be combined with agency removals and deaths of collared bears to produce defensible estimates of total mortality over relevant periods and to incorporate uncertainty when evaluating mortality limits established for the Yellowstone grizzly bear population. Assumptions and limitations of this procedure are discussed.

  2. Estimating grizzly and black bear population abundance and trend in Banff National Park using noninvasive genetic sampling.

    PubMed

    Sawaya, Michael A; Stetz, Jeffrey B; Clevenger, Anthony P; Gibeau, Michael L; Kalinowski, Steven T

    2012-01-01

    We evaluated the potential of two noninvasive genetic sampling methods, hair traps and bear rub surveys, to estimate population abundance and trend of grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bear (U. americanus) populations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Using Huggins closed population mark-recapture models, we obtained the first precise abundance estimates for grizzly bears (N= 73.5, 95% CI = 64-94 in 2006; N= 50.4, 95% CI = 49-59 in 2008) and black bears (N= 62.6, 95% CI = 51-89 in 2006; N= 81.8, 95% CI = 72-102 in 2008) in the Bow Valley. Hair traps had high detection rates for female grizzlies, and male and female black bears, but extremely low detection rates for male grizzlies. Conversely, bear rubs had high detection rates for male and female grizzlies, but low rates for black bears. We estimated realized population growth rates, lambda, for grizzly bear males (λ= 0.93, 95% CI = 0.74-1.17) and females (λ= 0.90, 95% CI = 0.67-1.20) using Pradel open population models with three years of bear rub data. Lambda estimates are supported by abundance estimates from combined hair trap/bear rub closed population models and are consistent with a system that is likely driven by high levels of human-caused mortality. Our results suggest that bear rub surveys would provide an efficient and powerful means to inventory and monitor grizzly bear populations in the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains.

  3. Estimating grizzly and black bear population abundance and trend in Banff National Park using noninvasive genetic sampling.

    PubMed

    Sawaya, Michael A; Stetz, Jeffrey B; Clevenger, Anthony P; Gibeau, Michael L; Kalinowski, Steven T

    2012-01-01

    We evaluated the potential of two noninvasive genetic sampling methods, hair traps and bear rub surveys, to estimate population abundance and trend of grizzly (Ursus arctos) and black bear (U. americanus) populations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Using Huggins closed population mark-recapture models, we obtained the first precise abundance estimates for grizzly bears (N= 73.5, 95% CI = 64-94 in 2006; N= 50.4, 95% CI = 49-59 in 2008) and black bears (N= 62.6, 95% CI = 51-89 in 2006; N= 81.8, 95% CI = 72-102 in 2008) in the Bow Valley. Hair traps had high detection rates for female grizzlies, and male and female black bears, but extremely low detection rates for male grizzlies. Conversely, bear rubs had high detection rates for male and female grizzlies, but low rates for black bears. We estimated realized population growth rates, lambda, for grizzly bear males (λ= 0.93, 95% CI = 0.74-1.17) and females (λ= 0.90, 95% CI = 0.67-1.20) using Pradel open population models with three years of bear rub data. Lambda estimates are supported by abundance estimates from combined hair trap/bear rub closed population models and are consistent with a system that is likely driven by high levels of human-caused mortality. Our results suggest that bear rub surveys would provide an efficient and powerful means to inventory and monitor grizzly bear populations in the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains. PMID:22567089

  4. Observations of mixed-aged litters in brown bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swenson, J.E.; Haroldson, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    We report on 3 cases of mixed-aged litters (young born in different years) in brown bears (Ursus arctos); in 1 instance the cub-of-the-year (hereafter called cubs) died in the den. Two cases occurred in Sweden after mothers were separated from their young during the breeding season. In one, the mother was separated from the accompanying cub for at least 12.5 hours and possibly up to 3.3 days, and later possibly separated for 4 days. In the other, the mother was separated from her yearling at least 3 times for 1-14, 1-6 and 1-6 days. She was with a male during the first separation. Specific events that produced the mixed-aged litter observed in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem were unknown and our interpretation is based on estimates of ages of accompanying young from photographs. The observation of only 2 mixed-aged litters, after den emergence, from a sample of 406 observed cub litters accompanying radiomarked females confirms the rarity of this phenomenon. The mechanism apparently includes a short separation of mother and young, and, in the case of cubs, the mother must mate while lactating. Better understanding of the physiological mechanisms that allow mixed-age litters would help us in the debate about the occurrence of sexually selected infanticide in bears.

