Lasting behavioural responses of brown bears to experimental encounters with humans

Lasting behavioural responses of brown bears to experimental encounters with humans Summary Some large carnivore populations are increasing in Europe and North America, and minimizing interactions between people and carnivores is a major management task. Analysing the effects of human disturbance on wildlife from a predator–prey perspective is also of conservation interest, because individual behavioural responses to the perceived risk of predation may ultimately influence population distribution and demography. The Scandinavian brown bear population provides a good model to study the interactions between an expanding large carnivore population, and people who use forests extensively for professional and recreational activities. We experimentally approached 52 GPS‐collared brown bears (293 approaches on foot) from 2006 to 2011, to document the reaction of bears and quantify the effect of disturbance on bear movements. None of the bears reacted aggressively to the observers. Although the location of the animals was known, bears were usually in quite concealed spots and were physically detected in only 16% of the approaches (seen in 42 approaches; heard in 6). However, the bears altered their daily movement patterns after the approaches. Bears increased movement at night‐time and moved less at daytime, which was most visible in days 1 and 2 after the approaches, altering their foraging and resting routines. Synthesis and applications. We provide experimental evidence on the effect of human disturbance on a large carnivore. The lack of aggressive reactions to approaching observers reinforces the idea that European brown bears generally avoid people, although bears can respond aggressively if they feel threatened (e.g. when wounded). However, the movement patterns of the bears changed after disturbance. Separating large carnivores and people temporally and spatially is an important goal for conservation and management. Conserving the shrub cover that provides concealment to the carnivores and keeping people away from the most densely vegetated spots in the forests is a way to avoid encounters between carnivores and people, therefore promoting human safety and carnivore conservation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Ecology Wiley

Lasting behavioural responses of brown bears to experimental encounters with humans

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/lasting-behavioural-responses-of-brown-bears-to-experimental-VnDsWj0lGa
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Journal of Applied Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society
ISSN
0021-8901
eISSN
1365-2664
D.O.I.
10.1111/1365-2664.12047
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Summary Some large carnivore populations are increasing in Europe and North America, and minimizing interactions between people and carnivores is a major management task. Analysing the effects of human disturbance on wildlife from a predator–prey perspective is also of conservation interest, because individual behavioural responses to the perceived risk of predation may ultimately influence population distribution and demography. The Scandinavian brown bear population provides a good model to study the interactions between an expanding large carnivore population, and people who use forests extensively for professional and recreational activities. We experimentally approached 52 GPS‐collared brown bears (293 approaches on foot) from 2006 to 2011, to document the reaction of bears and quantify the effect of disturbance on bear movements. None of the bears reacted aggressively to the observers. Although the location of the animals was known, bears were usually in quite concealed spots and were physically detected in only 16% of the approaches (seen in 42 approaches; heard in 6). However, the bears altered their daily movement patterns after the approaches. Bears increased movement at night‐time and moved less at daytime, which was most visible in days 1 and 2 after the approaches, altering their foraging and resting routines. Synthesis and applications. We provide experimental evidence on the effect of human disturbance on a large carnivore. The lack of aggressive reactions to approaching observers reinforces the idea that European brown bears generally avoid people, although bears can respond aggressively if they feel threatened (e.g. when wounded). However, the movement patterns of the bears changed after disturbance. Separating large carnivores and people temporally and spatially is an important goal for conservation and management. Conserving the shrub cover that provides concealment to the carnivores and keeping people away from the most densely vegetated spots in the forests is a way to avoid encounters between carnivores and people, therefore promoting human safety and carnivore conservation.

Journal

Journal of Applied EcologyWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2013

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off