ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 188–192. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © A.K. Akhremenko, V.T. Sedalishchev, 2008, published in Ekologiya, 2008, No. 3, pp. 201–205.
Data on the ecology of brown bears inhabiting
Yakutia can be found in papers by Tavrovskii et al.
(1971), Mordosov (1987, 1993), Okhlopkov et al.
(2003), and Aiyy Uola Aian (2004). The brown bear is
common throughout the taiga zone of Russia but has
speciﬁc population, morphological, and ecological fea-
tures in each region. Therefore, we found it worthwhile
to perform an analysis of published and our own data on
the ecology of this species.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Studies were performed in taiga biotopes of Aldan-
skii, Gornyi, Zhiganskii, Olekminskii, Ust’-Maiskii,
Kobyaiskii, and Khangalaskii raions of Yakutia from
1981 to 2000. The bulk of material was collected at the
ﬁeld station of the Yakutian Branch of the Russian
Research Institute of Game Management and Fur
Farming (VNIIOZ) in the foothills of the Verkhoyansk
Mountain Range. In addition, we analyzed 1420 ques-
tionnaires ﬁlled in by hunters between 1981 and 1993.
The questionnaire provided information on the name
and size of hunting area, the period of hunter’s stay in
it, estimated food supply to the brown bear, the number
of bears inhabiting the area, the dates of their entering
the winter sleep and emerging from the den, their sex
and age ratios, and the number of cubs per litter. Our
studies on the environment in brown bear habitats,
including collection and analysis of 760 samples of
bear feces, were performed according to Novikov
(1953). The samples were placed in individual paper
bags, dried, and hand-sorted to collect components
suitable for identiﬁcation, such as jaw bones, teeth,
extremity bones, hairs, chitinous insect body parts, and
large plant remains. The results were processed statisti-
cally to determine the frequency of occurrence of each
Censuses of brown bears were taken by recording
their footprints along 10-km radial routes or 15-km
closed routes. All footprints were measured (Gubar’,
We also studied the effect of the 1–10 kDa fraction
from the brown bear brain (
= 4) on the electroenceph-
alographic (EEG) activity of the rat brain. The fraction
was isolated by the procedure developed at the Institute
of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Medical
Sciences (Ziganshin, 1994), and administered to male
Wistar rats (
= 8) through a canula stereotactically
implanted in the lateral brain ventricle. Implantation
was performed under sodium pentobarbital anesthesia
14 days before the experiment. To adapt rats to experi-
mental conditions, no less than ﬁve series of prelimi-
nary sham experiments were performed. In the true
experiment, the baseline EEG signal was recorded for
10 min; thereafter, the 1–10 kDa peptide fraction was
injected (0.1 mg in 6
l of saline), and EEG recording
was continued for 90 min. The real-time spectral anal-
ysis of EEG signals was performed using a computer.
For a detailed description of this procedure, see
Ignat’ev et al. (2004).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Yakutian bears are generally smaller
than bears from other regions of Russia: the body
weight of mature males in Yakutia reaches 140–150 kg
Specific Ecological Features of the Brown Bear
L. 1758) in Yakutia
A. K. Akhremenko and V. T. Sedalishchev
Institute for Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,
pr. Lenina 41, Yakutsk, 677891 Russia
Received August 24, 2006
—In Yakutia, the brown bear inhabits the forest and forest–tundra zones. Compared to bears from
other regions of Russia, Yakutian bears have slightly smaller body and skull sizes and are mainly herbivorous,
with their wood spectrum being relatively narrow. Their fecundity averages 1.68 cubs per parous female. The
bears make their dens at a depth reaching 2.5–3 m. The denning period begins early and is 195–210 days long.
An electroencephalographic analysis of the effect of a 1–10 kDa peptide fraction from the bear brain on Wistar
rats has shown that wintering bears are in the state of sleep, or “superﬁcial hibernation.”
: Yakutia, brown bear, ecology, 1–10 kDa peptide fraction.