WorldWideScience

Sample records for bear ursus maritimus

  1. Polar bears, Ursus maritimus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Stirling, Ian

    2017-01-01

    Polar bears are the largest of the eight species of bears found worldwide and are covered in a pigment-free fur giving them the appearance of being white. They are the most carnivorous of bear species consuming a high-fat diet, primarily of ice-associated seals and other marine mammals. They range throughout the circumpolar Arctic to the southernmost extent of seasonal pack ice.

  2. Are organohalogen contaminants a bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS

    2006-01-01

    Tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland contain the highest concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among subpopulations of any mammalian species in the Arctic. Negative associations also have been found between OHC concentrations and bone mineral density and liver...... histology parameters for this subpopulation of polar bears. The present study examined the OHC concentrations and adverse effects on renal tissue for 75 polar bears collected during 1999 to 2002. Specific lesions were diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening, mesangial glomerular deposits, tubular...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A; MacNeil, Michael D

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Steroid hormone profile in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjorn Munro; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    -4 pathway in polar bears, similar to rodents. The large individual variability in steroid levels reported here most likely reflects the differences in reproductive status of the female polar bears during mating season. The steroid data establish reference values of steroid hormones and may...... is the first study to report circulating concentrations of nine steroid hormones (i.e., estrogens, androgens and progestagens) in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, condition, location and reproductive status on steroid profile in female polar...... bears. Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone, androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in blood (serum) of free-living female polar bears (n = 15) from Svalbard, Norway, by gas...

  5. Steroid hormone profile in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear is an iconic Arctic species, threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as pollution and climate change. Successful reproduction of polar bears depends on a functioning steroid hormone system, which is susceptible to effects of persistent organic pollutants. The present study...... is the first study to report circulating concentrations of nine steroid hormones (i.e., estrogens, androgens and progestagens) in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, condition, location and reproductive status on steroid profile in female polar...... bears. Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone, androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in blood (serum) of free-living female polar bears (n = 15) from Svalbard, Norway, by gas...

  6. East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pertoldi, Cino; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on four skull traits of 37 male and 18 female adult East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected 18921968, and on 54 male and 44 female adult Barents Sea polar bears collected 19501969. The aim was to compare differences in size and shape of the bear...... 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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Mercury biomagnification in polar bears ( Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  10. Acquired umbilical hernias in four captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velguth, Karen E; Rochat, Mark C; Langan, Jennifer N; Backues, Kay

    2009-12-01

    Umbilical hernias are a common occurrence in domestic animals and humans but have not been well documented in polar bears. Surgical reduction and herniorrhaphies were performed to correct acquired hernias in the region of the umbilicus in four adult captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) housed in North American zoos. Two of the four bears were clinically unaffected by their hernias prior to surgery. One bear showed signs of severe discomfort following acute enlargement of the hernia. In another bear, re-herniation led to acute abdominal pain due to gastric entrapment and strangulation. The hernias in three bears were surgically repaired by debridement of the hernia ring and direct apposition of the abdominal wall, while the large defect in the most severely affected bear was closed using polypropylene mesh to prevent excessive tension. The cases in this series demonstrate that while small hernias may remain clinically inconsequential for long periods of time, enlargement or recurrence of the defect can lead to incarceration and acute abdominal crisis. Umbilical herniation has not been reported in free-ranging polar bears, and it is suspected that factors such as body condition, limited exercise, or enclosure design potentially contribute to the development of umbilical hernias in captive polar bears.

  11. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nuijten, R.J.M.; Hendriks, A.J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Schipper, A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds

  12. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs...... bears may have been caused by organochlorine exposure. Udgivelsesdato: 2004-Dec...

  13. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs.......04) and SigmaCHL (p polar...... bears may have been caused by organochlorine exposure. Udgivelsesdato: 2004-Dec...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ...

  15. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs...

  16. Transthyretin-Binding Activity of Contaminants in Blood from Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Cubs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bytingsvik, J.; Simon, E.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Lamoree, M.H.; Lie, E.; Aars, J.; Derocher, A. E.; Wiig, O.; Jenssen, B.M.; Hamers, T.

    2013-01-01

    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-EQ

  17. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue.

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, TA; Galicia, MP; Thiemann, GW; Belt, ST; Yurkowski, DJ; Dyck, MG

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyriakos Tsangaras

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Size and density of East Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Bechshoft, Thea Ø.; Rigét, Frank F.

    2013-01-01

    density (BMD) in 87 East Greenland male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in the time period of 1892-2010. The purpose of the study was to investigate if these measures are potential candidates as indicators for stress associated with climate change and long-range transported toxic industrial...... polar bear skulls continue in order to further explore how CBL and BMD reflect individual and population response upon exposure to environmental stress. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  2. Tracheitis associated with Bordetella bronchiseptica in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacasse, Claude; Gamble, Kathryn C

    2006-06-01

    A male polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was diagnosed with tracheitis associated with Bordetella bronchiseptica that was cultured from an endotracheal sample of thick mucopurulent exudate. The condition responded to oral amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and clinical signs of inappetence, depression, dysphagia, and tussis were resolved. One week after this presentation, a female conspecific presented with similar clinical signs, suggesting a transmissible nature of the disease or the same source of infection. The source of infection remains unknown.

  3. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    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...... bears (i.e. females...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.; Leifsson, Páll Skuli; Dietz, R.

    2005-01-01

    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...

  5. Femoral fracture repair using a locking plate technique in an adult captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Dawn M; Dew, Terry; Douglass, Michael; Perez, Edward

    2010-02-01

    To report successful femoral fracture repair in a polar bear. Case report. Female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) 5 years and approximately 250 kg. A closed, complete, comminuted fracture of the distal midshaft femur was successfully reduced and stabilized using a compression plating technique with 2 specialized human femur plates offering axial, rotational, and bending support, and allowing the bone to share loads with the implant. Postoperative radiographs were obtained at 11.5 weeks, 11 months, and 24 months. Bone healing characterized by marked periosteal reaction was evident at 11 months with extensive remodeling evident at 24 months. No complications were noted. Distal mid shaft femoral fracture was reduced, stabilized, and healed in an adult polar bear with a locking plate technique using 2 plates. Previously, femoral fractures in polar bears were considered irreparable. Use of 2 plates applied with a locking plate technique can result in successful fracture repair despite large body weight and inability to restrict postoperative activity.

  6. Temporal Trends and Future Predictions of Mercury Concentrations in Northwest Greenland Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Hair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Born, E.W.; Riget, Frank Farsø

    2011-01-01

    Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafterHg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly...... significant increases of 1.6-1.7% (p bear......-2008 concentrations ofHg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-04-01

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

  10. Prevalence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and East Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, A; Asbakk, K; Prestrud, K W; Aars, J; Derocher, A E; Tryland, M; Wiig, O; Dubey, J P; Sonne, C; Dietz, R; Andersen, M; Born, E W

    2009-02-01

    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. Antibody prevalences were 3.6% among cubs dependent on their mothers and 21.4% among subadults and adults. Among subadults and adults there was an interaction between population and sex, with similar prevalences among females (Svalbard = 19.5%, Greenland = 18.0%), but a high frequency among Svalbard males (28.7%) as compared to Greenland males (5.8%). The pattern was also significant after correcting for differences in age distribution. The sex-population interaction term is believed to be connected to area- and sex-specific feeding ecology. The prevalences of antibodies against T. gondii in Svalbard and Greenland were high compared to previously reported findings in polar bears from Russian and Alaskan areas.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    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......-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...

  12. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE......), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma.......57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of season, breeding activity, age and latitude on fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in captive, adult male polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Fourteen polar bears from 13 North American zoos were monitored for 12-36 months, producing 25-year-long testosterone profiles. Results indicated that testosterone was significantly higher during the breeding season (early January through the end of May) compared with the non-breeding season with the highest concentrations excreted from early January through late March. Variations in excretion patterns were observed among individuals and also between years within an individual, with testosterone peaks closely associated with breeding activity. Results indicate that fecal testosterone concentrations are influenced by season, breeding activity and age, but not by latitude. This is the first report describing longitudinal fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations in individual adult male polar bears. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. Lumbar laminectomy in a captive, adult polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, John F; Vakharia, Kunal; Moreland, Douglas B

    2017-01-01

    Animals held in captivity tend to live longer than do their wild counterparts, and as such, are prone to developing age-related degenerative injuries. Here, we present a case of an adult female polar bear with symptomatic lumbar stenosis. There is a paucity of literature on large mammalian spine surgery, and anatomical differences between humans and other vertebrates must be taken into consideration. A 24-year-old female polar bear residing at the zoo was found to have decreased motor function in her hind legs. Diagnostic myelography performed at the L7/S1 level demonstrated lumbar stenosis at L5/6 for which a laminectomy was performed. Postoperatively, she returned to premorbid functional level, with no apparent associated adverse sequelae. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of spine surgery in a polar bear and demonstrates that neurosurgical diagnostic and operative techniques developed for humans can also be applied to large mammals with successful results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Acute Chagas' cardiopathy in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Guadalajara, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jaime-Andrade G.

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available We report a 24 year old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus who contracted Chagas' infection at the Guadalajara Zoo, in Jalisco, México, and died of acute Chagas' carditis 15 days later. The histopathological findings are described, as well as the presence of triatomines (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infected with Trypanosoma cruzi collected within 5 meters from the place where the animal lived in the city of Guadalajara.Relatamos o caso de uma ursa polar (Ursus maritimus de 24 anos de idade, que contraiu a infecção chagásica no Zoológico de Guadalajara, em Jalisco, no México, e morreu de cardite chagásica aguda 15 dias após o início da sintomatologia. Os achados histopatológicos são descritos, bem como a presença de triatomíneos (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infectados por Trypanosoma cruzi coletados a 5 metros do local onde o animal vivia, na cidade de Guadalajara.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Crescentic Glomerulonephritis in a Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    BABA, Hiroshi; KUDO, Tomoo; MAKINO, Yoshinori; MOCHIZUKI, Yasumasa; TAKAGI, Takayo; UNE, Yumi

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattet, Marc R L; Obbard, Martyn E

    2010-01-01

    We assessed the efficacy and safety of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured from helicopter by remote drug delivery along the Ontario coast line of northwestern James Bay and southern Hudson Bay during September 2005 and October 2007. We used a single blind study design in which one person prepared and loaded all darts without the shooter knowing whether hyaluronidase (150 IU per dart) or sterile water was added to the immobilizing drug mixture of xylazine and zolazepam-tiletamine (XZT). We found that we often required more than one dart to immobilize bears in the control group (XZT+sterile water; >1 dart for 15 of 28 captures) versus the treatment group (XZT+hyaluronidase; >1 dart for seven of 26 captures). As a consequence, treatment bears were generally immobilized with smaller XZT dosages (7.9 vs. 9.4 mg/kg; P = 0.08) and shorter induction (10 vs. 15 min; P = 0.004) than control bears. We found no differences in vital rates and serum biochemistry results between control and treatment bears. We did find, however, that induction times correlated directly with rectal temperature at bears. Overall we found hyaluronidase to be effective and safe for capture of polar bears. We recommend further study to determine whether effects of hyaluronidase are dose dependent and recommend that others involved with capture of seasonally fat species such as polar bears consider use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization.

  1. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs......), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites, chlordanes (CHLs), dieldrin, hexacyclohexanes, hexachlorobenzene] and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) compounds. To ensure that the BMD value in skull represented the mineral status of the skeletal system in general, we compared BMD values in femur...... and three lumbar vertebrae with skull in a subsample. We detected highly significant correlations between BMD in skull and femur (r = 0.99; p sampled in the supposed pre-organochlorine/PBDE period (1892...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, K. L.; Regehr, E. V.; Akcakaya, H. R.; Amstrup, S. C.; Atwood, T.; Lunn, N.; Obbard, M.; Stern, H. L., III; Thiemann, G.; Wiig, O.

    2016-12-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is the most serious threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus) throughout their circumpolar range. We performed a data-based sensitivity analysis with respect to this threat by evaluating the potential response of the global polar bear population to projected sea-ice conditions. We conducted 1) an assessment of generation length for polar bears, 2) developed of a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat characteristics for the species; and 3) performed population projections over three generations, using computer simulation and statistical models representing alternative relationships between sea ice and polar bear abundance. Using three separate approaches, the median percent change in mean global population size for polar bears between 2015 and 2050 ranged from -4% (95% CI = -62%, 50%) to -43% (95% CI = -76%, -20%). Results highlight the potential for large reductions in the global population if sea-ice loss continues. They also highlight the large amount of uncertainty in statistical projections of polar bear abundance and the sensitivity of projections to plausible alternative assumptions. The median probability of a reduction in the mean global population size of polar bears greater than 30% over three generations was approximately 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95. The median probability of a reduction greater than 50% was approximately 0.07 (range 0-0.35), and the probability of a reduction greater than 80% was negligible.

  5. In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutleb, A.C.; Cenijn, P.H.; van Velzen, P.; Lie, E.; Ropstad, E.; Skaare, J.U.; Malmberg, T.; Bergman, A.; Gabrielsen, G. W.; Legler, J.

    2010-01-01

    Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE)

  6. Families in space: relatedness in the Barents Sea population of polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeyl, E; Aars, J; Ehrich, D; Wiig, O

    2009-02-01

    The kin structure and dispersal pattern of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the Barents Sea was investigated during the spring mating season using two complementary approaches. First, individual genotypes based on the analyses of 27 microsatellite loci of 583 polar bears were related to field information gathered from 1146 bears in order to reconstruct the animals' pedigrees and to infer geographical distances between adult bears of different relatedness categories. According to the data, the median natal dispersal distance of the male animals was 52 km while that of the females was 93 km. Second, the relatedness of pairs of adult bears was estimated and correlated to the geographical distance between them. The female dyads had a much stronger kin structure than the male dyads. The 'pedigree approach' revealed a male kin structure which could not be detected using the 'relatedness approach'. This suggests that, on a broader scale, effective dispersal is slightly male biased. Despite fidelity to natal areas, male-mediated gene flow may nevertheless prevent genetic differentiation. Males might occasionally shift their home range which could therefore lead to a male-biased breeding dispersal. Our results showed that a nonterritorial species such as the polar bear that has a high dispersal potential, lives in a highly unstable environment and migrates seasonally is still able to exhibit a distinct kin structure during the mating season.

  7. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas A; Galicia, Melissa P; Thiemann, Gregory W; Belt, Simon T; Yurkowski, David J; Dyck, Markus G

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated), rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55), irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Brown

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated, rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72-100%; 99% CI, n = 55, irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems.

  10. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galicia, Melissa P.; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Belt, Simon T.; Yurkowski, David J.; Dyck, Markus G.

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated), rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72–100%; 99% CI, n = 55), irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems. PMID:29360849

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingolfsson, O.; Wiig, O.

    2007-12-01

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

  13. Temporal trends and future predictions of mercury concentrations in Northwest Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, R; Born, E W; Rigét, F; Aubail, A; Sonne, C; Drimmie, R; Basu, N

    2011-02-15

    Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafter Hg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly significant increases of 1.6-1.7% (p bear Hg exposure is 95.6-96.2% anthropogenic in its origin. Assuming a continued anthropogenic increase, this model estimated concentrations in 2050 and 2100 will be 40- and 92-fold the baseline concentration, respectively, which is equivalent to a 97.5 and 98.9% man-made contribution. None of the 2001-2008 concentrations of Hg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call for detailed effect studies in main target organs such as brain, liver, kidney, and sexual organs in the Northwest Greenland polar bears.

  14. Serosurvey for Trichinella in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbakk, Kjetil; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Oksanen, Antti; Born, Erik W; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Godfroid, Jacques; Kapel, Christian M O

    2010-09-20

    Blood samples of live-caught polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard collected 1991-2000 (Period 1) and 2006-2008 (Period 2) and from the pack ice of the Barents Sea collected in Period 1, were assayed for antibodies against Trichinella spp. by ELISA. Of 54 cubs-of-the-year included in the Period 1 sample, 53 were seronegative, indicating that exposure to Trichinella infected meat is uncommon during the first months of life for polar bears in the Svalbard region. Of 30 mother-offspring pairs, 18 mothers were seropositive with seronegative offspring (n=27), suggesting (1) that maternal antibodies had dropped to levels below detection limit by the time of capture in April (offspring approximately 4 months old), and (2) supporting experimental studies in other animal models showing that vertical transmission of Trichinella spp. is uncommon. Bear 1 year and older had higher prevalence in Svalbard (78%) than in the Barents Sea (51%). There was no temporal change in prevalence for bears from Svalbard during the time between the two periods. The prevalence increased with age in both sexes. A positive correlation was found between anti-Toxoplasma gondii and anti-Trichinella spp. antibodies.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dietz, R. [Greenland Environmental Research Institute, Copenhagen (Denmark); Born, E.W. [Greenland Fisheries Research Institute, Copenhagen (Denmark); Agger, C.T. [National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde (Denmark); Nielsen, C.O. [Ravnsnaesvej, Birkerod (Denmark)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Assessing polar bear (Ursus maritimus) population structure in the Hudson Bay region using SNPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viengkone, Michelle; Derocher, Andrew Edward; Richardson, Evan Shaun; Malenfant, René Michael; Miller, Joshua Moses; Obbard, Martyn E; Dyck, Markus G; Lunn, Nick J; Sahanatien, Vicki; Davis, Corey S

    2016-12-01

    Defining subpopulations using genetics has traditionally used data from microsatellite markers to investigate population structure; however, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have emerged as a tool for detection of fine-scale structure. In Hudson Bay, Canada, three polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) subpopulations (Foxe Basin (FB), Southern Hudson Bay (SH), and Western Hudson Bay (WH)) have been delineated based on mark-recapture studies, radiotelemetry and satellite telemetry, return of marked animals in the subsistence harvest, and population genetics using microsatellites. We used SNPs to detect fine-scale population structure in polar bears from the Hudson Bay region and compared our results to the current designations using 414 individuals genotyped at 2,603 SNPs. Analyses based on discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) and STRUCTURE support the presence of four genetic clusters: (i) Western-including individuals sampled in WH, SH (excluding Akimiski Island in James Bay), and southern FB (south of Southampton Island); (ii) Northern-individuals sampled in northern FB (Baffin Island) and Davis Strait (DS) (Labrador coast); (iii) Southeast-individuals from SH (Akimiski Island in James Bay); and (iv) Northeast-individuals from DS (Baffin Island). Population structure differed from microsatellite studies and current management designations demonstrating the value of using SNPs for fine-scale population delineation in polar bears.

  18. Do organohalogen contaminants contribute to histopathology in liver from East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-11-01

    In East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus), anthropogenic organohalogen compounds (OHCs) (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) contributed to renal lesions and are believed to reduce bone mineral density. Because OHCs are also hepatotoxic, we investigated liver histology of 32 subadult, 24 adult female, and 23 adult male East Greenland polar bears sampled during 1999-2002. Light microscopic changes consisted of nuclear displacement from the normal central cytoplasmic location in parenchymal cells, mononuclear cell infiltrations (mainly portally and as lipid granulomas), mild bile duct proliferation accompanied by fibrosis, and fat accumulation in hepatocytes and pluripotent Ito cells. Lipid accumulation in Ito cells and bile duct hyperplasia accompanied by portal fibrosis were correlated to age, whereas no changes were associated with either sex or season (summer vs. winter). For adult females, hepatocytic intracellular fat increased significantly with concentrations of the sum of hexachlorocyclohexanes, as was the case for lipid granulomas and hexachlorobenzene in adult males. Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation, we suggest that these findings were caused by aging and long-term exposure to OHCs. Therefore, these changes may be used as biomarkers for OHC exposure in wildlife and humans. To our knowledge, this is the first time liver histology has been evaluated in relation to OHC concentrations in a mammalian wildlife species, and the information is important to future polar bear conservation strategies and health assessments of humans relying on OHC-contaminated food resources.