  5. Dynamics of Pleistocene population extinctions in Beringian brown bears.

    PubMed

    Barnes, I; Matheus, P; Shapiro, B; Jensen, D; Cooper, A

    2002-03-22

    The climatic and environmental changes associated with the last glaciation (90,000 to 10,000 years before the present; 90 to 10 ka B.P.) are an important example of the effects of global climate change on biological diversity. These effects were particularly marked in Beringia (northeastern Siberia, northwestern North America, and the exposed Bering Strait) during the late Pleistocene. To investigate the evolutionary impact of these events, we studied genetic change in the brown bear, Ursus arctos, in eastern Beringia over the past 60,000 years using DNA preserved in permafrost remains. A marked degree of genetic structure is observed in populations throughout this period despite local extinctions, reinvasions, and potential interspecies competition with the short-faced bear, Arctodus simus. The major phylogeographic changes occurred 35 to 21 ka B.P., before the glacial maximum, and little change is observed after this time. Late Pleistocene histories of mammalian taxa may be more complex than those that might be inferred from the fossil record or contemporary DNA sequences alone. PMID:11910112

  6. Science and management of Rocky Mountain grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Herrero, S.; Wright, R.G.; Pease, C.M.

    1996-01-01

    The science and management of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Rocky Mountains of North America have spawned considerable conflict and controversy. Much of this can be attributed to divergent public values, but the narrow perceptions and incomplete and fragmented problem definitions of those involved have exacerbated an inherently difficult situation. We present a conceptual model that extends the traditional description of the grizzly bear conservation system to include facets of the human domain such as the behavior of managers, elected officials, and the public. The model focuses on human-caused mortality, the key determinant of grizzly bear population growth in this region and the interactions and feedback loops among humans that have a major potential influence on bear mortality. We also briefly evaluate existing information and technical methods relevant to understanding this complex human-biophysical system. We observe not only that the extant knowledge is insufficient for prediction (and in some cases for description), but also that traditional positivistic science alone is not adequate for dealing with the problems of grizzly bear conservation. We recommend changes in science and management that could improve learning and responsiveness among the involved individuals and organizations, clarify some existing uncertainty, and thereby increase the effectiveness of grizzly bear conservation and management. Although adaptive management is a promising approach, we point out some keya??as yet unfulfilleda??contingencies for implementation of a method such as this one that relies upon social processes and structures that promote open learning and flexibility in all facets of the policy process.

  7. Reproductive maturation and senescence in the female brown bear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Keating, Kim A.; Reynolds III, Harry V.; Barnes, Victor G.; Sellers, Richard A.; Swenson, J.E.; Miller, Sterling D.; McLellan, B.N.; Keay, Jeffrey A.; McCann, Robert; Gibeau, Michael; Wakkinen, Wayne F.; Mace, Richard D.; Kasworm, Wayne; Smith, Rodger; Herrero, Steven

    2003-01-01

    Changes in age-specific reproductive rates can have important implications for managing populations, but the number of female brown (grizzly) bears (Ursus arctos) observed in any one study is usually inadequate to quantify such patterns, especially for older females and in hunted areas. We examined patterns of reproductive maturation and senescence in female brown bears by combining data from 20 study areas from Sweden, Alaska, Canada, and the continental United States. We assessed reproductive performance based on 4,726 radiocollared years for free-ranging female brown bears (age 3); 482 of these were for bears 20 years of age. We modeled age-specific probability of litter production using extreme value distributions to describe probabilities for young- and old-age classes, and a power distribution function to describe probabilities for prime-aged animals. We then fit 4 models to pooled observations from our 20 study areas. We used Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) to select the best model. Inflection points suggest that major shi