  19. Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus: population biology and anthropogenic threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Andersen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines how anthropogenic threats, such as disturbance, pollution and climate change, are linked to polar bear (Ursus maritimus population biology in the Svalbard and Barents Sea area, with the aim to increase our understanding of how human activity may impact the population. Overharvesting drastically reduced the population of polar bears in the Barents Sea region from about 1870 to 1970. After harvesting was stopped—in 1956 in Russia and 1973 in Norway—the population grew to an estimated 2650 individuals (95% confidence interval 1900–3600 in 2004, and maternity denning in the Svalbard Archipelago became more widely distributed. During recent decades, the population has faced challenges from a variety of new anthropogenic impacts: a range of pollutants, an increasing level of human presence and activity as well as changes in ice conditions. Contaminants bioaccumulate up through the marine food web, culminating in this top predator that consumes ringed, bearded and harp seals. Females with small cubs use land-fast sea ice for hunting and are therefore vulnerable to disturbance by snowmobile drivers. Sea-ice diminution, associated with climate change, reduces polar bears’ access to denning areas and could negatively affect the survival of cubs. There are clear linkages between population biology and current anthropogenic threats, and we suggest that future research and management should focus on and take into consideration the combined effects of several stressors on polar bears.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, T.S.; Partridge, Steven 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.

  1. Prevalence of antibodies against Brucella spp. in West Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie; Rajala, Elisabeth L.

    2018-01-01

    impact on human health due to consumption of raw meat or otherwise contact with tissues and fluids of infected game species such as muskoxen and polar bears. Here, we present serological results for Baffin Bay polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 96) and North East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) (n...... in six polar bears (6.25%) rendering a seroprevalence in line with previous findings in other Arctic regions. Seropositivity was not related to sex, age or biometrics i.e. size and body condition. Whether Brucella spp. antibodies found in polar bears were due to either prey spill over or true recurrent...

  2. Paraparesis in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) associated with West Nile virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Christopher J; Quinnell, Mark; Lindsay, Robbin; DeLay, Josepha; Barker, Ian K

    2009-09-01

    A polar bear (Ursus maritimus) housed at the Toronto Zoo presented with acute-onset, nonambulatory paraparesis. Physical examination 24 hr after onset was otherwise unremarkable, spinal radiographs looked normal, and blood tests indicated mild dehydration. With continued deterioration in its general condition, euthanasia was elected a day later. Necropsy did not reveal a cause for the major presenting clinical signs. Serum collected at the time of initial examination was positive for West Nile virus (WNV) antibodies in a serum neutralization assay and at the time of euthanasia was positive in both a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and in a plaque reduction neutralization assay. The major microscopic finding was a mild-to-moderate nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis. WNV was not detected by immunohistochemistry in brain or spinal cord or by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and cell culture of brain and kidney, but it was isolated and identified by RT-PCR in second passage cell culture of spleen. Retrospective immunohistochemistry on spleen revealed rare antigen-positive cells, probably macrophages. Prevention of exposure to potentially WNV-infected mosquitoes or vaccination of captive bears against WNV should be considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glad, Trine; Bernhardsen, Pål; Nielsen, Kaare M; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Andersen, Magnus; Aars, Jon; Sundset, Monica A

    2010-01-14

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81 degrees N, 10-33 degrees E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 x 10(4) to 1.6 x 10(6) colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 x 10(3) to 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic beta-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brusetti Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma. Subsequently, associations between hormone concentrations (9 steroids), POPs (21 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 OH-PCBs, 8 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and OCP metabolites, and 2 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and biological variables (age, head length, body mass, girth, body condition index), capture date, location (latitude and longitude), lipid content and cholesterol levels were examined using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) modelling. Average concentrations of androgens, estrogens and progestagens were in the range of 0.57-83.7 (0.57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen/estrogen ratios being approximately 60 times higher in adult males than in subadult males. PCA plots and OPLS models indicated that TS was positively related to biometrics, such as body condition index in male polar bears. A negative relationship was also observed between POPs and DHT. Consequently, POPs and body condition may potentially affect the endocrinological function of steroids, including development of reproductive tissues and sex organs and the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    Organohalogen contaminants bioaccumulate to high concentrations in tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The exposure levels are in the order to be toxic to inner organs like liver and kidney. We therefore investigated the temporal development of lesions in liver (n=115) and kidney (n=122) samples from East Greenland polar bears taken over the 12 year period from 1999 to 2010. Seven liver and seven kidney lesions were observed of which six were age-related. Controlling for this, the analyses showed that hepatic steatosis and renal cell infiltrations, glomerular sclerosis and tubular hyperplasia decreased over the investigated time period (all ppolar bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  15. The influence of climate variability on polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and ringed seal (Pusa hispida) population dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosing-Asvid, A.

    2006-01-01

    Unusually high polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) predation on ringed seal (Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) pups and increased survival of polar bear cubs during mild springs is documented in published articles. Strong predation on newborn ringed seal pups in early spring, however, is likely...... to lower the overall energy intake of polar bears if ringed seal pups are their main food, because the energetic value of ringed seal pups increases 7-8 times during the 6 week lactation period. So although hunting success in early spring increases cub survival during the period after den emergence......,when they are most vulnerable, it is likely to increase the number of starving bears later in the season. This negative-feedback effect of strong spring predation will not occur in areas where other seal species are abundant during summer, and polar bears in such areas are likely to exhibit population growth during...

  16. Age and seasonal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in free-ranging East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dietz, Rune; Riget, Frank F.; Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J.; Backus, Sean; Born, Erik W.; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C.G.

    2007-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analysed in adipose tissue from 92 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled during 1999-2001. Mean ΣPBDE concentrations were 70 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (range: 22-192 ng/g lw) and showed no relationship with age or sex. Of the 32 analysed PBDE congeners; BDE47, BDE153, BDE99 and BDE100 dominated, and comprised 99.6% of the ΣPBDE concentration. The ΣPBDE concentration had a highly significant correlation with ΣPCB, ΣCHL, dieldrin, HCB and ΣHCH concentrations. We found a seasonal pattern of median ΣPBDE concentration with 1.2 to 1.8 times higher concentrations in March to July than the rest of the year. The seasonal variation also provides a clue to the seasonal exposure, bio-availability, toxic exposure and degradation. We suggest that future geographical PBDE data comparisons may not need corrections for sex or age, but such data sets should be corrected for seasonal variability, using the presented correctional trigonometric regression. - Mean ΣPBDE concentrations of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were 69.5 ng/g lw (range: 21.7-192 ng/g lw) and showed a seasonal pattern with no relationship with age and sex

  17. Age and seasonal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in free-ranging East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dietz, Rune [Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark)]. E-mail: rdi@dmu.dk; Riget, Frank F. [Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Sonne, Christian [Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Letcher, Robert J. [National Wildlife Research Centre, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Carleton University (Raven Road), Ottawa, ON, K1A 0H3 (Canada); Backus, Sean [Environment Canada, Water Science and Technology Directorate, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Kirkegaard, Maja [Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Muir, Derek C.G. [Environment Canada, Water Science and Technology Directorate, Burlington, ON, L7R 4A6 (Canada)

    2007-03-15

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analysed in adipose tissue from 92 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled during 1999-2001. Mean {sigma}PBDE concentrations were 70 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (range: 22-192 ng/g lw) and showed no relationship with age or sex. Of the 32 analysed PBDE congeners; BDE47, BDE153, BDE99 and BDE100 dominated, and comprised 99.6% of the {sigma}PBDE concentration. The {sigma}PBDE concentration had a highly significant correlation with {sigma}PCB, {sigma}CHL, dieldrin, HCB and {sigma}HCH concentrations. We found a seasonal pattern of median {sigma}PBDE concentration with 1.2 to 1.8 times higher concentrations in March to July than the rest of the year. The seasonal variation also provides a clue to the seasonal exposure, bio-availability, toxic exposure and degradation. We suggest that future geographical PBDE data comparisons may not need corrections for sex or age, but such data sets should be corrected for seasonal variability, using the presented correctional trigonometric regression. - Mean {sigma}PBDE concentrations of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were 69.5 ng/g lw (range: 21.7-192 ng/g lw) and showed a seasonal pattern with no relationship with age and sex.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villanger, Gro D.; Jenssen, Bjørn M.; Fjeldberg, Rita R.

    2011-01-01

    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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. femalespolar bear tissues. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed mainly on ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and consume large quantities of blubber and consequently have one of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) worldwide. In East Greenland, studies of OHC time trends and organ system health eff...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix

    2013-01-01

    . 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lie, E; Bernhoft, A; Riget, F; Belikov, S E; Boltunov, A N; Derocher, A E; Garner, G W; Wiig, Ø; Skaare, J U

    2003-05-01

    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, alpha-HCH, beta-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 alpha- and beta-HCH. The lowest alpha-HCH concentration was found in bears from Kara Sea. In all the bears, summation operator HCHs was dominated by beta-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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Geographic variation of PCB congeners in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard east to the Chukchi Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, M.; Lie, E.; Derocher, A.E.; Belikov, S.E.; Bernhoft, A.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Garner, G.W.; Skaare, J.U.; Wiig, Øystein

    2001-01-01

    We present data on geographic variation in polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in adult female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard eastward to the Chukchi Sea. Blood samples from 90 free-living polar bears were collected in 1987–1995. Six PCB congeners, penta to octa chlorinated (PCB-99, -118, -153, -156, -180, -194), were selected for this study. Differences between areas were found in PCB levels and congener patterns. Bears from Franz Josef Land (11,194 ng/g lipid weight) and the Kara Sea (9,412 ng/g lw) had similar ΣPCB levels and were higher than all other populations (Svalbard 5,043 ng/g lw, East Siberian Sea 3,564 ng/g lw, Chukchi Sea 2,465 ng/g lw). Svalbard PCB levels were higher than those from the Chukchi Sea. Our results, combined with earlier findings, indicate that polar bears from Franz Josef Land and the Kara Sea have the highest PCB levels in the Arctic. Decreasing trends were seen eastwards and westwards from this region. Of the congeners investigated in the present study, the lower chlorinated PCBs are increasing and the high chlorinated PCBs are decreasing from Svalbard eastward to the Chukchi Sea. Different pollution sources, compound transport patterns and regional prey differences could explain the variation in PCB congener levels and patterns between regions.

  14. Population genetic studies of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus): A summary of available data and interpretation of results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scribner, Kim T.; Garner, G.W.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Cronin, M.A.; Dizon, Andrew E.; Chivers, Susan J.; Perrin, William F.

    1997-01-01

    A summary of existing population genetics literature is presented for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and interpreted in the context of the species' life-history characteristics and regional heterogeneity in environmental regimes and movement patterns. Several nongenetic data sets including morphology, contaminant levels, geographic variation in reproductive characteristics, and the location and distribution of open-water foraging habitat suggest some degree of spatial structuring. Eleven populations are recognized by the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group. Few genetics studies exist for polar bears. Interpretation and generalizations of regional variation in intra- and interpopulation levels of genetic variability are confounded by the paucity of data from many regions and by the fact that no single informative genetic marker has been employed in multiple regions. Early allozyme studies revealed comparatively low levels of genetic variability and no compelling evidence of spatial structuring. Studies employing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also found low levels of genetic variation, a lack of phylogenetic structure, and no significant evidence for spatial variation in haplotype frequency. In contrast, microsatellite variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) loci have revealed significant heterogeneity in allele frequency among populations in the Canadian Arctic. These regions are characterized by archipelgic patterns of sea-ice movements. Further studies using highly polymorphic loci are needed in regions characterized by greater polar bear dependency on pelagic sea-ice movements and in regions for which no data currently exist (i.e., Laptev and Novaya Zemlya/Franz Josef).

  15. Are liver and renal lesions in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus associated with high mercury levels?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Born Erik W

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus. Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. Methods We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59 and kidney (n = 57 tissues. Results Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1–35.6 μg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1–50 μg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 μg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p Conclusion Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation we conclude that the lesions were likely a result of recurrent infections and ageing but that long-term exposure to mercury could not be excluded as a co-factor. The information is important as it is likely that tropospheric mercury depletion events will continue to increase the concentrations of this toxic heavy metal in the Sub Arctic and Arctic marine food webs.

  16. Tissue-specific congener composition of organohalogen and metabolite contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gebbink, Wouter A. [National Wildlife Research Centre, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 (Canada); Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Kirkegaard, Maja; Riget, Frank F. [Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark); Muir, Derek C.G. [Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6 (Canada); Letcher, Robert J. [National Wildlife Research Centre, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 (Canada)], E-mail: robert.letcher@ec.gc.ca

    2008-04-15

    Congener patterns of the major organohalogen contaminant classes of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites and/or by-products (OH-PCBs, MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs, OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) were examined in adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PCB, OH-PCB, MeSO{sub 2}-PCB and PBDE congener patterns showed significant differences (p {<=} 0.05) mainly in the liver and the brain relative to the adipose tissue and the blood. OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs were not detected in the brain and liver, but had different patterns in blood versus the adipose tissue. Novel OH-polybrominated biphenyls (OH-PBBs), one tri- and two tetra-brominated OH-PBBs were detected in all tissues and blood. Congener pattern differences among tissues and blood are likely due to a combination of factors, e.g., biotransformation and retention in the liver, retention in the blood and blood-brain barrier transport. Our findings suggest that different congener pattern exposures to these classes of contaminants should be considered with respect to potential target tissue-specific effects in East Greenland polar bears. - Tissues-specific (adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood) differences exist for the congener patterns of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites/degradation products in East Greenland polar bears.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Tissue-specific congener composition of organohalogen and metabolite contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

    Congener patterns of the major organohalogen contaminant classes of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites and/or by-products (OH-PCBs, MeSO 2 -PCBs, OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) were examined in adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PCB, OH-PCB, MeSO 2 -PCB and PBDE congener patterns showed significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) mainly in the liver and the brain relative to the adipose tissue and the blood. OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs were not detected in the brain and liver, but had different patterns in blood versus the adipose tissue. Novel OH-polybrominated biphenyls (OH-PBBs), one tri- and two tetra-brominated OH-PBBs were detected in all tissues and blood. Congener pattern differences among tissues and blood are likely due to a combination of factors, e.g., biotransformation and retention in the liver, retention in the blood and blood-brain barrier transport. Our findings suggest that different congener pattern exposures to these classes of contaminants should be considered with respect to potential target tissue-specific effects in East Greenland polar bears. - Tissues-specific (adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood) differences exist for the congener patterns of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites/degradation products in East Greenland polar bears

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother–offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother–offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother–cub pairs and 48 father–offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (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.

  20. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonne, Christian; Riget, Frank F.; Dietz, Rune; Wiig, Oystein; Kirkegaard, Maja; Born, Erik W.

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonne, Christian [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark) and Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Buelowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C (Denmark)]. E-mail: csh@dmu.dk; Riget, Frank F. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Dietz, Rune [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Wiig, Oystein [Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172 Blindern, N-0562 Oslo (Norway); Kirkegaard, Maja [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears.

  3. Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman-Lee, Lorin A; Terletzky, Patricia A; Atwood, Todd C; Gese, Eric M; Smith, Geoffrey D; Greenfield, Sydney; Pettit, John; French, Susannah S

    2017-06-01

    Assessing the health and condition of animals in their natural environment can be problematic. Many physiological metrics, including immunity, are highly influenced by specific context and recent events to which researchers may be unaware. Thus, using a multifaceted physiological approach and a context-specific analysis encompassing multiple time scales can be highly informative. Ecoimmunological tools in particular can provide important indications to the health of animals in the wild. We collected blood and hair samples from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea and examined the influence of sex, age, and reproductive status on metrics of immunity, stress, and body condition during 2013-2015. We examined metrics of innate immunity (bactericidal ability and lysis) and stress (hair cortisol, reactive oxygen species, and oxidative barrier), in relation to indices of body condition considered to be short term (urea to creatinine ratio; UC ratio) and long term (storage energy and body mass index). We found the factors of sex, age, and reproductive status of the bear were critical for interpreting different physiological metrics. Additionally, the metrics of body condition were important predictors for stress indicators. Finally, many of these metrics differed between years, illustrating the need to examine populations on a longer time scale. Taken together, this study demonstrates the complex relationship between multiple facets of physiology and how interpretation requires us to examine individuals within a specific context. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Tissue-specific congener composition of organohalogen and metabolite contaminants in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

    Congener patterns of the major organohalogen contaminant classes of PCBs, PBDEs and their metabolites and/or by-products (OH-PCBs, MeSO2-PCBs, OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs) were examined in adipose tissue, liver, brain and blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PCB, OH-PCB, MeSO2-PCB and PBDE congener patterns showed significant differences (pbears.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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  0.05) 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. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  6. Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Terletzky, Patricia; Atwood, Todd C.; Gese, Eric; Smith, Geoffrey; Greenfield, Sydney; Pettit, John; French, Susannah

    2017-01-01

    Assessing the health and condition of animals in their natural environment can be problematic. Many physiological metrics, including immunity, are highly influenced by specific context and recent events to which researchers may be unaware. Thus, using a multifaceted physiological approach and a context-specific analysis encompassing multiple time scales can be highly informative. Ecoimmunological tools in particular can provide important indications to the health of animals in the wild. We collected blood and hair samples from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea and examined the influence of sex, age, and reproductive status on metrics of immunity, stress, and body condition during 2013–2015. We examined metrics of innate immunity (bactericidal ability and lysis) and stress (hair cortisol, reactive oxygen species, and oxidative barrier), in relation to indices of body condition considered to be short term (urea to creatinine ratio; UC ratio) and long term (storage energy and body mass index). We found the factors of sex, age, and reproductive status of the bear were critical for interpreting different physiological metrics. Additionally, the metrics of body condition were important predictors for stress indicators. Finally, many of these metrics differed between years, illustrating the need to examine populations on a longer time scale. Taken together, this study demonstrates the complex relationship between multiple facets of physiology and how interpretation requires us to examine individuals within a specific context.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Age and seasonal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in free-ranging East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Backus, Sean; Born, Erik W; Kirkegaard, Maja; Muir, Derek C G

    2007-03-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analysed in adipose tissue from 92 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled during 1999-2001. Mean SigmaPBDE concentrations were 70 ng/g lipid weight (lw) (range: 22-192 ng/g lw) and showed no relationship with age or sex. Of the 32 analysed PBDE congeners; BDE47, BDE153, BDE99 and BDE100 dominated, and comprised 99.6% of the SigmaPBDE concentration. The SigmaPBDE concentration had a highly significant correlation with SigmaPCB, SigmaCHL, dieldrin, HCB and SigmaHCH concentrations. We found a seasonal pattern of median SigmaPBDE concentration with 1.2 to 1.8 times higher concentrations in March to July than the rest of the year. The seasonal variation also provides a clue to the seasonal exposure, bio-availability, toxic exposure and degradation. We suggest that future geographical PBDE data comparisons may not need corrections for sex or age, but such data sets should be corrected for seasonal variability, using the presented correctional trigonometric regression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Are liver and renal lesions in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) associated with high mercury levels?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, Pall S; Asmund, Gert; Born, Erik W; Kirkegaard, Maja

    2007-04-17

    In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59) and kidney (n = 57) tissues. Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1-35.6 microg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1-50 microg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 microg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p < 0.02) and a similar trend was found for lipid granulomas (p = 0.07). Liver mercury levels were significantly lower in individuals with portal bile duct proliferation/fibrosis (p = 0.007) and a similar trend was found for proximal convoluted tubular hyalinisation in renal tissue (p = 0.07). Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation we conclude that the lesions were likely a result of recurrent infections and ageing but that long-term exposure to mercury could not be excluded as a co-factor. The information is important as it is likely that tropospheric mercury depletion events will continue to increase the concentrations of this toxic heavy metal in the Sub Arctic and Arctic marine food webs.

  11. Are organohalogen contaminants a cofactor in the development of renal lesions in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

    Tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland contain the highest concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among subpopulations of any mammalian species in the Arctic. Negative associations also have been found between OHC concentrations and bone mineral density and liver histology parameters for this subpopulation of polar bears. The present study examined the OHC concentrations and adverse effects on renal tissue for 75 polar bears collected during 1999 to 2002. Specific lesions were diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening, mesangial glomerular deposits, tubular epithelial cell hyperplasia, hyalinization of the tubular basement membrane, tubular dilatation, atrophy and necrosis, tubular medullary hyalin casts, interstitial fibrosis, and mononuclear cell infiltration. With the exception of mononuclear cell infiltrations, all these parameters were correlated with age, whereas none was associated with the sex of the animals. In an age-controlled statistical analysis of covariance, increases in glomerular mesangial deposits and interstitial fibrosis were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with polybrominated diphenyl ether (sigmaPBDE) concentrations in subadults. In adult males, statistically significant (p < 0.05) positive correlations were found for tubular epithelial cell hyperplasia and dieldrin concentration; diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening and chlordane (sigmaCHL) concentrations, and tubular medullary hyalin casts and sigmaCHL, sigmaPBDE, polychlorinated biphenyl, and hexachlorocyclohexane concentrations. The lesions were consistent with those reported previously in highly OHC-contaminated Baltic seal populations and exposed laboratory animals. The renal lesions were a result of aging. However, based on the above statistical findings as well as the nature of the findings, we suggest that long-term exposure to OHCs may be a cofactor in renal lesion occurrence, although other cofactors, such as exposure to heavy metals

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Persistent organic pollutants and penile bone mineral density in East Greenland and Canadian polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1996-2015

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F

    2018-01-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are long-range transported to the Arctic via atmospheric and oceanic currents, where they biomagnify to high concentrations in the tissues of apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern of POP exposure is their physiological effects...... on vital organ-tissues posing a threat to the health and survival of polar bears. Here we examined the relationship between selected POPs and baculum bone mineral density (BMD) in the East Greenland and seven Canadian subpopulations of polar bears. BMD was examined in 471 bacula collected between years...... 1996-2015 while POP concentrations in adipose tissue were determined in 67-192 of these individuals collected from 1999 to -2015. A geographical comparison showed that baculum BMD was significantly lowest in polar bears from East Greenland (EG) when compared to Gulf of Boothia (GB), Southern Hudson (SH...

  14. Is the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) a hibernator? Continued studies on opioids and hibernation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, David S.; Darling, Nancy K.; Seeland, Katheleen J.; Oeltgen, Peter R.; Nilekani, Sita P.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    1990-01-01

    Polar bear behavior and biochemistry suggest they may have the ability to hibernate year-round, even though this species is not considered to be a true hibernator. This observation, plus the discovery of a hibernation-induced trigger (HIT) in the blood of black bears, prompted the examination of polar bear blood collected thoughout the year for evidence ofr HIT, and to determine if it displayed opioid activity, as black bear blood does. A bioassay was conducted by injected summer 13-lined ground squirrels with serum collected from polar bears at different seasons. One group of squirrels was previously implanted with osmotic pumps containing naloxone. The rest had pumps containing saline. Squirrels with saline pumps all hibernated significantly more than those with naloxone, except the group receiving blood from a November polar bear, observed to be highly active and hyperphagic. An in vitro study, using guinea pig ileum, showed that 400 nM morphine inhibited induced contractions and 100 nM naloxone reversed the inhibition. Ten mg of winter polar bear serum albumin fraction (to which HIT binds in ground squirrels and woodchucks) had a similar inhibiting effect, but naloxone, even at 4,000 nM, didn't reverse it. It is concluded that polar bear contains HIT, that it has an opioid effct, but may not itself be an opioid.

  15. Is the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) a hibernator? Continued studies on opioids and hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, D S; Darling, N K; Seeland, K J; Oeltgen, P R; Nilekani, S P; Amstrup, S C

    1990-03-01

    Polar bear behavior and biochemistry suggest they may have the ability to hibernate year-round, even though this species is not considered to be a true hibernator. This observation, plus the discovery of a hibernation-induction trigger (HIT) in the blood of black bears, prompted the examination of polar bear blood collected throughout the year for evidence of HIT, and to determine if it displayed opioid activity, as black bear blood does. A bioassay was conducted by injecting summer 13-lined ground squirrels with serum collected from polar bears at different seasons. One group of squirrels was previously implanted with osmotic pumps containing naloxone. The rest had pumps containing saline. Squirrels with saline pumps all hibernated significantly more than those with naloxone, except the group receiving blood from a November polar bear, observed to be highly active and hyperphagic. An in vitro study, using guinea pig ileum, showed that 400 nM morphine inhibited induced contractions and 100 nM naloxone reversed the inhibition. Ten mg of winter polar bear serum albumin fraction (to which HIT binds in ground squirrels and woodchucks) had a similar inhibiting effect, but naloxone, even at 4,000 nM, didn't reverse it. It is concluded that polar bear blood contains HIT, that it has an inhibiting effect, but naloxone, even at 4,000 nM, didn't reverse it. It is concluded that polar bear blood contains HIT, that it has an opioid effect, but may not itself be an opioid.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Leifsson, Páll Skuli; Dietz, Rune

    2006-01-01

    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.......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erdmann, Simon Erik; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    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...... 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letcher, R.J. [Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ontario (Canada); Norstrom, R.J. [Environment Canada, Hull, Quebec (Canada); Muir, D.C.G. [Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The polar bear Ursus maritimus feeding in a seabird colony in Frans Josef Land

    OpenAIRE

    Stempniewicz, Lech

    1993-01-01

    During the second half of August 1992 polar bears were observed feeding intensively in the little auk Alle alle colony on Rubini Rock, Hooker Island, Frans Josef Land. They dug out nests eating eggs, chicks and adult birds. Their activity results in both worsening the breeding conditions and decreasing the breeding success of the little auks. The polar bear has not earlier been known as a little auk predator.

  2. Persistent organic pollutants, skull size and bone density of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland 1892-2015 and Svalbard 1964-2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F

    2018-01-01

    We investigated skull size (condylobasal length; CBL) and bone mineral density (BMD) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (n = 307) and Svalbard (n = 173) sampled during the period 1892–2015 in East Greenland and 1964–2004 at Svalbard. Adult males from East Greenland showed...... that the skull size of adult East Greenland females was negatively correlated with collection year 1892–2015 (linear regression: p = 0.06). No temporal change was found for BMD or skull size in Svalbard polar bears (ANOVA: all p > 0.05) nor was there any significant difference in BMD between Svalbard and East...... Greenland subpopulations. Skull size was larger in polar bears from Svalbard than from East Greenland (two-way ANOVA: p = 0.003). T-scores reflecting risk of osteoporosis showed that adult males from both East Greenland and Svalbard are at risk of developing osteopenia. Finally, when correcting for age...

  3. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V; Laidre, Kristin L; Akçakaya, H Resit; Amstrup, Steven C; Atwood, Todd C; Lunn, Nicholas J; Obbard, Martyn; Stern, Harry; Thiemann, Gregory W; Wiig, Øystein

    2016-12-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice owing to climate change is the primary threat to polar bears throughout their range. We evaluated the potential response of polar bears to sea-ice declines by (i) calculating generation length (GL) for the species, which determines the timeframe for conservation assessments; (ii) developing a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat; and (iii) using statistical models and computer simulation to project changes in the global population under three approaches relating polar bear abundance to sea ice. Mean GL was 11.5 years. Ice-covered days declined in all subpopulation areas during 1979-2014 (median -1.26 days year -1 ). The estimated probabilities that reductions in the mean global population size of polar bears will be greater than 30%, 50% and 80% over three generations (35-41 years) were 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95), 0.07 (range 0-0.35) and less than 0.01 (range 0-0.02), respectively. According to IUCN Red List reduction thresholds, which provide a common measure of extinction risk across taxa, these results are consistent with listing the species as vulnerable. Our findings support the potential for large declines in polar bear numbers owing to sea-ice loss, and highlight near-term uncertainty in statistical projections as well as the sensitivity of projections to different plausible assumptions. © 2016 The Authors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxicant that has been found at elevated concentrations in the Arctic ecosystem. Little is known about its internal dose in wildlife such as polar bears. We measured concentrations of mercury (Hg) in three different brain regions (cerebellum, frontal lobe and brain stem) of 24 polar bears collected from the Nunavik, Canada between 2000 and 2003. Speciation of Hg was measured by High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled to Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC-ICP-MS). Concentrations of mean total Hg in brain tissue were up to 625 times lower (0.28 ± 0.07 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) in frontal lobe, 0.23 ± 0.07 mg kg(-1) dw in cerebellum and 0.12 ± 0.0 3mg kg(-1) dw in brain stem) than the mean total Hg concentration previously reported in polar bear liver collected from Eastern Baffin Island. Methylmercury (MeHg) accounted for 100% of the Hg found in all three brain regions analyzed. These results suggest that polar bear might reduce the toxic effects of Hg by limiting the uptake into the brain and/or decrease the rate of demethylation so that Hg can be excreted from the brain more easily. The toxicokinetics and the blood-brain-barrier mechanisms of polar bears are still unknown and further research is required. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus mating during late June on the pack ice of northern Svalbard, Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas G. Smith

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears are seasonal breeders and typically mate from late March to early May. Implantation is, however, delayed until autumn, which can allow plasticity in the date of mating. As for other seasonal breeders, a rapid return to estrus after the loss of dependent offspring can be expected, even into the summer. A few earlier observations and dissections of dead animals suggest that polar bears are able to mate in summer. We report on a mating incident on 29 June 2014, the first documented mating this late in the season among wild polar bears. The female had lost her dependent cub during the period prior to the mating event. We speculate that she lost this cub late in the mating season, entered estrus and successfully mated in late June.

  6. Xenoendocrine pollutants May Reduce Size of Sexual Organs in East Greenland Polar Bears (Ursus Maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Leifsson, Pall S.; Dietz, Rune

    2006-01-01

    .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......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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erdmann, Simon Erik; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    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 whe...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) – New endocrine disruptors in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Letcher, Robert J.; Sonne, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are emerging in the Arctic and accumulate in brain tissues of East Greenland (EG) polar bears. In vitro studies have shown that PFASs might possess endocrine disrupting abilities and therefore the present study was conducted to investigate potential PFAS...... induced alterations in brain steroid concentrations. The concentrations of eleven steroid hormones were determined in eight brain regions from ten EG polar bears. Pregnenolone (PRE), the dominant progestagen, was found in mean concentrations of 5-47ng/g (ww) depending on brain region. PRE showed...... significantly (pbears. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) found in mean concentrations 0.67-4.58ng/g (ww) was the androgen found in highest concentrations. Among the estrogens estrone (E1) showed mean concentrations of 0.90-2.21ng/g (ww) and was the most...

  13. Morphology of the lingual papillae of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emura, Shoichi; Sugiyama, Kazue; Kusuda, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    We examined the dorsal lingual surfaces of a newborn and an old polar bears by using scanning electron microscopy. In the newborn polar bear, the filiform papilla on the lingual apex was cylindrical in shape. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae was needle-shaped and that of the fungiform papillae was funnel-shaped. The filiform papillae on the lingual body was dome-shaped. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae was U-shaped and that of the fungiform papillae was column-shaped. On the lingual apex and body, there could not distinguish the filiform from fungiform papillae. The connective tissue core of the filiform papilla was different from the fungiform papilla. The vallate papillae were surrounded by a groove and pad and the surface was smooth. In the old bear, the filiform papilla on the lingual apex had several pointed processes. The processes of the filiform papilla on the lingual body were larger than those of the lingual apex. The vallate papillae were surrounded by a groove and pad and the surface was rough. There are no foliate papillae.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) - New endocrine disruptors in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Letcher, Robert J; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2016-11-01

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are emerging in the Arctic and accumulate in brain tissues of East Greenland (EG) polar bears. In vitro studies have shown that PFASs might possess endocrine disrupting abilities and therefore the present study was conducted to investigate potential PFAS induced alterations in brain steroid concentrations. The concentrations of eleven steroid hormones were determined in eight brain regions from ten EG polar bears. Pregnenolone (PRE), the dominant progestagen, was found in mean concentrations of 5-47ng/g (ww) depending on brain region. PRE showed significantly (pbears. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) found in mean concentrations 0.67-4.58ng/g (ww) was the androgen found in highest concentrations. Among the estrogens estrone (E1) showed mean concentrations of 0.90-2.21ng/g (ww) and was the most abundant. Remaining steroid hormones were generally present in concentrations below 2ng/g (ww). Steroid levels in brain tissue could not be explained by steroid levels in plasma. There was however a trend towards increasing estrogen levels in plasma resulting in increasing levels of androgens in brain tissue. Correlative analyses showed positive associations between PFASs and 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (OH-PRE) (e.g. perflouroalkyl sulfonates (∑PFSA): pbears. It is, however, not possible to determine whether alterations in brain steroid concentrations arise from interference with de novo steroid synthesis or via disruption of peripheral steroidogenic tissues mainly in gonads and feedback mechanisms. Steroids are important for brain plasticity and gender specific behavior as well as postnatal development and sexually dimorph brain function. The present work indicates an urgent need for a better mechanistic understanding of how PFASs may affect the endocrine system of polar bears and potentially other mammal species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Sulfonation of environmental chemicals and their metabolites in the polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacco, James C; James, Margaret O

    2005-09-01

    Although its habitat comprises mostly remote regions of the Arctic, the polar bear is subject to bioaccumulation of persistent environmental pollutants. Along with their phase I metabolites, they are potential substrates for detoxification via sulfonation and glucuronidation. The capability of polar bear liver to sulfonate a structurally diverse group of environmental chemicals, that is, 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (3-OH-B[a]P), triclosan, 4'-hydroxy-3,3',4,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (4'OH-PCB79), 4'-hydroxy-2,3,3',4,5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (4'-OH-PCB159), 4'-hydroxy-2,3,3',5,5',6-hexachlorobiphenyl (4'-OH-PCB165), the methoxychlor metabolite 2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (OHMXC), tris(4-chlorophenyl)-methanol (TCPM), and pentachlorophenol (PCP) was investigated. The glucuronidation of 3-OH-B[a]P was also studied. Enzyme activity was assayed by incubation of liver cytosol or microsomes derived from three adult male polar bears with 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate or uridine 5'-diphosphoglucuronic acid and substrate, followed by fluorometric or radiochemical thin-layer chromatographic analysis. The efficiency of sulfonation decreased in the order 3-OH-B[a]P > triclosan > 4'-OH-PCB79 > OHMXC > 4'-OH-PCB165 > TCPM > 4'-OH-PCB159 > PCP, all of which produced detectable sulfate conjugates. The 3-OH-B[a]P substrate was readily sulfonated and glucuronidated (apparent K(m) 0.41, 1.4 microM, and apparent V(max) 0.50, 3.00 nmol/min/mg, respectively). UDP-glucuronic acid kinetics suggested the presence of multiple enzymes glucuronidating 3-OH-B[a]P. Substrate inhibition was observed for the sulfonation of 3-OH-B[a]P and 4'OH-PCB79 (K(i) 1.0 and 217 microM, respectively). Triclosan was the most rapidly sulfated (apparent V(max) 1008 pmol/min/mg) of the substrates tested. Since sulfonation of an acyclic tertiary alcoholic group, as in TCPM, has not previously been reported, we also examined TCPM conjugation in humans and catfish, both of which

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. An immunohistochemical study of retinol-binding protein (RBP) in livers of free-living polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from east Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heier, Annabelle; Sonne, Christian; Gröne, Andrea; Leifsson, Pall S; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Bacciarini, Luca N

    2005-09-01

    From 1999 to 2002 samples from 114 free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were collected in the municipality of Scoresby Sound, East Greenland, to detect levels of organochlorines and potential histopathologic changes. Livers of 16 female polar bears from this group were evaluated histologically and analyzed for hepatic retinol-binding protein by immunohistochemistry. Retinol-binding protein is the main transport protein for retinol, an important vitamin A metabolite in the polar bear. Only mild pathologic changes were noted on histologic evaluation of the livers. Small lymphocytic or lymphohistiocytic infiltrates were present in all the livers. Small lipid granulomas, mild periportal fibrosis, and bile duct proliferation were found in several cases. Immunohistochemistry for retinol-binding protein of hepatic tissue from free-ranging polar bears showed no distinct difference in staining intensity by a number of criteria: age, season (fasting and nonfasting), or lactation status. The staining was diffuse to finely stippled in the cytoplasm and showed very little variation among the animals. Because of the lack of macroscopic changes and the absence of severe histologic liver lesions, these polar bears were assumed to be healthy. The diffuse cytoplasmic retinol-binding protein staining in hepatocytes of free-ranging polar bears varies markedly from the prominent granular, less intense staining of captive polar bears investigated previously.

  2. Persistent organic pollutants, skull size and bone density of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland 1892-2015 and Svalbard 1964-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F; Letcher, Robert J; Hyldstrup, Lars; Jensen, Jens-Erik Bech; Bechshoft, Thea; Wiig, Øystein; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Pertoldi, Cino; Lorenzen, Eline D; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2018-04-01

    We investigated skull size (condylobasal length; CBL) and bone mineral density (BMD) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (n = 307) and Svalbard (n = 173) sampled during the period 1892-2015 in East Greenland and 1964-2004 at Svalbard. Adult males from East Greenland showed a continuous decrease in BMD from 1892 to 2015 (linear regression: p 0.05) nor was there any significant difference in BMD between Svalbard and East Greenland subpopulations. Skull size was larger in polar bears from Svalbard than from East Greenland (two-way ANOVA: p = 0.003). T-scores reflecting risk of osteoporosis showed that adult males from both East Greenland and Svalbard are at risk of developing osteopenia. Finally, when correcting for age and sex, BMD in East Greenland polar bears increased with increasing concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) i.e. ΣPCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣHCH (hexachlorohexane), HCB (hexachlorobenzene) and ΣPBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) while skull size increased with ΣHCH concentrations all in the period 1999-2014 (multiple linear regression: all p < 0.05, n = 175). The results suggest that environmental changes over time, including exposure to POPs, may affect bone density and size of polar bears. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Persistent organic pollutants and penile bone mineral density in East Greenland and Canadian polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1996-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F; Dyck, Markus; Letcher, Robert J; Hyldstrup, Lars; Jensen, Jens-Erik Bech; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2018-03-06

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are long-range transported to the Arctic via atmospheric and oceanic currents, where they biomagnify to high concentrations in the tissues of apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern of POP exposure is their physiological effects on vital organ-tissues posing a threat to the health and survival of polar bears. Here we examined the relationship between selected POPs and baculum bone mineral density (BMD) in the East Greenland and seven Canadian subpopulations of polar bears. BMD was examined in 471 bacula collected between years 1996-2015 while POP concentrations in adipose tissue were determined in 67-192 of these individuals collected from 1999 to -2015. A geographical comparison showed that baculum BMD was significantly lowest in polar bears from East Greenland (EG) when compared to Gulf of Boothia (GB), Southern Hudson (SH) and Western Hudson (WH) Bay subpopulations (all p bears as a reference group gave a T-score of -1.44 which indicate risk of osteopenia. Concentrations of ΣPCB 74 (polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣDDT 3 (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes), p,p'-DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), ΣHCH 3 (hexachlorohexane) and α-HCH was significantly highest in EG bears while ΣPBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), BDE-47 and BDE-153 was significantly highest in SH bears (all p polar bears despite the positive statistical correlations of BMD vs. POPs. Other important factors such as nutritional status, body mass and body condition was not available for the statistical modelling. Since on-going environmental changes are known to affect these, future studies need to incorporate nutritional, endocrine and genetic parameters to further understand how POP exposure may disrupt bone homeostasis and affect baculum BMD across polar bear subpopulations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutleb, Arno C; Cenijn, Peter; Velzen, Martin van; Lie, Elisabeth; Ropstad, Erik; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Malmberg, Tina; Bergman, Ake; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Legler, Juliette

    2010-04-15

    Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE) flame-retardants alter their toxicological properties and these metabolites are known to interfere with the binding of thyroid hormone (TH) to transthyretin (TTR) in rodents and humans. In polar bear plasma samples no binding of [125I]-T(4) to TTR was observed after incubation and PAGE separation. Incubation of the plasma samples with [14C]-4-OH-CB107, a compound with a higher binding affinity to TTR than the endogenous ligand T(4) resulted in competitive binding as proven by the appearance of a radio labeled TTR peak in the gel. Plasma incubation with T(4) up to 1 mM, a concentration that is not physiologically relevant anymore did not result in any visible competition. These results give evidence that the binding sites on TTR for T(4) in wild living polar bears are completely saturated. Such saturation of binding sites can explain observed lowered levels of THs and could lead to contaminant transport into the developing fetus.

  5. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F; Dietz, Rune; Birkved, Morten; Letcher, Robert J; Bossi, Rossana; Vorkamp, Katrin; Born, Erik W; Petersen, Gitte

    2009-12-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed mainly on ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and consume large quantities of blubber and consequently have one of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) worldwide. In East Greenland, studies of OHC time trends and organ system health effects, including reproductive, were conducted during 1990-2006. However, it has been difficult to determine the nature of the effects induced by OHC exposures on wild caught polar bears using body burden data and associated changes in reproductive organs and systems. We therefore conducted a risk quotient (RQ) evaluation to more quantitatively evaluate the effect risk on reproduction (embryotoxicity and teratogenicity) based on the critical body residue (CBR) concept and using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. We applied modelling approaches to PCBs, p,p'-DDE, dieldrin, oxychlordane, HCHs, HCB, PBDEs and PFOS in East Greenland polar bears based on known OHC pharmacokinetics and dynamics in laboratory rats (Rattus rattus). The results showed that subcutaneous adipose tissue concentrations of dieldrin (range: 79-1271 ng g(-1) lw) and PCBs (range: 4128-53,923 ng g(-1) lw) reported in bears in the year 1990 were in the range to elicit possible adverse health effects on reproduction in polar bears in East Greenland (all RQs > or = 1). Similar results were found for PCBs (range: 1928-17,376 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 104-2840 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2000 and for dieldrin (range: 43-640 ng g(-1) lw), PCBs (range: 3491-13,243 ng g(-1) lw) and PFOS (range: 1332-6160 ng g(-1) ww) in the year 2006. The concentrations of oxychlordane, DDTs, HCB and HCHs in polar bears resulted in RQspolar bears correlated to OHC exposure are supported by the present study. This study also indicates that PBPK models may be a supportive tool in the evaluation of possible OHC-mediated health effects for Arctic wildlife.

  6. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Combined thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography with mass spectrometric analysis of lipid classes and fatty acids in malnourished polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which swam to Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibler, Dorothee; Krüger, Sabine; Skírnisson, Karl; Vetter, Walter

    2017-03-01

    Between 2008 and 2011, four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Greenland population swam and/or drifted on ice to Iceland where they arrived in very poor body condition. Body fat resources in these animals were only between 0% and 10% of the body weight (usually 25%). Here we studied the lipid composition in different tissues (adipose tissue if available, liver, kidney and muscle). Lipid classes were determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and on-column gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The fatty acid pattern of total lipids and free fatty acids was analyzed by GC/MS in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Additionally, cholesteryl esters and native fatty acid methyl esters, initially detected as zones in thin layer chromatograms, were enriched by solid phase extraction and quantified by GC/MS. The ratio of free fatty acids to native fatty acid methyl esters could be correlated with the remained body lipids in the polar bears and thus may also serve as a marker for other starving animals or even for humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, wherein the rate of oxidative metabolism of PBDE congeners was very slow, supported the probability that accumulation

  9. Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeon, Sophie; Riemer, Astrid Kolind; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Polder, Anuschka; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Routti, Heli

    2017-10-01

    As apex predators, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among the most heavily polluted organisms in the Arctic. In addition to this anthropogenic stressor, climate warming has been shown to negatively affect their body condition, reproductive output and survival. Among potential underlying physiological mechanisms, thyroid hormones (THs), which control thermoregulation, metabolism and reproduction, can be affected by a variety of both natural and anthropogenic factors. While THs have been extensively used as proxies for pollution exposure in mammals, including polar bears, there is a lack of knowledge of their natural variations. In this context, we examined seasonal variations in body condition and circulating TH concentrations in free-ranging female polar bears. Females with variable reproductive status (i.e., solitary, with cubs of the year or with yearlings) were sampled from locations with contrasted sea ice conditions. Furthermore, we studied THs in relation to levels of organo-halogenated contaminants. As predicted, solitary females were in better condition than females caring for offspring, especially in spring. In addition, TH levels were lower in autumn compared to spring, although this seasonal effect was mainly observed in solitary females. Finally, the negative relationships between organochlorine and perfluoroalkyl substances and some THs suggest a possible alteration of homeostasis of THs. Since the latter relationships were only observed during spring, we emphasize the importance of considering the ecological factors when using THs as proxies for pollution exposure. Yet, the combined effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on THs might impair the ability of polar bears to adapt to ongoing climate changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (0.17polar bears. We therefore

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Organohalogen concentrations and a gross and histologic assessment of multiple organ systems in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.

    To investigate the relation between biological parameters, not earlier investigated in the polar bear, and organohalogen pollution in East Greenland polar bears, we initiated a sampling of adipose tissue, internal organs and skulls from more than 100 free-ranging polar bears killed by local...... in the adipose tissue and pathological changes in skulls and internal organs. Our results suggested a decrease in adipose tissue concentrations of organohalogens in East Greenland polar bears from 1990 to 1999-2001. Two of the biological effect parameters (FA and enlarged clitoris) did not indicate a link......, infectious agents, season and meaby chronic exposure to organohalogens. These result fill out an existing knowledge gap in potential effects of environmental, organic contaminants on fluctuating asymmetry, bone mineral density and functional anatomy (histology) in the polar bear. In addition, the results may...

  15. Possible effects of climate warming on selected populations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stirling, I. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Parkinson, C.L. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States). Cryospheric Sciences Branch

    2006-09-15

    Climate warming in the Arctic has caused declines in the total cover and thickness of sea ice. Intuit hunters in the areas of some polar bear populations in the eastern Canadian Arctic have noted that more bears have approached human settlements during open-water periods in recent years. The observations have been interpreted as evidence of increasing polar bear population size, and have resulted in increases in hunting quotas. However, research on 2 polar bear populations in Western Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay suggest that their numbers are declining. This paper evaluated patterns of sea-ice breakup and freeze-up in 5 regions to test the hypothesis that sightings of more polar bears are due in part to changes in sea ice. The regions were based on the accepted boundaries of the polar bear management zones used by government agencies in Canada and Greenland. Areas included Foxe Basin; Baffin Bay; Davis Strait; Hudson Strait; and Eastern Hudson Bay. Analysis of passive-microwave satellite imagery beginning in the 1970s has indicated that sea ice is breaking up at progressively earlier dates, so that bears must fast for longer periods during the open-water periods. This paper suggested that polar bears are being observed close to human settlements as they are searching for alternative food sources in years when their stored body fat is depleted before freeze-up, when they can return to the sea ice to hunt for seals. It was suggested that if the climate continues to warm as projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, polar bears in all 5 populations discussed in the paper will become increasingly food-stressed, and that their numbers are likely to decline. It was suggested that problem interactions between bears and humans will also increase as the bears seek alternative food sources. It was concluded that a precautionary approach should be taken to the harvesting of polar bears. The potential effects of climate warming should be incorporated into

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lille-Langøy, Roger, E-mail: Roger.lille-langoy@bio.uib.no [University of Bergen, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Goldstone, Jared V. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, 02543-1050 Woods Hole, MA (United States); Rusten, Marte [University of Bergen, Department of Molecular Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Milnes, Matthew R. [Mars Hill University, 100 Athletic Street, Box 6671, Mars Hill, 28754 NC (United States); Male, Rune [University of Bergen, Department of Molecular Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Stegeman, John J. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, 02543-1050 Woods Hole, MA (United States); Blumberg, Bruce [University of California, Irvine, 92697 CA (United States); Goksøyr, Anders [University of Bergen, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Relationships between estimates of ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations in the Canadian Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stirling, I. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Oritsland, N.A. [Norsk Polarinstitutt, Oslo (Norway)

    1995-12-01

    Biological studies were conducted in arctic marine areas to assess the possible impacts of industrial development and to identify areas of critical habitat that might warrant some degree of protection. Ringed seals were studied since polar bears depend on them for food and both species are of cultural and economic importance to the Inuit. The number of seals needed to support a population of polar bears was estimated independently using both behavioral and energetic data. Predation and energy matrices indicated that high levels of predation on seals were sustainable only if most animals killed were young-of-the-year. Densities of seals and the productivity of bears appeared to vary in direct proportion to each other, indicating a high level of sensitivity of relationship between ringed seals and polar bears, at the population level. 86 refs., 6 tabs., 5 figs.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weisser, Johan; Hansen, Martin; Björklund, Erland

    2016-01-01

    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....... 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    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. 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-15

    Currently, there is no method of accurately and non-invasively diagnosing pregnancy in polar bears. Specific proteins may exhibit altered profiles in the feces of pregnant bears, but predicting appropriate candidate proteins to investigate is speculative at best. The objective of this study was to identify potential pregnancy biomarker proteins based on their increased abundance in the feces of pregnant polar bears compared to pseudopregnant females (controls) using two-dimensional in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry (MS). Three 2D-DIGE gels were performed to evaluate fecal protein profiles from controls (n=3) and pregnant polar bears (n=3). There were 2224.67±52.39 (mean±SEM) spots resolved per gel. Of these, only five proteins were elevated in the pregnant group (P99.9% confidence interval. The 11 spots represented seven distinct proteins, five of which were significantly more abundant in the pregnant group: IgGFc-binding protein, filamin-C, carboxypeptidase B, transthyretin, and immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region. To our knowledge, this was the first study that employed 2D-DIGE to identify differentially expressed proteins in fecal samples to characterize a physiological condition other than those related to gastrointestinal disorders. These promising results provided a strong foundation for ensuing efforts to develop a non-invasive pregnancy assay for use in both captive and wild polar bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villanger, Gro D.; Jenssen, Bjørn M.; Fjeldberg, Rita R.

    2011-01-01

    associations are not evidence per se of biological cause– effect relationships. Still, the results of the present study indicate that OHCs may affect circulating TH levels in East Greenland polar bears, adding to the “weight of evidence” suggesting that OHCs might interfere with thyroid homeostasis in polar...

  5. Performance and retention of lightweight satellite radio tags applied to the ears of polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Dietz, Rune; Jensen, Mikkel Villum; Durner, George M.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Dyck, Markus

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundSatellite telemetry studies provide information that is critical to the conservation and management of species affected by ecological change. Here we report on the performance and retention of two types (SPOT-227 and SPOT-305A) of ear-mounted Argos-linked satellite transmitters (i.e., platform transmitter terminal, or PTT) deployed on free-ranging polar bears in Eastern Greenland, Baffin Bay, Kane Basin, the southern Beaufort Sea, and the Chukchi Sea during 2007–2013.ResultsTransmissions from 142 out of 145 PTTs deployed on polar bears were received for an average of 69.3 days. The average functional longevity, defined as the number of days they transmitted while still attached to polar bears, for SPOT-227 was 56.8 days and for SPOT-305A was 48.6 days. Thirty-four of the 142 (24%) PTTs showed signs of being detached before they stopped transmitting, indicating that tag loss was an important aspect of tag failure. Furthermore, 10 of 26 (38%) bears that were re-observed following application of a PTT had a split ear pinna, suggesting that some transmitters were detached by force. All six PTTs that were still on bears upon recapture had lost the antenna, which indicates that antenna breakage was a significant contributor to PTT failure. Finally, only nine of the 142 (6%) PTTs—three of which were still attached to bears—had a final voltage reading close to the value indicating battery exhaustion. This suggests that battery exhaustion was not a major factor in tag performance.ConclusionsThe average functional longevity of approximately 2 months for ear-mounted PTTs (this study) is poor compared to PTT collars fitted to adult female polar bears, which can last for several years. Early failure of the ear-mounted PTTs appeared to be caused primarily by detachment from the ear or antenna breakage. We suggest that much smaller and lighter ear-mounted transmitters are necessary to reduce the risk of tissue irritation, tissue damage, and tag detachment, and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-07

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Movement of a female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the Kara Sea during the summer sea-ice break-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozhnov, V V; Platonov, N G; Naidenko, S V; Mordvintsev, I N; Ivanov, E A

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear movement trajectory in relation to onset date of the sea-ice break-up was studied in the coastal zone of the Taimyr Peninsula, eastern part of the Kara Sea, using as an example a female polar bear tagged by a radio collar with an Argos satellite transmitter. Analysis of the long-term pattern of ice melting and tracking, by means of satellite telemetry, of the female polar bear who followed the ice-edge outgoing in the north-eastern direction (in summer 2012) suggests that direction of the polar bear movement depends precisely on the direction of the sea-ice cover break-up.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker Responses in east Greenland polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Basu, Niladri; Letcher, Robert

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routti, Heli; Letcher, Robert J; Born, Erik W; Branigan, Marsha; Dietz, Rune; Evans, Thomas J; Fisk, Aaron T; Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonne, Christian

    2011-08-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Are organohalogen contaminants a bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS

    2006-01-01

    as the nature of the findings, we suggest that long-term exposure to OHCs may be a cofactor in renal lesion occurrence, although other cofactors, such as exposure to heavy metals and recurrent infections from microorganisms, cannot be ruled out. This is new and important knowledge in the assessment of health...

  16. 75 FR 76085 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-07

    ... Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) in the... Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) in the United... Wildlife Service (Service), designate critical habitat for polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations in the...

  17. Movements of female polar bears (Usrus maritimus) in the East Greenland pack ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2003-01-01

    The movements of two adult female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in East Greenland and the Greenland Sea area were studied by use of satellite telemetry between the fall of 1994 and the summer of 1998. One female was tracked for 621 days, the other for 1,415 days. During this time the females used...... for a closer monitoring of the effects of this change on the East Greenland polar bear population....... movement rates varied between 0.32 and 0.76km/h. Both bears had very large home ranges (242,000 and 468,000 km(2)) within the dynamic pack ice of the Greenland Sea. The facts that the bears made extensive use of the offshore sea ice and that there is a marked reduction of the Greenland Sea ice call...

  18. Management of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe.

    OpenAIRE

    Klenzendorf, Sybille A.

    1997-01-01

    Management of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe. Sybille A. Klenzendorf (Abstract) Successful conservation of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Europe is associated with public acceptance of damages caused by bears. Recent increases in sheep depredation and beehive damage in central Austria resulted in the deaths of two bears there. Since bear numbers are low in most European populations, alternatives to the elimination of problem bears associated with dam...

  19. Dioxins in the adipose tissue of the Slovenian brown bear (Ursus arctos)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolta, Z. [National Chemicals Bureau (Slovenia); Krizanec, B. [Maribor Univ. (Slovenia). Fac. of Mechanical Engineering; Voncina, E. [Environmental Protection Institute (Slovenia); Jonozovic, M. [Slovenia Forest Service (Slovenia)

    2004-09-15

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants and toxic to the living beings. The toxicity is extensively described elsewhere. The PCDD/Fs most threatening characteristic may be the bio-accumulation up the food chain, where the bear as well as human stand at the top and are therefore exposed to relatively highly contaminated nutrition with the PCDD/Fs. These facts are raising the concern and the demand for improved knowledge of the PCDD/Fs levels in the nature. Solid scientific evidence on contamination with PCDD/Fs was presented for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), while PCDD/Fs levels in the brown bear (Ursus arctos) population, which once lived throughout the entire European continent, has remain undetermined. Slovenia is one among the few European countries with preserved viable indigenous brown bear (Ursus arctos) population6. The forested south-east of country shelters the core habitat of the Slovene bear population6. The area presents the essential connection of the large habitat ranging form the Greek Pindus Mountains over Dinaric Mountains into the Alps and central Europe. The ''Management Strategy of the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) in Slovenia'' with its underlying action plans for preserving and control of the brown bear population has created a unique opportunity for collecting the brown bear tissue samples. Our investigation of the PCDD/Fs contents in adipose tissues of the brown bear presents the first information of the PCDD/Fs in the wild life of Slovenia and provides valuable data of the PCDD/Fs contamination level in the central Europe.

  20. Trichinella surveillance in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Oregon, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortenson, J A; Kent, M L; Fowler, D R; Chomel, B B; Immell, D A

    2014-01-01

    We used serology and muscle digestion to test black bears (Ursus americanus) from western Oregon, USA, for Trichinella. Results indicate black bears in Oregon are not part of a sylvatic cycle for Trichinella, and risk of human exposure to Trichinella larvae from eating black bear meat from Oregon appears low.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.

    2009-01-01

    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 a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Deecke, Volker B.

    2012-01-01

    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 southeastern Alaska. The animal repeatedly picked up barnacle-encrusted ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Helminths of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Kola Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugmyrin, S V; Tirronen, K F; Panchenko, D V; Kopatz, A; Hagen, S B; Eiken, H G; Kuznetsova, A S

    2017-06-01

    We present data on the species composition of helminths in brown bears (Ursus arctos) from the Murmansk Region, Russia. The absence of any information about helminths of brown bear in the region necessitated the conduct of these studies. Samples were collected in 2014 and 2015 in the southern part of the Kola Peninsula from the White Sea coastal habitats. Annually, in the study area, 1-3 bears are legally hunted and biological samples for examination are very difficult to obtain. Therefore, we used fecal samples. We studied 93 feces and identified parasite eggs identified in 43 of them by morphometric criteria. The surveys revealed eggs of the following helminths: Dicrocoelium sp., Diphyllobothrium sp., Anoplocephalidae, Capillariidae, Baylisascaris sp., Strongylida 1, and Strongylida 2. These results represent the first reconnaissance stage, which allowed characterizing the taxonomic diversity and prevalence of parasites of brown bears of the Kola Peninsula.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Särndahl Eva

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Hemotropic mycoplasma infection in wild black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso, Takehiro; Suzuki, Jin; Sasaoka, Fumina; Sashida, Hinako; Watanabe, Yusaku; Fujihara, Masatoshi; Nagai, Kazuya; Harasawa, Ryô

    2013-04-12

    This is the first report on Mycoplasma infection in wild bears. We report a novel hemotropic Mycoplasma (also called hemoplasma) detected in a free-ranging black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan. We then used real-time PCR to look for hemoplasma DNA in blood samples collected from 15 bears and found that eight (53%) were positive. Among these eight PCR samples, seven showed a melting temperature of around 85.5°C, while the remaining one showed a single peak at 82.26°C. Almost the entire region of the 16S rRNA gene as well as the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region from the sample that showed a melting temperature of 82.26°C was successfully amplified by means of end-point PCR. The nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and the ITS region were then determined and compared with those of authentic Mycoplasma species. Our examinations revealed the presence of a novel hemoplasma in Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. COMPOSITION OF BLACK BEAR MILK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An analysis of black bear ( Ursus americanus Pallas) milk showed that the total solids, fat and protein were much higher and the lactose lower than...either cow or human milk. In comparison with polar bear (Thalarcotos maritimus ), the black bear milk was lower in fat, protein and total calories. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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 bears. Subadult bears had reduced aortic diameter compared to adult bears (P bears.

  17. Questioning current practice in brown bear, Ursus arctos, conservation in Europe that undervalues taxonomy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gippoliti, S.

    2016-07-01

    The present paper highlights problems associated with the currently–accepted taxonomy of brown bear, Ursus arctos, and their consequences for conservation at the European level. The enormous morphological variability within Ursus arctos is not acknowledged in current taxonomy and conservation practice. Seven major clades are recognized in Ursus arctos by molecular researchers, and although Western Europe maintains most of the populations belonging to the relict Clade 1 brown bear lineage, no reference to this is made in current conservation policy. Furthermore, the tiny population of Apennine brown bears, characterized by unique skull morphology, is not even recognized as a distinct ESU (evolutionari significant unit) by current European legislation, nor is it included in the IUCN Red List. This may have serious consequences as brown bear conservation in Western Europe has been mainly based on restocking and reintroduction programs. (Author)

  18. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in American Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ) of the Central Appalachians, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, John J; Murphy, Sean M; Augustine, Ben C; Guthrie, Joseph M; Hast, John T; Maehr, Sutton C; McDermott, Joseph

    2017-07-01

    We assessed Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in 53 free-ranging American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) in the Central Appalachian Mountains, US. Seroprevalence was 62% with no difference between males and females or between juvenile and adult bears. Wildlife agencies should consider warnings in hunter education programs to reduce the chances for human infection from this source.

  19. Prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in North Carolina Eastern Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmoreland, Lori S H; Stoskopf, Michael K; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2016-10-01

    We detected Anaplasma phagocytophilum by DNA amplification in whole blood from free-ranging, hunter-killed American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the east coast of North Carolina, US. Molecular prevalence for Anaplasma phagocytophilum was 3% from 68 black bears. No DNA of other Anaplasma or Ehrlichia spp. was identified.

  20. Fractal analysis of polar bear hairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Qing-Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hairs of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus are of superior properties such as the excellent thermal protection. Why do polar bears can resist such cold environment? The paper concludes that its fractal porosity plays an important role, and its fractal dimensions are very close to the golden mean, 1.618, revealing the possible optimal structure of polar bear hair.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 (

  2. One of the last wild brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Netherlands (Noordwijk)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plicht, Johannes; Kuijper, Wim J.; Verheijen, Ivo K.A.; Ramcharan, André; Kolfschoten, T. van

    2016-01-01

    Early in 2016, bones of a left front leg of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) were found in the dunes between Noordwijk and Zandvoort (Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen - Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes). The stratigraphical composition of the find horizon was identified as the old surface (palaeosoil) of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

  4. First case of Trichodectes pinguis (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera: Trichodectidae) on a Bear (Ursus arctos) in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dik, Bilal; Orunç Kılınç, Özlem

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to provide morphological characters of Trichodectes pinguis Burmeister, 1838 that was found on a European brown bear (Ursus arctos Linnaeus) that was found injured in the Van province, eastern Turkey. Three lice specimens were collected from the bear, and they were identified as T. pinguis. The morphological characteristics of this species were provided in this study. T. pinguis was reported for the first time in Turkey.

  5. Can polar bear hairs absorb environmental energy?

    OpenAIRE

    He Ji-Huan; Wang Qing-Li; Sun Jie

    2011-01-01

    A polar bear (Ursus maritimus) has superior ability to survive in harsh Arctic regions, why does the animal have such an excellent thermal protection? The present paper finds that the unique labyrinth cavity structure of the polar bear hair plays an important role. The hair can not only prevent body temperature loss but can also absorb energy from the environment.

  6. Can polar bear hairs absorb environmental energy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Ji-Huan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A polar bear (Ursus maritimus has superior ability to survive in harsh Arctic regions, why does the animal have such an excellent thermal protection? The present paper finds that the unique labyrinth cavity structure of the polar bear hair plays an important role. The hair can not only prevent body temperature loss but can also absorb energy from the environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Marking activity of the Kamchatka brown bear (Ursus arctos piscator)

    OpenAIRE

    Seryodkin, Ivan V.

    2014-01-01

    The marking activity of brown bears was studied in the Kronotsky Reserve (eastern shore of the Kamchatka Peninsula) between 2002 and 2005. The goal of this investigation was to document communication mechanisms within the species. We recorded descriptions of bears rubbing and marking trees, as well as individual marking behaviour of bears in the Valley of the Geysers. We recorded 203 marked trees in an area of 2.5 km2 . Bears marked mostly stone birches (Betula ermanii ) with a mean diameter ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 The Author(s).

  10. 77 FR 23432 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-19

    ... Polar Bear AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of draft... and advisable to provide for the conservation of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). The Secretary has the discretion to prohibit by regulation with respect to the polar bear any act prohibited by section...

  11. One-dimensional heat conduction equation of the polar bear hair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Wei-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hairs of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus possess special membrane-pore structure. The structure enables the polar bear to survive in the harsh Arctic regions. In this paper, the membrane-pore structure be approximately considered as fractal space, 1-D heat conduction equation of the polar bear hair is established and the solution of the equation is obtained.

  12. Behaviour of solitary adult Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos when approached by humans on foot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gro Kvelprud Moen

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Behaviour of solitary adult Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) when approached by humans on foot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    ), 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Fandos Esteruelas

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Sperm cryopreservation in brown bear (Ursus arctos): preliminary aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel, L; Alvarez, M; Martínez-Pastor, F; Gomes, S; Nicolás, M; Mata, M; Martínez, A F; Borragán, S; Anel, E; de Paz, P

    2008-10-01

    The development of sperm cryopreservation procedures in brown bear is the basis for establishing a specific genetic resource bank aimed at the preservation of a Cantabric brown bear population, which is seriously threatened. Several issues complicate the development of these cryopreservation procedures: lack of previous specific studies, a high incidence of urospermia and spermagglutination observed in bear ejaculates. Moreover, the availability of individuals for research from these threatened populations is problematic. In the case of the Cantabric brown bear, we have used males from other populations, but of the same species, as surrogates, to carry out a direct extrapolation of the results. Urospermia-- Moreover, 70% of the ejaculates are urine contaminated and spermagglutination have a detrimental effect on post-thawing cell quality recovery in this species. Considering the high value of these samples (autochthonous population with few individuals), a pre-selection of the ejaculates is not a viable alternative. Preventive methods reducing the mentioned detrimental effects need to be developed. On the basis of previous data, we can suppose that bear spermatozoa resist freezing injuries well. Nevertheless, because of the scarcity of this information, it is necessary to conduct further research on bear semen freezing under field conditions. Epidydimal spermatozoa can be important for genetic resource banking of threatened populations and thus specific cryobiological protocols need to be assayed. To date, 168 brown bear ejaculates have been frozen by the ITRA-ULE group at the University of León (Spain) in the development of methodologies for the preservation of brown bear sperm.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Retreat and extinction of the Late Pleistocene cave bear (Ursus spelaeus sensu lato).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baca, Mateusz; Popović, Danijela; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Marciszak, Adrian; Urbanowski, Mikołaj; Nadachowski, Adam; Mackiewicz, Paweł

    2016-12-01

    The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus sensu lato) is a typical representative of Pleistocene megafauna which became extinct at the end of the Last Glacial. Detailed knowledge of cave bear extinction could explain this spectacular ecological transformation. The paper provides a report on the youngest remains of the cave bear dated to 20,930 ± 140 14 C years before present (BP). Ancient DNA analyses proved its affiliation to the Ursus ingressus haplotype. Using this record and 205 other dates, we determined, following eight approaches, the extinction time of this mammal at 26,100-24,300 cal. years BP. The time is only slightly earlier, i.e. 27,000-26,100 cal. years BP, when young dates without associated collagen data are excluded. The demise of cave bear falls within the coldest phase of the last glacial period, Greenland Stadial 3. This finding and the significant decrease in the cave bear records with cooling indicate that the drastic climatic changes were responsible for its extinction. Climate deterioration lowered vegetation productivity, on which the cave bear strongly depended as a strict herbivore. The distribution of the last cave bear records in Europe suggests that this animal was vanishing by fragmentation into subpopulations occupying small habitats. One of them was the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in Poland, where we discovered the latest record of the cave bear and also two other, younger than 25,000 14 C years BP. The relatively long survival of this bear in karst regions may result from suitable microclimate and continuous access to water provided by deep aquifers, indicating a refugial role of such regions in the Pleistocene for many species.

  20. Mercury in polar bears from Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lentfer, J.W.; Galster, W.A.

    1987-04-01

    Alaskan polar bear (Ursus maritimus) muscle and liver samples collected in 1972 were analyzed for total mercury. Bears north of Alaska had more mercury than bears west of Alaska. The only difference between young and adult animals was in the northern area where adults had more mercury in liver tissue than young animals. Levels were probably not high enough to be a serious threat to bears.

  1. 75 FR 24545 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-05

    ... Critical Habitat for the Polar Bear in the United States AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior... designation of critical habitat for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973... for the polar bear and on the DEA, and an amended required determinations section of the proposal. We...

  2. 78 FR 11766 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear Under Section 4(d...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-20

    ...'' definition requires evidence of demonstrable injury or death to polar bears. The breadth of the MMPA... Polar Bear Under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior... polar bear (Ursus maritimus), while also including appropriate prohibitions from section 9(a)(1) of the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laufenberg, Jared S.; Clark, Joseph D.

    2014-01-01

    In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) granted Ursus americanus luteolus (Louisiana black bear) threatened status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, listing loss and fragmentation of habitat as the primary threats. A study was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the University of Tennessee, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the USFWS to estimate demographic rates and genetic structure of Louisiana black bear populations; evaluate relations between environmental and anthropogenic factors and demographic, genetic, and movement characteristics of Louisiana black bear populations; and develop data-driven stochastic population projection models to assess long-term persistence of individual subpopulations and the overall black bear population in Louisiana.

  4. Trichinella Surveillance in Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the Dehcho Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, 2002-15.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    We used muscle digestion to test black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from the southwestern Northwest Territories, Canada, for Trichinella. Results showed a prevalence of 4.1%. Some bears had infection intensities of more than one larva per gram of muscle tissue; this level in meat is considered to pose a human consumption safety risk.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Right paw foraging bias in wild black bear (Ursus americanus kermodei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimchen, T E; Spoljaric, M A

    2011-07-01

    Using field observations of ~15 wild adult black bear (Ursus americanus kermodei) foraging on a salmon stream during two autumns on the central coast of British Columbia, we tested for laterality of forelimb use during lunging and during handling of salmon. Of 288 lunging events observed overall, 53% were non biased, 26% were right-limb biased, and 21% left-limb biased (p = .53 between left and right bias). Among six bears in which we could ascertain individual identity (182 lunging events), there was heterogeneity among individuals (p bears (p = .19). There was no forelimb laterality in adjustment of the prey in the mouth or in securing the prey to the substrate. This is the first report of task-specific behavioural lateralisation of a wild carnivore and is suggestive of a right bias (left-hemisphere dominance) in object manipulation.

  9. PREVALENCE OF BABESIA SPP., EHRLICHIA SPP., AND TICK INFESTATIONS IN OKLAHOMA BLACK BEARS (URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Delaina; Mitcham, Jessica R; Starkey, Lindsay A; Noden, Bruce H; Fairbanks, W Sue; Little, Susan E

    2017-10-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) are commonly infested with ticks throughout their range, but there are few surveys for tick-borne disease agents in bears. To characterize tick infestations and determine the prevalence of current infection with Babesia spp. and past or current infection with Ehrlichia spp. in newly re-established populations of black bears in east central and southeastern Oklahoma, US, we identified adult (n=1,048) and immature (n=107) ticks recovered from bears (n=62). We evaluated serum and whole blood samples from a subset (n=49) for antibodies reactive to, and characteristic DNA fragments of, Ehrlichia spp., as well as characteristic DNA fragments of Babesia spp. Amblyomma americanum, the most common tick identified, was found on a majority (56/62; 90%) of bears and accounted for 697/1,048 (66.5%) of all ticks recovered. Other ticks included Dermacentor variabilis (338/1,048; 32.3%) from 36 bears, Amblyomma maculatum (9/1,048; 0.9%) from three bears, and Ixodes scapularis (4/1,048; 0.4%) from three bears. Antibodies reactive to Ehrlichia spp. were detected in every bear tested (49/49; 100%); maximum inverse titers to Ehrlichia chaffeensis ranged from 64-4,096 (geometric mean titer 1,525). However, PCR failed to identify active infection with E. chaffeensis, Ehrlichia ewingii, or an Ehrlichia ruminantium-like agent. Infection with Babesia spp. was detected by PCR in 3/49 (6%) bears. Together these data confirm that tick infestations and infection with tick-borne disease agents are common in bears in the southern US. The significance of these infestations and infections to the health of bears, if any, and the identity of the Ehrlichia spp. responsible for the antibody reactivity seen, warrant further evaluation.

  10. Rebuttal of "Polar bear population forecasts: a public-policy forecasting audit"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven C. Amstrup; Hal Caswell; Eric DeWeaver; Ian Stirling; David C. Douglas; Bruce G. Marcot; Christine M. Hunter

    2009-01-01

    Observed declines in the Arctic sea ice have resulted in a variety of negative effects on polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Projections for additional future declines in sea ice resulted in a proposal to list polar bears as a threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act. To provide information for the Department of the Interior...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-30

    The objective of this study was to reverse the osmotic stress of sperm in urine contaminated bear ejaculates that were obtained by electroejaculation using pre-freezing washing or density gradient centrifugation isolation. In Experiment 1, ejaculates were divided into six aliquots, five were diluted in each washing extender: 200, 300, 400, 500 and 700 mOsm/kg (prepared from a Tes-Tris-Fructose base, adding water or fructose as corresponds), at a 1:2 ratio (raw semen: washing solution, v/v); and the other aliquot was handled without washing (Control group). Samples were centrifuged at 600 × g for 6 min prior to freezing. In Experiment 2, ejaculates were divided into two aliquots: one was diluted 1:1 with TCG (Tris-Citric acid-Glucose) and centrifuged at 600 × g for 6 min (Centrifugation Control; C-Control); the other was treated with PureSperm density gradient column. After treatments, samples were cryopreserved. Sperm motility, viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide (PI)) and acrosomal status (peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate (PNA-FITC)/PI) were analyzed before and after freezing. Ejaculates with an initial osmolality of less than 120 mOsm/kg treated with pre-freezing washing, and the Control sample had greater pre-freezing sperm motility than the raw ejaculate, but sperm viability was not different among these groups. The samples washed with 700 mOsm/kg solutions had the least pre-freezing viability. In the post-thawing evaluation, pre-freezing washing treatments did not provide any improvement in comparison with the Control sample, and treatment with 700 mOsm/kg extender had deleterious effects in all urospermic samples. PureSperm density gradient centrifugation applied to urospermic raw semen was suitable for improving sperm motility and viability of pre-freezing samples and the selected spermatozoa had greater freezing capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasukochi Yoshiki

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasukochi, Yoshiki; Kurosaki, Toshifumi; Yoneda, Masaaki; Koike, Hiroko; Satta, Yoko

    2012-11-29

    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. 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. 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 species. This result suggests that

  15. Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Species of the bear family (Ursidae) are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus). Results Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN), cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3) and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3), are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes. Conclusion We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes. PMID:20338065

  16. Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Sen; Shao, Chunxuan; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Stewart, Nathan C; Xu, Yichi; Tøien, Øivind; Barnes, Brian M; Fedorov, Vadim B; Yan, Jun

    2010-03-26

    Species of the bear family (Ursidae) are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus). Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN), cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3) and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3), are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes. We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Genomic analysis of expressed sequence tags in American black bear Ursus americanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tøien Øivind

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Species of the bear family (Ursidae are important organisms for research in molecular evolution, comparative physiology and conservation biology, but relatively little genetic sequence information is available for this group. Here we report the development and analyses of the first large scale Expressed Sequence Tag (EST resource for the American black bear (Ursus americanus. Results Comprehensive analyses of molecular functions, alternative splicing, and tissue-specific expression of 38,757 black bear EST sequences were conducted using the dog genome as a reference. We identified 18 genes, involved in functions such as lipid catabolism, cell cycle, and vesicle-mediated transport, that are showing rapid evolution in the bear lineage Three genes, Phospholamban (PLN, cysteine glycine-rich protein 3 (CSRP3 and Troponin I type 3 (TNNI3, are related to heart contraction, and defects in these genes in humans lead to heart disease. Two genes, biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL and CSRP3, contain positively selected sites in bear. Global analysis of evolution rates of hibernation-related genes in bear showed that they are largely conserved and slowly evolving genes, rather than novel and fast-evolving genes. Conclusion We provide a genomic resource for an important mammalian organism and our study sheds new light on the possible functions and evolution of bear genes.

  19. Investigating Methods to Reduce Black Bear (Ursus americanus) Visitation to Anthropogenic Food Sources: Conditioned Taste Aversion and Food Removal

    OpenAIRE

    Signor, Kari D.

    2009-01-01

    Conflicts between humans and black bears (Ursus americanus) jeopardize the safety of both humans and bears, especially when bears become food-conditioned to anthropogenic food sources in areas such as campgrounds. Interest in using non-lethal techniques, such as aversive conditioning, to manage such conflicts is growing. I conducted a captive experiment at The Wildlife Science Center in Minnesota and two field experiments in the La Sal Mountains, Utah, to investigate the effects of taste av...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Temporal diet changes recorded by stable isotopes in Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, R N; Goto, M; Izumiyama, S; Yoh, M; Ogura, N; Hayashi, H

    2005-03-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured in hair samples of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) inhabiting the Northern Japanese Alps (NJA) (n = 20) and the periphery of Nagano City (NC) (n = 6), in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The hair of NJA bears, which did not have access to anthropogenic foods, showed lower values of d13C and d15N than that of NC bears which had access to garbage and corn fields, especially during the summer. These results reflect somewhat differing diets between the NJA and NC bears. We attempted to assess the feeding history during the hair growth cycle using the growth section analysis method. Each hair sample had been cut into 3?mm lengths from root to tip, labeled, and analyzed along the hair growth. We measured the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of each 3?mm length of hair sample from one NC bear which had been killed while raiding a corn field. The sections showed wide ranges of isotope ratios, from -23.2% to -14.6% for delta13C, and from 0.3% to 4.6% for delta15N. It was shown that the diet of this bear shifted dramatically from principally C3 plants to more C4 plants and to foods of animal origin. An analysis of the whole hair reflects just the average feeding habit during hair growth, but the present method can trace its diet history. This method can contribute to obtain precise ecological information of wildlife.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-17

    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.

  4. The Lipid Composition of Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) in Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vranković, Lana; Delaš, Ivančica; Reljić, Slaven; Huber, Đuro; Maltar-Strmečki, Nadica; Klobučar, Karla; Krivić, Gabriela; Stojević, Zvonko; Aladrović, Jasna

    The composition of adipose tissue in brown bears (Ursus arctos) is highly variable and depends on an individual's feeding habits. Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) may provide insight into brown bear feeding habits, for which data are scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the lipid composition of SAT and variations in the composition of fatty substances with regard to gender and to assess SAT relative to season and body mass (BM) of brown bears in Croatia. Seventy-six tissue samples of brown bear SAT were analyzed in this study. We found that gender, season, and BM significantly affected the lipid composition of SAT. Both females and males had higher percentages of saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in SAT in spring than in autumn, while the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) was higher in autumn. The prevalence of MUFAs in SAT and the greater presence of PUFAs in autumn, together with the presence of odd-chain saturated fatty acids, indicate the importance of these fatty acids in brown bear physiology. We suggest that the lipid content of adipose tissue may provide valuable information on changes in brown bear condition in response to feeding habits and the effects of supplemental feeding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaqi Wu

    Full Text Available 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Synergistic modulation by chloride and organic phosphates of hemoglobin from bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coletta, M; Condo, S G; Scatena, R; Clementi, M E; Baroni, S; Sletten, S N; Brix, O; Giardina, B

    1994-03-11

    The oxygen binding properties of hemoglobin (Hb) from brown bear (Ursus arctos) have been studied focussing on the effect of heterotropic ligands, and the behaviour has been compared with that of human HbA, taken as a prototype of mammalian Hbs. It has been observed that in bear Hb chloride ions and 2,3-diphosphoglyceric acid (Gri(2,3)P2) can modulate the oxygen affinity in a synergistic way such that their individual effect is enhanced whenever they are both present in saturating amounts. The thermodynamic analysis of such a feature indicates that in bear Hb there are two classes of chloride binding sites, one acting synergistically with Gri(2,3)P2 and another one, which likely overlaps with the organic phosphate interaction cleft, and is therefore fully operative only in the absence of Gri(2,3)P2. The behaviour of the last site is similar to that observed in human HbA, where the effect of Cl- and Gri(2,3)P2 is mutually exclusive. The interaction energy between chloride and Gri(2,3)P2 synergistic binding sites appears to be O2-linked so that the interplay may have a relevant physiological role in modulating the oxygen transport in brown bear. This behaviour is associated with a marked pH-dependence of the oxygenation enthalpy in bear Hb, such that under acidotic and hypercloruremic conditions, oxygen supply to peripheral tissues could be maintained essentially unaltered even under low temperature conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Seth W; Vaughan, Michael R; Demers, Laurence M; Donahue, Henry J

    2003-12-01

    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.

  12. Blood lipid concentrations and lipoprotein patterns in captive and wild American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Nicholas; Elliott, Sarah B; Allin, Shawn B; Ramsay, Edward C

    2006-02-01

    To compare blood lipid concentrations and lipoprotein patterns for captive and wild American black bears (Ursus americanus). 7 captive and 9 wild adult (> or = 4 years old) black bears. Blood was collected from 2 groups of captive black bears (groups A and B) and 1 group of wild black bears (group C). Blood triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol concentrations were compared among groups. Plasma lipoproteins were isolated by use of a self-generating gradient of iodixanol, and lipoprotein patterns were compared between groups A and B. Captive bears (mean +/- SD, 187.8 +/- 44.4 kg) weighed significantly more than wild bears (mean, 104.8 +/- 41.4 kg), but mean body weight did not differ between groups A and B. Mean blood TG concentrations for groups B (216.8 +/- 16.0 mg/dL) and C (190.7 +/- 34.0 mg/dL) were significantly higher than that of group A (103.9 +/- 25.3 mg/dL). Mean blood cholesterol concentration was also significantly higher for group B (227.8 +/- 8.2 mg/dL) than for groups A (171.7 +/- 35.5 mg/dL) or C (190.8 +/- 26.8 mg/dL). Mean very-low-density lipoprotein TG and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were 2- and 3-fold higher, respectively, for group B, compared with concentrations for group A. Blood lipid concentrations vary significantly among populations of black bears. Plasma lipoprotein patterns of captive bears differed significantly between colonies and may have reflected differences in diet or management practices.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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 (Pbears, especially during helicopter capture operations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina L Evans

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos*

    OpenAIRE

    Welinder, Karen Gjesing; Hansen, Rasmus; Overgaard, Michael Toft; Brohus, Malene; Sønderkær, Mads; von Bergen, Martin; Rolle-Kampczyk, Ulrike; Otto, Wolfgang; Lindahl, Tomas L.; Arinell, Karin; Evans, Alina L.; Swenson, Jon E.; Revsbech, Inge G.; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-01-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma prote...

  19. Evaluation of stored body fat in nuisance-killed Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Asano, Makoto; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    We evaluated the stored body fat of Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) killed as nuisances in Gifu and Fukushima prefectures, Japan, during 2005-2007. We employed femur marrow fat (FMF), modified kidney fat index (mKFI), and abdominal subcutaneous fat (ASF) as indices for quantitative evaluation. We examined the basic characteristics of these indices, such as seasonality, age and sex dependency, and the quantitative relationship among them. mKFI and ASF increased towards the beginning of the denning period (December), while FMF was relatively stable throughout the sampling period (July-December). In cubs, all indices showed significantly lower values than in the older age classes. There seemed to be a catabolizing order between FMF and mKFI, but not between mKFI and ASF. We also evaluated the yearly change in the indices, and discussed its relevance to the incidence of bear intrusion into human residential areas. Bears nuisance-killed in summer (July-September) 2006 had a significantly larger amount of stored body fat than those killed in summer 2007, although the number of nuisance kills was larger in 2006 than in 2007. This suggests that poor nutritional condition is not a direct cause of bear intrusion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The presence of Ursus ex gr. minimus-thibetanus in the late villányian and its position among the Pliocene and Pleistocene black bears in Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wagner, Jan; Čermák, Stanislav; Horáček, I.

    -, č. 4 (2011), s. 39-58 ISSN 1771-1150 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Black bear * MN17 * Ursus aff. thibetanus * Villány 3 * Central Europe - Hungary * Ursus * Pleistocene * Pliocene Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Stenvinkel

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii from free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, D L; Ulrey, W A; Guthrie, J M; Kwok, O C H; Cox, J J; Maehr, D S; Dubey, J P

    2012-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a significant worldwide parasitic protozoan. In the present study, prevalence of antibodies of T. gondii was examined from 29 free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from south-central Florida where the host species was listed as state threatened during this project. Overall T. gondii prevalence was found to be 44.8%, specifically 46.2% in male and 43.8% in female U. americanus , using a modified agglutination test (1:25 titer). Seroprevalence differences between sexes were not significant (P > 0.05). Results of the present study add supportive data to the growing body of evidence suggesting that U. americanus has one of the highest T. gondii seroprevalences among all known intermediate hosts. In addition, our data emphasize the importance of understanding parasitic disease dynamics from a conservation perspective.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Various training methods have been developed for animal husbandry and health care in zoos and one of these trainings is blood collection. One training method, recently widely used for blood collection in Ursidae, requires setting up a sleeve outside the cage and gives access to limited blood collection sites. A new voluntary blood collection method without a sleeve was applied to the Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) with access to various veins at the same time. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of this new method and suggests improvements. Two Andean and two Asiatic black bears in Yokohama and Nogeyama Zoological Gardens, respectively, were trained to hold a bamboo pipe outside their cages. We could, thereby, simultaneously access superficial dorsal veins, the dorsal venous network of the hand, the cephalic vein from the carpal joint, and an area approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint. This allowed us to evaluate which vein was most suitable for blood collection. We found that the cephalic vein, approximately 10 cm proximal to the carpal joint, was the most suitable for blood collection. This new method requires little or no modification of zoo facilities and provides a useful alternative method for blood collection. It could be adapted for use in other clinical examinations such as ultrasound examination. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Modulation of gene expression in heart and liver of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Tøien, Øivind; Stewart, Nathan C; Chang, Celia; Wang, Haifang; Yan, Jun; Showe, Louise C; Showe, Michael K; Barnes, Brian M

    2011-03-31

    Hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive in highly seasonal or unpredictable environments. The molecular and genetic basis of hibernation physiology in mammals has only recently been studied using large scale genomic approaches. We analyzed gene expression in the American black bear, Ursus americanus, using a custom 12,800 cDNA probe microarray to detect differences in expression that occur in heart and liver during winter hibernation in comparison to summer active animals. We identified 245 genes in heart and 319 genes in liver that were differentially expressed between winter and summer. The expression of 24 genes was significantly elevated during hibernation in both heart and liver. These genes are mostly involved in lipid catabolism and protein biosynthesis and include RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3), which enhances protein synthesis at mildly hypothermic temperatures. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes suggests induction of translation that may be related to adaptive mechanisms reducing cardiac and muscle atrophies over extended periods of low metabolism and immobility during hibernation in bears. Coordinated reduction of transcription of genes involved in amino acid catabolism suggests redirection of amino acids from catabolic pathways to protein biosynthesis. We identify common for black bears and small mammalian hibernators transcriptional changes in the liver that include induction of genes responsible for fatty acid β oxidation and carbohydrate synthesis and depression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, carbohydrate catabolism, cellular respiration and detoxification pathways. Our findings show that modulation of gene expression during winter hibernation represents molecular mechanism of adaptation to extreme environments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena G. Gonzalez

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Dietary ecology of the extinct cave bear: Evidence of omnivory as inferred from dental microwear textures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Brent Jones

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The diet of the extinct European cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, has widely been debated. Diverging from the extant brown bear (Ursus arctos approximately 1.2 million years ago, the cave bear is one of the most ubiquitous fossil bears occurring in Europe during the middle and Late Pleistocene. Early morphological studies suggested that the cave bear was likely specialized on processing tough and/or abrasive foods, while later two-dimensional low-magnification microwear studies suggested that they were omnivorous and may have consumed more bone than U. arctos. Here, we used dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA to further interpret the diet of the cave bear. Microscopic wear features were assessed and compared to modern ursids, including the cave bears’ closest living relative, U. arctos. Results suggest that U. spelaeus consumed a diet with a diversity of textural properties, similar to most other bears and only distinguishable from the hyper-carnivorous polar bear (Ursus maritimus. Further, only U. maritimus can be distinguished from all bear species here examined (i.e., the giant panda bear, Ailuropoda melanoleuca; sun-bear, Ursus malayanus; spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus; American black bear, Ursus americanus; and U. arctos, with significantly greater area-scale fractal complexity (Asfc of microwear surfaces. The DMTA of A. melanoleuca also has significantly lower Asfc than T. ornatus and U. americanus, consistent with observed dietary behavior. As modern bears vary their diets seasonally and across their range, it may be difficult to characterize the dietary ecology of extinct bears using dental microwear alone. Nevertheless, DMTA here demonstrates that U. spelaeus had a diet distinct from the hyper-carnivorous U. maritimus and instead likely consumed food with textural properties most similar to other herbivorous/omnivorous bears. Lastly, the European cave bear and North American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus may have had

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 whether polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rat...

  14. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven C. Amstrup; Eric T. DeWeaver; David C. Douglas; Bruce G. Marcot; George M. Durner; Cecilia M. Bitz; David A. Bailey

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible...

  15. Forecasting the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd C. Atwood; Bruce G. Marcot; David C. Douglas; Steven C. Amstrup; Karyn D. Rode; George M. Durner; Jeffrey F. Bromaghin

    2016-01-01

    Effective conservation planning requires understanding and ranking threats to wildlife populations. We developed a Bayesian network model to evaluate the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors, and their mitigation, on the persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Overall sea ice conditions, affected by rising global...

  16. A protocol for the isolation and cultivation of brown bear (Ursus arctos) adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, J L; Rigano, K S; Evans Hutzenbiler, B D; Nelson, O L; Robbins, C T; Jansen, H T

    2016-10-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) exhibit hyperphagia each fall and can become obese in preparation for hibernation. They do this without displaying the physiological problems typically seen in obese humans, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The study of brown bear hibernation biology could therefore aid in the development of novel methods for combating metabolic diseases. To this end, we isolated mesenchymal stem cells from subcutaneous fat biopsies, and culture methods were developed to differentiate these into the adipogenic lineage. Biopsies were taken from 8 captive male (N = 6) and female (N = 2) brown bears, ages 2-12 years. Plastic adherent, fibroblast-like cells were proliferated and subsequently cryopreserved or differentiated. Differentiation conditions were optimized with respect to fetal bovine serum content and time spent in differentiation medium. Cultures were characterized through immunostaining, RT-qPCR, and Oil red O staining to quantify lipid accumulation. Adiponectin, leptin, and glycerol medium concentrations were also determined over the course of differentiation. The culturing protocol succeeded in generating hormone-sensitive lipase-expressing, lipid-producing white-type adipocytes (UCP1 negative). Serum concentration and time of exposure to differentiation medium were both positively related to lipid production. Cells cultured to low passage numbers retained similar lipid production and expression of lipid markers PLIN2 and FABP4. Ultimately, the protocols described here may be useful to biologists in the field investigating the health of wild bear populations and could potentially increase our understanding of metabolic disorders in humans.

  17. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes in liver and muscle of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Tøien, Øivind; Stewart, Nathan C; Gracey, Andrew Y; Chang, Celia; Qin, Shizhen; Pertea, Geo; Quackenbush, John; Showe, Louise C; Showe, Michael K; Boyer, Bert B; Barnes, Brian M

    2009-04-10

    We conducted a large-scale gene expression screen using the 3,200 cDNA probe microarray developed specifically for Ursus americanus to detect expression differences in liver and skeletal muscle that occur during winter hibernation compared with animals sampled during summer. The expression of 12 genes, including RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3), that are mostly involved in protein biosynthesis, was induced during hibernation in both liver and muscle. The Gene Ontology and Gene Set Enrichment analysis consistently showed a highly significant enrichment of the protein biosynthesis category by overexpressed genes in both liver and skeletal muscle during hibernation. Coordinated induction in transcriptional level of genes involved in protein biosynthesis is a distinctive feature of the transcriptome in hibernating black bears. This finding implies induction of translation and suggests an adaptive mechanism that contributes to a unique ability to reduce muscle atrophy over prolonged periods of immobility during hibernation. Comparing expression profiles in bears to small mammalian hibernators shows a general trend during hibernation of transcriptional changes that include induction of genes involved in lipid metabolism and carbohydrate synthesis as well as depression of genes involved in the urea cycle and detoxification function in liver.

  18. The first detection of Babesia species DNA from Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikawa, Kazuhito; Aoki, Mikiko; Ichikawa, Madoka; Itagaki, Tadashi

    2011-06-01

    In this study, we tried to detect protozoan blood parasites from the liver or blood of 156 Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) in Iwate Prefecture of Japan by polymerase chain reaction. Two amplicons (approximately 540 bp and 480 bp) were detected by amplification for V4 hyper-variable regions of the 18S rRNA gene. Approximately 540-bp products were obtained in 119 samples (76.3%) and were considered to be DNA of Hepatozoon ursi. Approximately 480-bp products were obtained in 22 samples (14.1%) and were considered to be DNA of Babesia species. The nucleotide sequences (1635 bp) of the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia sp. were very similar (99.3%) to those (AY190123, AY190124) of Babesia sp. detected previously from Ixodes ovatus. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Babesia sp. detected in this study closely related to Babesia sp. derived from raccoons in Japan and the U.S.A. This is the first report of Babesia species detected from Japanese black bears. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. De novo SNP discovery in the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita J Norman

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. Histologic and molecular identification of disseminated Histoplasma capsulatum in a captive brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highland, Margaret A; Chaturvedi, Sudha; Perez, Michael; Steinberg, Howard; Wallace, Roberta

    2011-07-01

    A 33-year-old brown bear (Ursus arctos) was evaluated for chronic cough, partial anorexia, and lethargy in early fall of 2009. Radiographs revealed a generalized increase in interstitial density with focal lung field consolidation and air bronchograms more prevalent in the cranial lung lobes. Tracheal sputum and wash fluid grew mixed bacteria and 2 species of Candida on bacterial and fungal cultures, respectively. Serum was negative for antibodies to Aspergillus, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, and Histoplasma by semiquantitative radial immunodiffusion. Antimicrobial and antifungal treatment was administered. The bear died 1 month after entering hibernation. Gross necropsy revealed coalescent nodules and sheets of firm tan tissue covering pleural surfaces of the thoracic cavity and within pulmonary parenchyma, enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes, and intestinal ulcerations. Histopathology revealed granulomatous inflammation with intrahistiocytic yeast, consistent with Histoplasma organisms, in lung, diaphragm, mesenteric lymph nodes, intestine, and adrenal glands. Molecular analysis performed on DNA isolated from lung tissue, including conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the internal transcribed spacer region for the ribosomal RNA gene complex and real-time PCR targeting the gene encoding a unique region of M specific protein, identified the organism to be 100% identical to Histoplasma capsulatum with an average of 4.9 × 10(7) gene copies per gram of tissue. The present report describes histologic and molecular techniques for diagnosing histoplasmosis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Environmental DNA from Residual Saliva for Efficient Noninvasive Genetic Monitoring of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E Wheat

    Full Text Available Noninvasive genetic sampling is an important tool in wildlife ecology and management, typically relying on hair snaring or scat sampling techniques, but hair snaring is labor and cost intensive, and scats yield relatively low quality DNA. New approaches utilizing environmental DNA (eDNA may provide supplementary, cost-effective tools for noninvasive genetic sampling. We tested whether eDNA from residual saliva on partially-consumed Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. carcasses might yield suitable DNA quality for noninvasive monitoring of brown bears (Ursus arctos. We compared the efficiency of monitoring brown bear populations using both fecal DNA and salivary eDNA collected from partially-consumed salmon carcasses in Southeast Alaska. We swabbed a range of tissue types from 156 partially-consumed salmon carcasses from a midseason run of lakeshore-spawning sockeye (O. nerka and a late season run of stream-spawning chum (O. keta salmon in 2014. We also swabbed a total of 272 scats from the same locations. Saliva swabs collected from the braincases of salmon had the best amplification rate, followed by swabs taken from individual bite holes. Saliva collected from salmon carcasses identified unique individuals more quickly and required much less labor to locate than scat samples. Salmon carcass swabbing is a promising method to aid in efficient and affordable monitoring of bear populations, and suggests that the swabbing of food remains or consumed baits from other animals may be an additional cost-effective and valuable tool in the study of the ecology and population biology of many elusive and/or wide-ranging species.

  3. Detection of human bacterial pathogens in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leydet, Brian F; Liang, Fang-Ting

    2013-04-01

    There are 4 major human-biting tick species in the northeastern United States, which include: Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. The black bear is a large mammal that has been shown to be parasitized by all the aforementioned ticks. We investigated the bacterial infections in ticks collected from Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus subspecies luteolus). Eighty-six ticks were collected from 17 black bears in Louisiana from June 2010 to March 2011. All 4 common human-biting tick species were represented. Each tick was subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting select bacterial pathogens and symbionts. Bacterial DNA was detected in 62% of ticks (n=53). Rickettsia parkeri, the causative agent of an emerging spotted fever group rickettsiosis, was identified in 66% of A. maculatum, 28% of D. variabilis, and 11% of I. scapularis. The Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, was detected in 2 I. scapularis, while one A. americanum was positive for Borrelia bissettii, a putative human pathogen. The rickettsial endosymbionts Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae, rickettsial endosymbiont of I. scapularis, and Rickettsia amblyommii were detected in their common tick hosts at 21%, 39%, and 60%, respectively. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia spp., and Babesia microti. This is the first reported detection of R. parkeri in vector ticks in Louisiana; we also report the novel association of R. parkeri with I. scapularis. Detection of both R. parkeri and B. burgdorferi in their respective vectors in Louisiana demands further investigation to determine potential for human exposure to these pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Modulation of gene expression in heart and liver of hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus

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    Yan Jun

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive in highly seasonal or unpredictable environments. The molecular and genetic basis of hibernation physiology in mammals has only recently been studied using large scale genomic approaches. We analyzed gene expression in the American black bear, Ursus americanus, using a custom 12,800 cDNA probe microarray to detect differences in expression that occur in heart and liver during winter hibernation in comparison to summer active animals. Results We identified 245 genes in heart and 319 genes in liver that were differentially expressed between winter and summer. The expression of 24 genes was significantly elevated during hibernation in both heart and liver. These genes are mostly involved in lipid catabolism and protein biosynthesis and include RNA binding protein motif 3 (Rbm3, which enhances protein synthesis at mildly hypothermic temperatures. Elevated expression of protein biosynthesis genes suggests induction of translation that may be related to adaptive mechanisms reducing cardiac and muscle atrophies over extended periods of low metabolism and immobility during hibernation in bears. Coordinated reduction of transcription of genes involved in amino acid catabolism suggests redirection of amino acids from catabolic pathways to protein biosynthesis. We identify common for black bears and small mammalian hibernators transcriptional changes in the liver that include induction of genes responsible for fatty acid β oxidation and carbohydrate synthesis and depression of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis, carbohydrate catabolism, cellular respiration and detoxification pathways. Conclusions Our findings show that modulation of gene expression during winter hibernation represents molecular mechanism of adaptation to extreme environments.

  5. Fatal snake bite in a brown bear (Ursus arctos L.: A case report

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    Romel Velev

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Poisoning from snake venom in animals is an emergency which requires immediate attention or otherwise, the delayed and inadequate treatment leads to untoward consequences and death. The present paper describes a case of venomous snakebite in a brown bear cub (Ursus arctos L. and its therapeutic management. The brown bear cub of which was found alone on the slopes of a mountain in the southwest part of the country was presented to the peripheral veterinary practice in Ohrid with a history of dullness, disorientation and excessive swelling around the left forepaw. It was diagnosed for snakebite based on the history and physical examination. The hematological parameters showed reduced values of hemoglobin, packed cell volume and increased total leukocyte count. The biochemical values showed elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase and creatinine. After immobilization of the animal, the treatment was conducted with fluids, corticosteroid and broad spectrum antibiotic with careful monitoring. Despite the treatment which was initiated immediately, it was only partially effective, and the animal died one hour after the beginning of its course. Poisonous snakes are common in the mountainous part of Macedonia and, just like humans, wild bears especially their cubs are susceptible to the deadly venom of some species. The severity of the reaction to snake venom and prognosis in animals depends on a number of factors: on the type and species of snake, on how much venom was injected, on the location of the bite, on the age, health and body weight of the animal and crucially, the time interval between the snakebite and the application of the treatment.

  6. Diagnosing mechanisms of decline and planning for recovery of an endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos population.

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    Guillaume Chapron

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Parathyroid hormone may maintain bone formation in hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus) to prevent disuse osteoporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Seth W; Galley, Sarah A; Vaughan, Michael R; Patterson-Buckendahl, Patricia; Demers, Laurence M; Vance, Josef L; McGee, Meghan E

    2006-05-01

    Mechanical unloading of bone causes an imbalance in bone formation and resorption leading to bone loss and increased fracture risk. Black bears (Ursus americanus) are inactive for up to six months during hibernation, yet bone mineral content and strength do not decrease with disuse or aging. To test whether hibernating bears have biological mechanisms to prevent disuse osteoporosis, we measured the serum concentrations of hormones and growth factors involved in bone metabolism and correlated them with the serum concentration of a bone formation marker (osteocalcin). Serum was obtained from black bears over a 7-month duration that included periods of activity and inactivity. Both resorption and formation markers increased during hibernation, suggesting high bone turnover occurred during inactivity. However, bone formation appeared to be balanced with bone resorption. The serum concentration of parathyroid hormone (PTH) was higher in the hibernation (P=0.35) and post-hibernation (P=0.006) seasons relative to pre-hibernation levels. Serum leptin was lower (Phibernation relative to pre-hibernation and hibernation periods. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) decreased (Phibernation relative to pre-hibernation and reached its highest value during remobilization. There was no difference (P=0.64) in 25-OH vitamin D between the three seasons. Serum osteocalcin (bone formation marker) was significantly correlated with PTH, but not with leptin, IGF-I or 25-OH vitamin D. Osteocalcin and PTH were positively correlated when samples from all seasons were pooled and when only hibernation samples were considered, raising the possibility that the anabolic actions of PTH help maintain bone formation to prevent disuse osteoporosis. Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) release from MC3T3 osteoblastic cells was significantly affected by treatment with bear serum from different seasons (i.e. hibernation versus active periods). The seasonal changes in PGE(2) release showed trends similar to the

  8. Ursidibacter maritimus gen. nov., sp. nov. and Ursidibacter arcticus sp. nov., two new members of the family Pasteurellaceae isolated from the oral cavity of bears

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mie Johanne; Braaten, Mira Strøm; Bojesen, Anders Miki

    2015-01-01

    A total of 32 suspected Pasteurellaceae strains isolated from polar and brown bears were characterized by genotypic and phenotypic tests. Phylogenetic analysis of partial 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequences showed that the isolates investigated formed two closely related monophyletic groups. Based o....... nov. isolated from brown bears with the type strain Bamse61T (=CCUG 65145 =DSM 28138 T). The type species is Ursidibacter maritimus and the type strain Pb43106T was isolated from the oral cavity of a wild polar bear in Greenland in 2011....

  9. Perfluoroalkyl substances in polar bear mother-cub pairs: A comparative study based on plasma levels from 1998 and 2008

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bytingsvik, J.; Leeuwen, S.; Hamers, T.; Swart, C.P.; Aars, J.; Lie, E.; Espseth Nilsen, E.M.; Wiig, O.; Derocher, A. E.; Jenssen, B.M.

    2012-01-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are protein-binding blood-accumulating contaminants that may have detrimental toxicological effects on the early phases of mammalian development. To enable an evaluation of the potential health risks of PFAS exposure for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), an exposure

  10. The king of the forest: Local knowledge about European brown bears (Ursus arctos) and implications for their conservation in contemporary Western Macedonia

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolas Lescureux; John D.C. Linnell; Sabit Mustafa; Dime Melovski; Aleksandar Stojanov; Gjorge Ivanov; Vasko Avukatov

    2011-01-01

    From a conservation point of view, Macedonia′s brown bear (Ursus arctos) population appears to be a key link in the distribution of one of Europe′s largest brown bear populations, the Dinaric-Pindos population. The lack of information concerning the bear population in the Republic of Macedonia and bear acceptance by local people inspired us to explore local knowledge and perceptions concerning bears that could be relevant for their conservation. Accordingly, we adopted a qualitative approach ...

  11. PCR-Based Detection of Trypanosoma evansi Infection in Semi-Captive Asiatic Black Bears (Ursus thibetanus

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    Maliha Shahid, Safia Janjua*, Fakhar-i-Abbas and Jan Schmidt Burbach1

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Clinical signs, viz lethargy, increased heart rate and reduced appetite, making trypanosomiasis a possible differential diagnosis, were found in five out of twenty semi-captive Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus in a sanctuary, located in Kund, District Sawabi, KPK, Pakistan. Microscopic examination of blood samples of bears expressing clinical signs and symptoms revealed the presence of haemoflagellates, which was found to be trypanosomes. Subsequently, the PCR technique was exploited to screen for the presence of trypanosomal species in all bears’ blood samples. Blood samples from 20 individual bears were screened using three sets of primers specific to Trypanosoma evansi species. Three primer pairs used are equally effective in successful detection of the parasite. Two out of five, diseased bears died prior to any trypanosoma specific medication while the rest were given an administered dose of Melarsomine (Immiticide. The treated bears survived and were assured to be aparasitemic on post-treatment examination after six weeks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Activity pattern of the orphaned Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae cubs during rehabilitation processes.

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    S. Dasgupta

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Five Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus cubs aged between 6.5-15 months were studied for five months using instantaneous scan sampling (n=3049 scans while they were undergoing acclimatization in the rehabilitation areas in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. During the course of the study, feeding, moving, climbing, resting and playing activities were recorded in three consecutive time periods, representing three phases of acclimatization. The frequency of climbing and moving increased considerably towards the third phase, while feeding decreased. These changes can be attributed to a learning process during acclimatization. Time spent on moving and playing differed significantly among the bears, but not climbing or feeding.

  14. Immobilization of Asiatic Black Bears ( Ursus thibetanus ) with Medetomidine-Zolazepam-Tiletamine in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Yang, Jeong-Jin; Seok, Seong-Hoon; Song, Byeung-Cheul; Yeon, Seong-Chan

    2017-07-01

    The Asiatic black bear ( Ursus thibetanus ; ABB) is a globally endangered species for which a restoration program has been ongoing in South Korea since 2001. However, there is little information on immobilization protocols for ABBs. We evaluated the use of medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine for their immobilization. During 2005-13, we anesthetized 60 ABBs (32 males, 28 females; 7 mo to 12 yr old) with medetomidine 0.03-0.045 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine 1.54-2.3 mg/kg; reversal of anesthesia was done with atipamezole 0.15-0.225 mg/kg administered intravenously alone or intravenously and intramuscularly (50:50). Mean (and SD) for physiologic collected for 373 immobilizations of at least 60 min were: time to sedation, 7.8 (5.4) min; anesthesia induction time, 13.7 (8.1) min; complete recovery time, 14.8 (12.4) min; respiratory rate, 14 (7) breaths/min; heart rate, 51 (16) beats/min; rectal temperature, 37.3 (1.3) C; and hemoglobin oxygen saturation, 88% (6%). Few cardiopulmonary side effects occurred during immobilization and adequate depth of anesthesia was maintained for >60 min without need for supplementation. The dosage and drug combination used was effective for immobilization of ABBs with minimal adverse effects on vital signs and can be recommended in most clinical applications.

  15. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, E J; Chesnutt, S R; Winer, J N; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    Museum specimens (maxillae and/or mandibles) from 371 American black bears (Ursus americanus) acquired between 1889 and 2006 were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria, and 348 were included in this study. Of the 348 specimens, 126 (36.2%) were from male animals, 106 (30.5%) were from female animals and 116 (33.3%) were from animals of unknown sex. Specimen ages ranged from young adult (n = 63, 18.1%) to adult (n = 285, 81.9%), with juveniles excluded from the study. The number of teeth available for examination was 12,019 (82.2%); 7.0% of teeth were absent artefactually, 0.4% were deemed absent due to acquired tooth loss and 9.7% were absent congenitally. In 43 specimens (12.3%), 82 teeth (0.68%) were small vestigial structures with crowns that were flush with the level of surrounding alveolar bone. The remaining teeth (99.3%) were of normal morphology. Only three supernumerary teeth and three instances of enamel hypoplasia were encountered. Persistent deciduous teeth or teeth with an aberrant number of roots were not encountered in any of the specimens. Approximately one-third of the teeth examined (4,543, 37.8%) displayed attrition/abrasion, affecting nearly all of the specimens (n = 338, 97.1%). Incisor and molar teeth accounted for 52.5% and 34.3% of the affected teeth, respectively, with significantly more adults affected than young adults. Dental fractures were noted in 63 bears, affecting 18.1% of specimens and 1.0% of the total number of present teeth. The canine teeth were most often fractured, with adults having significantly more complicated crown fractures of these teeth than young adults. There were 11 specimens (3.2%) that displayed periapical lesions, affecting 12 (0.1%) dental alveoli. There were 179 specimens (51.4%) displaying bony changes indicative of periodontitis, affecting 816 (6.8%) dental alveoli. The proportion of adult bears affected by periodontitis (57.9%) was significantly greater than that of young adults

  16. Ancient hybridization and an Irish origin for the modern polar bear matriline

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Suchard, Marc A.; Lemey, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    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....

  17. Questioning current practice in brown bear, Ursus arctos, conservation in Europe that undervalues taxonomy

    OpenAIRE

    Gippoliti, S.

    2016-01-01

    Cuestionamiento de la actual estrategia de conservación del oso pardo, Ursus arctos, en Europa, que infravalora la taxonomía En este trabajo se ponen de relieve los problemas relacionados con la taxonomía actualmente aceptada del oso pardo, Ursus arctos, y sus consecuencias para la conservación en el ámbito europeo. En la actualidad, ni la taxonomía ni las prácticas de conservación reconocen la enorme variabilidad morfológica existente dentro de la especie Ursus arctos. Los investigadores ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Despite 5-7 months of physical inactivity during hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to cope with physiological conditions that would be detrimental to humans. During hibernation, the tissue metabolic demands fall to 25% of the active state. Our objective was to assess...... cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. METHODS: We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter.......31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Liver and kidney structure and iron content in romanian brown bears (Ursus arctos) before and after hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prunescu, Carol- Constantin; Serban-Parau, Nicolae; Brock, Jeremy H; Vaughan, Diane M; Prunescu, Paula

    2003-01-01

    The annual cycle of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Carpathian Mountains (Romania) consists of an active period from April to November, and an inactive period (hibernation) of approximately 4-5 months between November and March. During hibernation, the brown bears sleep continually and do not feed or drink water. Analyses of liver and kidney of male brown bears showed that liver iron content was 3 times higher in bears at the end of hibernation than at the end of the active period. A possible trend towards a decrease in iron content was noted for the kidney. The presence of iron in the liver was confirmed by the presence of the Perls-positive granules in the cytoplasm of Kupffer cells, in other non-parenchymal cells and also in some hepatocytes. The hepatic veins of the bear liver samples obtained in early spring showed narrower lumens with pleated walls, compared to the normal outline of the hepatic veins in the liver from the bears sampled during autumn. Also in the early spring bears, the renal glomeruli were partially fibrosed. Renal glomerular fibrosis was sometimes observed in samples from the prehibernation period. The tissue iron values from the livers and kidneys of brown bears in early spring or autumn might provide useful data on iron metabolism under conditions of hibernation and accompanying starvation.

  2. Breeding facilities for polar bears, Thalarctos maritimus (Phipps, 1774), in captivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobi, E.F.

    1968-01-01

    The breeding results of Polar Bears in captivity are in general very disappointing. Unsuitable maternity dens are the main cause. These should be completely closed, very quiet without outside disturbances and should have connection with a run and thus with an outside enclosure. The female should be

  3. Milk composition in free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) as a model for captive rearing milk formula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedberg, Gail E; Derocher, Andrew E; Andersen, Magnus; Rogers, Quinton R; DePeters, Edward J; Lönnerdal, Bo; Mazzaro, Lisa; Chesney, Russell W; Hollis, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    The goals of this study were to have an improved understanding of milk composition and to help create a suitable milk formula for cubs raised in captivity. Milk samples were evaluated for fat, fatty acids, carbohydrate, vitamin D(3), 25(OH)D(3), vitamin A (retinol), vitamin E (α-tocopherol), protein, and amino acids. Total lipids in milk did not differ for cubs (mean ± SEM = 26.60 ± 1.88 g/100 ml vs. yearlings 27.80 ± 2.20 g/100 ml). Milk lipids were of 23.6% saturated fatty acid for cubs and 22.4% for yearlings. Milk consumed by cubs and yearlings contained 43.8 and 42.0% mono-unsaturated fatty acids and 23.4 and 21.9% polyunsaturated fatty acids, respectively. Carbohydrate content was higher in milk for cubs (4.60 ± 0.64 g/100 ml) than for yearlings (2.60 ± 0.40 g/100 ml). Vitamin D(3) concentration of milk was 18.40 ± 5.00 ng/ml in early lactation compared with 7.60 ± 2.00 ng/ml for mid-lactation. 25(OH)D(3) was lower in milk consumed by cubs (162.00 ± 6.70 pg/ml) than in milk consumed by yearlings (205.00 ± 45.70 pg/ml). Vitamin A concentrations were 0.06 ± 0.01 and 0.03 ± 0.01 µg/ml for cubs and yearlings, respectively. Vitamin E was higher in milk consumed by cubs (20.16 ± 4.46 µg/ml) than by yearlings (7.30 ± 1.50 µg/ml). Protein content did not differ in milk available to cubs (11.40 ± 0.80 g/100 ml compared with milk for yearlings 11.80 ± 0.40 g/100 ml). Taurine was the most abundant free amino acid at 3,165.90 ± 192.90 nmol/ml (0.04% as fed basis). © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Sahlén

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Assays for Detection and Identification of the Causative Agent of Mange in Free-Ranging Black Bears ( Ursus americanus).

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    Peltier, Sarah K; Brown, Justin D; Ternent, Mark A; Fenton, Heather; Niedringhaus, Kevin D; Yabsley, Michael J

    2018-03-02

    Three mite species ( Demodex ursi, Ursicoptes americanus, and Sarcoptes scabiei) have been associated with mange in black bears ( Ursus americanus). Since the early 1990s, the number and geographic distribution of mange cases in black bears in Pennsylvania has increased; however, the causative mites have yet to be completely defined. We evaluated several diagnostic approaches for detection and identification of mites in 72 black bears with severe lesions consistent with mange. Sarcoptes scabiei was morphologically identified in skin scrapes from 66 of the bears; no mites were identified in the remaining six. Histopathologic lesions consistent with sarcoptic mange were observed in 39 of 40 bear skin samples examined, and intralesional mites were observed in samples from 38 of these bears. Samples were collected from a subset of the 72 bears for PCR testing targeting both the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 region and cytochrome c oxidase I ( cox1) gene including 69 skin scrapes ( ITS-2 only), 56 skin biopsies ( ITS-2 and cox1), and 36 fecal samples ( ITS-2 and cox1). Skin scrapes were a more sensitive sample for PCR detection than either skin biopsies or fecal samples, and the ITS-2 primers proved more sensitive than cox1. Using a commercial indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, antibodies to S. scabiei were detected in 45/49 (92%) black bears with confirmed mange and 0/62 (0%) cubs with no gross lesions suggestive of mange and which were born to seronegative sows. Sarcoptes scabiei was the predominant mite associated with mange in black bears in Pennsylvania. Diagnostically, cytologic examination of skin scrapes was the most effective approach for diagnosing active mite infestations in black bears. The evaluated serologic assay accurately detected antibodies to S. scabiei in most bears with confirmed S. scabiei infestations. Additional research is needed to determine the usefulness of this approach for larger scale surveys and for asymptomatic bears.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. The tensile strength of black bear (Ursus americanus) cortical bone is not compromised with aging despite annual periods of hibernation.

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    Harvey, Kristin B; Drummer, Thomas D; Donahue, Seth W

    2005-11-01

    Black bears (Ursus americanus) may not develop disuse osteoporosis during long periods of disuse (i.e. hibernation) because they may be able to maintain bone formation. Previously, we found that cortical bone bending strength was not compromised with age in black bears' tibias, despite annual periods of disuse. Here we showed that cortical bone tensile strength (166-198MPa) also does not decrease with age (2-14 years) in black bear tibias. There were also no significant age-related changes in cortical bone porosity in black bear tibias. It is likely that the ability of black bears to maintain bone formation during hibernation keeps bone porosity low (2.3-8.6%) with aging, notwithstanding annual periods of disuse. This low porosity likely preserves ultimate stress with aging. Female bears give birth and nurse during hibernation; however, we found no significant differences between male and female tensile material properties, mineral content, or porosity. Our findings support the idea that black bears, which hibernate 5-7 months annually, have evolved biological mechanisms to mitigate the adverse effects of disuse on bone porosity and strength.

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

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    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

  10. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy under field conditions in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) rescued from illegal bile farming in Vietnam.

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    Pizzi, R; Cracknell, J; David, S; Laughlin, D; Broadis, N; Rouffignac, M; Duong, D V; Girling, S; Hunt, M

    2011-10-29

    Nine adult Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) previously rescued from illegal bile farming in Vietnam were examined via abdominal ultrasound and exploratory laparoscopy for liver and gall bladder pathology. Three bears demonstrated notable gall bladder pathology, and minimally invasive cholecystectomies were performed using an open laparoscopic access approach, standard 10 to 12 mmHg carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum and a four-port technique. A single bear required insertion of an additional 5 mm port and use of a flexible liver retractor due to the presence of extensive adhesions between the gall bladder and quadrate and left and right medial liver lobes. The cystic duct was dissected free and this and the cystic artery were ligated by means of extracorporeal tied Meltzer knot sutures. The gall bladder was dissected free of the liver by blunt and sharp dissection, aided by 3.8 MHz monopolar radiosurgery. Bears that have had open abdominal cholecystectomies are reported as taking four to six weeks before a return to normal activity postoperatively. In contrast, these bears demonstrated rapid unremarkable healing, and were allowed unrestricted access to outside enclosures to climb trees, swim and interact normally with other bears within seven days of surgery.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  14. Vitamin D status and bone and connective tissue turnover in brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation and the active state.

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

    2011-01-01

    Extended physical inactivity causes disuse osteoporosis in humans. In contrast, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are highly immobilised for half of the year during hibernation without signs of bone loss and therefore may serve as a model for prevention of osteoporosis. To study 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD) levels and bone turnover markers in brown bears during the hibernating state in winter and during the active state in summer. We measured vitamin D subtypes (D₂ and D₃), calcitropic hormones (parathyroid hormone [PTH], 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D [1,25(OH)₂D]) and bone turnover parameters (osteocalcin, ICTP, CTX-I), PTH, serum calcium and PIIINP. We drew blood from seven immobilised wild brown bears during hibernation in February and in the same bears while active in June. Serum 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol (25OHD₃) was significantly higher in the summer than in the winter (22.8±4.6 vs. 8.8±2.1 nmol/l, two tailed p-2p = 0.02), whereas 25-hydroxy-ergocalciferol (25OHD₂) was higher in winter (54.2±8.3 vs. 18.7±1.7 nmol/l, 2pbears between hibernation and the active state. Because hibernating brown bears do not develop disuse osteoporosis, despite extensive physical inactivity we suggest that they may serve as a model for the prevention of this disease.

  15. Use of acepromazine and medetomidine in combination for sedation and handling of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and black bears (Ursus americanus).

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    Wolfe, Lisa L; Johnson, Heather E; Fisher, Mark C; Sirochman, Michael A; Kraft, Benjamin; Miller, Michael W

    2014-10-01

    We opportunistically evaluated a combination of acepromazine maleate and medetomidine HCl for use in sedating Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and black bears (Ursus americanus) as an alternative to scheduled drug combinations. This combination was safe and effective with limitations inherent in its sedative rather than anesthetic properties.

  16. Ticks and tick-borne pathogens and putative symbionts of black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from Georgia and Florida.

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    Yabsley, Michael J; Nims, Todd N; Savage, Mason Y; Durden, Lance A

    2009-10-01

    Ticks were collected from 38 black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) from northwestern Florida (n = 18) from 2003 to 2005 and southern Georgia (n = 20) in 2006. Five species (Amblyomma americanum, A. maculatum, Dermacentor variabilis, Ixodes scapularis, and I. affinis) were collected from Florida bears, and 4 species (A. americanum, A. maculatum, D. variabilis, I. scapularis) were collected from bears in Georgia. Ixodes scapularis was the most frequently collected tick, followed by D. variabilis, A. americanum, A. maculatum, and I. affinis. The collection of I. affinis from a Florida bear represents a new host record. A subset of ticks was screened for pathogens and putative symbionts by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The zoonotic tick-borne pathogens Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Rickettsia parkeri were detected in 1 of 23 (4.3%) A. americanum and 1 of 12 (8.3%) A. maculatum, respectively. The putative zoonotic pathogen "Rickettsia amblyommii" was detected in 4 (17.4%) A. americanum and 1 (8.3%) A. maculatum. Other putative symbiotic rickettsiae detected included R. bellii and R. montanensis in D. variabilis, a Rickettsia cooleyi-like sp. and Rickettsia sp. Is-1 in I. scapularis, and Rickettsia TR39-like sp. in I. scapularis and A. americanum. All ticks were PCR-negative for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Panola Mountain Ehrlichia sp., E. ewingii, Francisella tularensis, and Borrelia spp.

  17. Relationship between uterine morphology and peripheral concentrations of sex steroid hormone in wild Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

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    Yamane, Masako; Yamamoto, Yoshio; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Osawa, Takeshi

    2009-07-01

    Developing a better understanding of the reproductive physiology and breeding condition peculiar to wild Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is crucial for estimation of their habitat distribution. The aim of this study was to clarify the changes in morphology of the genital organs, cellular proliferation in the endometrium and sex steroid hormone concentrations along with the reproductive cycle in Japanese black bears. Samples were collected from a total of 24 female Japanese black bears (1-15 presumptive years old) that were caught in the wild in Iwate prefecture during the period between August 1999 and September 2005. Twenty-two out of the 24 animals were hunted from May to October. The ovaries from the 24 animals and the uteri from 23 animals were observed macroscopically and histologically to examine the relationship between morphology of the genital organs and the month of the year the animal was caught. The staining pattern of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in the endometrium was characterised. Peripheral concentrations of oestradiol-17beta and progesterone were determined by radioimmunoassay. All the animals that had a corpus luteum (n=12) were captured from August to October. The thickness of the endometrium in the animals captured from August to October (n=16) was significantly greater than those in animals captured from May to July (n=5) (Pblack bears.

  18. Cardiorespiratory effects of isoflurane in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) anesthetized with intramuscular medetomidine and zolazepam/tiletamine.

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    Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Yang, Jeong-Jin; Seok, Seong-Hoon; Song, Dong-Joo; Yeon, Seong-Chan

    2017-01-20

    The objective of this study was to determine the dose-dependent effects of isoflurane on various cardiovascular parameters and the stable range of isoflurane concentrations in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus). Seven Asiatic black bears were intramuscularly injected with medetomidine, zolazepam and tiletamine (MZT) to induce anesthesia, and anesthesia was maintained by administering isoflurane in 100% oxygen (4 l/min) without mechanical ventilation. Several cardiovascular parameters were measured at five end-tidal isoflurane concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5%). Blood was collected from the femoral artery before administration of isoflurane and after each administration for immediate blood gas analysis. Isoflurane produced dose-dependent increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, minute volume, end-tidal carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) partial pressure and the partial pressure of arterial CO 2 , and dose-dependent decreases in non-invasive blood pressure and tidal volume. Rectal temperature, oxygenation and acid-base balance were unaffected by isoflurane. All parameters in this study were in a clinically acceptable range at all times. The data show that the combination of MZT and isoflurane is suitable for general anesthesia in Asiatic black bears with spontaneous breathing during prolonged procedures. End-tidal isoflurane concentrations of 0.5 to 2.5% can be used in Asiatic black bears without adverse side effects.

  19. Analysis of seminal plasma from brown bear (Ursus arctos during the breeding season: Its relationship with testosterone levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Anel-López

    Full Text Available Seminal plasma (SP plays an important role in the motility, viability and maintenance of the fertilizing capacity of mammalian spermatozoa. This study is the first on brown bear (Ursus arctos SP components, and has two main objectives: 1 to define the SP composition in bear ejaculate and 2 to identify variations in SP composition in relation to high and low levels of testosterone in serum during the breeding season. Forty-eight sperm samples from 30 sexually mature male brown bears (Ursus arctos were obtained by electroejaculation, and their serum testosterone levels were assessed to sort the animals into 2 groups (high and low testosterone levels, threshold 5 ng/dl. The biochemical and protein compositions of the SP samples were assessed, and sperm motility was analyzed. We found that lactate dehydrogenase was significantly higher in the low-serum-testosterone samples, while concentrations of lipase and Mg+ values were significantly higher in the high-serum-testosterone samples. In contrast, sperm motility did not significantly differ (P>0.05 between the testosterone level groups (total motility: 74.42.8% in the high-level group vs. 77.1±4.7% in the low-level group. A reference digital model was constructed since there is no information for this wild species. To do this, all gel images were added in a binary multidimensional image and thirty-three spots were identified as the most-repeated spots. An analysis of these proteins was done by qualitative equivalency (isoelectric point and molecular weight with published data for a bull. SP protein composition was compared between bears with high and low serum testosterone, and three proteins (binder of sperm and two enzymes not identified in the reference bull showed significant (P<0.05 quantitative differences. We conclude that male bears with high or low serum testosterone levels differs only in some properties of their SP, differences in enzyme LDIP2, energy source LACT2, one protein (similar to

  20. Genetic Characterization of Sarcoptes scabiei from Black Bears (Ursus americanus) and Other Hosts in the Eastern United States.

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    Peltier, Sarah K; Brown, Justin D; Ternent, Mark; Niedringhaus, Kevin D; Schuler, Krysten; Bunting, Elizabeth M; Kirchgessner, Megan; Yabsley, Michael J

    2017-10-01

    Since the early 1990s there has been an increase in the number of cases and geographic expansion of severe mange in the black bear (Ursus americanus) population in Pennsylvania. Although there are 3 species of mites associated with mange in bears, Sarcoptes scabiei has been identified as the etiologic agent in these Pennsylvania cases. Historically, S. scabiei-associated mange in bears has been uncommon and sporadic, although it is widespread and relatively common in canid populations. To better understand this recent emergence of sarcoptic mange in bears in Pennsylvania and nearby states, we genetically characterized S. scabiei samples from black bears in the eastern United States. These sequences were compared with newly acquired S. scabiei sequences from wild canids (red fox [Vulpes vulpes] and coyote [Canis latrans]) and a porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) from Pennsylvania and Kentucky and also existing sequences in GenBank. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 region and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene were amplified and sequenced. Twenty-four ITS-2 sequences were obtained from mites from bears (n = 16), red fox (n = 5), coyote (n = 2), and a porcupine. The sequences from bear samples were identical to each other or differed only at polymorphic bases, whereas S. scabiei from canids were more variable, but 2 were identical to S. scabiei sequences from bears. Eighteen cox1 sequences obtained from mites from bears represented 6 novel haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis of cox1 sequences revealed 4 clades: 2 clades of mites of human origin from Panama or Australia, a clade of mites from rabbits from China, and a large unresolved clade that included the remaining S. scabiei sequences from various hosts and regions, including sequences from the bears from the current study. Although the cox1 gene was more variable than the ITS-2, phylogenetic analyses failed to detect any clustering of S. scabiei from eastern U.S. hosts. Rather, sequences from black bears

  1. THE USE OF KETAMINE-XYLAZINE OR BUTORPHANOL-AZAPERONE-MEDETOMIDINE TO IMMOBILIZE AMERICAN BLACK BEARS ( URSUS AMERICANUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Ryan H; Muller, Lisa L; Blair, Coy

    2018-04-04

      Wildlife anesthetic protocols must offer rapid inductions and recoveries, be physiologically safe, and be minimally regulated. With this in mind, we evaluated differences in induction and recovery times and physiological parameters in 33 American black bears ( Ursus americanus) anesthetized with ketamine-xylazine (KX) or immobilized with a commercial drug combination of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine (BAM). Dose was based on mass estimated from field observations. Bears were housed at Appalachian Bear Rescue, Townsend, Tennessee, US, or free-ranging within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina, US) and chemically immobilized for management purposes. From 11 April to 29 June 2016, we immobilized bears with injection via pole syringe or disposable dart projected from an air-powered dart rifle. Once immobilized, we measured each bear's temperature, respiration (breaths/min), heart rate (beats/min), hemoglobin oxygen saturation (via pulse oximetry), arterial blood gases, and mass (kg). We found no differences in the induction parameters, partial pressures of CO 2 , and rectal temperatures. The BAM-treated bears had lower heart and respiratory rates that led to lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation levels (from blood gas analysis, SaO 2 ). The SaO 2 after treatment with BAM (91.1±0.8%) was lower than with KX (93.4±0.9%). After handling, we reversed KX-treated bears with a x̄=0.2±0.02 mg/kg yohimbine and BAM-treated bears with x̄=1.5±0.1 mg/kg atipamezole and 0.8±0.1 mg/kg naltrexone. We found no differences in the recovery times to increased respiration and to the bear assuming a head-up position. The BAM-treated bears stood and recovered quicker than did KX-treated animals. Based on our observations, BAM appears to offer safe, predictable immobilizations with fewer drawbacks and faster recovery times than KX-treated bears.

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

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    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

  3. Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) Seem Resistant to Atherosclerosis ­Despite Highly Elevated Plasma Lipids during Hibernation and Active State

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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. Clin Trans Sci 2012; Volume 5: 269–272 PMID:22686205

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Evaluation on the effects of ageing factor, sampling and preservation methods on Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus noninvasive DNA amplification

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    Chih-Chin SHIH

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Noninvasive genetic sampling allows studying wildlife without having to catch, handle or even observe individuals. In this study, factors which may affect the quality of noninvasive samples of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus in the subtropical areas were identified. We collected hair and faecal samples from captive Asiatic black bears and quantitatively evaluated the effects of hair age (from fresh to 60 days, faeces age (from fresh to 14 days, faeces sampling locations (i.e. sample collected from either the surface, inside or a mixture of both the surface and inside of faeces, and faeces preservation methods (frozen or kept at room temperature in 95% ethanol on amplification success rates of mitochondrial DNA fragments of different sizes (450bp, 900bp, and 1600bp. The results showed that the amplification success rates decreased with sample age and amplicon size in both hair and faecal DNA. In subtropical environment, there was no significant difference between amplification success of DNA extracted from fresh and 7-day-old samples of either the hair or faeces. The amplification success rates were not influenced by sampling location of faeces. For faeces preserved in 95% ethanol, the amplification success appeared unaffected by frozen at -20 °C or kept at room temperature in shorter mtDNA fragments, but was significantly influenced when amplicon size was 1600bp. The results of this study will reinforce the optimization of noninvasive sampling approaches in Asiatic black bear research, especially in the subtropics.

  7. Seroepidemiologic study on the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. infections in black bears (Ursus americanus) in Pennsylvania, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Jitender P; Brown, Justin; Ternent, Mark; Verma, Shiv K; Hill, Dolores E; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Kwok, Oliver C H; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Humphreys, Jan G

    2016-10-15

    The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii and the metazoan Trichinella spp. infect virtually all warm-blooded animals, including birds, humans, livestock, and marine mammals. Both parasitic infections can cause serious illness in human beings and can be acquired by ingesting under-cooked meat harboring infective stages. Approximately 3500 black bears (Ursus americanus) are legally-harvested each year in Pennsylvania, USA during the November hunting season. Among animals found infected with T. gondii, the prevalence of T. gondii is the highest among black bears in the USA; however, little is currently known of epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in this host species. Serum samples were collected during the winters of 2015 and 2016 from adult female bears and their nursing cubs or yearlings while they were still in their dens. Additionally, archived sera from bear samples collected throughout the year, including hunter-harvested bears in November and trapped bears in the summer, were serologically tested. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25) and antibodies to Trichinella spp. were assayed using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Overall, T. gondii antibodies were found in 87.6% (206/235) of adults, and 44.1% (30/68) of yearlings. In March 2015/2016 sampling, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 94% (30/32) adult female bears while in their den. Antibodies were detected in 5% (3/66) of the nursing cubs in the dens of these sows. One positive cub had a MAT titer of 1:160 and two were positive at the 1:25 dilution but not at 1:50. The adult females of these cubs had MAT titers ranging from 1:400 to 1:3200. Antibodies to Trichinella spp. were found in 3% (6/181) of adults and 3.6% (1/28) of yearlings; these 7 bears were also seropositive for T. gondii. No antibodies to Trichinella spp. were detected in the sera of 44 nursing cubs tested. The finding of T. gondii antibodies in only 3 of 66 cubs, and higher

  8. Assessment of Brown Bear\\'s (Ursus arctos syriacus Winter Habitat Using Geographically Weighted Regression and Generalized Linear Model in South of Iran

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    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Winter dens are one of the important components of brown bear's (Ursus arctos syriacus habitat, affecting their reproduction and survival. Therefore identification of factors affecting the habitat selection and suitable denning areas in the conservation of our largest carnivore is necessary. We used Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR and Generalized Linear Model (GLM for modeling suitability of denning habitat in Kouhkhom region in Fars province. In the present research, 20 dens (presence locations and 20 caves where signs of bear were not found (absence locations were used as dependent variables and six environmental factors were used for each location as independent variables. The results of GLM showed that variables of distance to settlements, altitude, and distance to water were the most important parameters affecting suitability of the brown bear's denning habitat. The results of GWLR showed the significant local variations in the relationship between occurrence of brown bear dens and the variable of distance to settlements. Based on the results of both models, suitable habitats for denning of the species are impassable areas in the mountains and inaccessible for humans.

  9. Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Gustine, David D.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant

    2018-01-01

    Behavioral differences within a population can allow use of a greater range of resources among individuals. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generalist omnivore that occupies diverse habitats and displays considerable plasticity in food use. We evaluated whether brown bear foraging that resulted in deviations from a proposed optimal diet influenced body condition and, in turn, denning duration in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. To assess assimilated diet, we used sectioned guard hair samples (n = 23) collected in autumn to determine stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. To index proportional contributions of meat and vegetation to assimilated diets, we compared the carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) values of hair samples with the values identified for major food categories. We then compared percentage body fat and body mass in relation to the proportion of assimilated meat in the diet using linear models. We also examined the influence of autumn percentage body fat and mass on denning duration. Percentage body fat was not influenced by the proportion of assimilated meat in the diet. Additionally, percentage body fat and body mass did not influence denning duration. However, body mass of bears assimilating proportionately more meat was greater than bears assimilating less meat. Our results provide support for previous findings that larger bears consume higher amounts of protein to maintain their body size and therefore forage further from the proposed optimal diet. Additionally, our results demonstrate that individuals can achieve similar biological outcomes (e.g., percentage body fat) despite variable foraging strategies, suggesting that individuals within generalist populations may confer an adaptive advantage through behavioral plasticity.

  10. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E; Jensen, Jan S; Galatius, Søren; Frøbert, Ole

    2014-09-16

    Despite 5-7 months of physical inactivity during hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to cope with physiological conditions that would be detrimental to humans. During hibernation, the tissue metabolic demands fall to 25% of the active state. Our objective was to assess cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter hibernation in February 2013 and with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine during active state in June 2013. We measured cardiac output noninvasively using estimates of hemodynamics obtained by pulsed wave Doppler echocardiography and 2D imaging. Comparisons were made using paired T-tests. During hibernation, all hemodynamic indices were significantly decreased (hibernating vs. active state): mean heart rate was 26.0 (standard deviation (SD): 5.6) beats per min vs. 75.0 (SD: 17.1) per min (P=0.002), mean stroke volume 32.3 (SD: 5.2) ml vs. 47.1 (SD: 7.9) ml (P=0.008), mean cardiac output 0.86 (SD: 0.31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease. Free-ranging brown bears demonstrate hemodynamics comparable to humans during active state, whereas during hibernation, we documented extremely low-flow hemodynamics. Understanding these physiological changes in bears may help to gain insight into the mechanisms of cardiogenic shock and heart failure in humans.

  11. Polar Bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are hunted throughout most of their range. In addition to hunting polar bears of the Beaufort Sea region are exposed to mineral and petroleum extraction and related human activities such as shipping road-building, and seismic testing (Stirling 1990).Little was known at the start of this project about how polar bears move about in their environment, and although it was understood that many bears travel across political borders, the boundaries of populations had not been delineated (Amstrup 1986, Amstrup et al. 1986, Amstrup and DeMaster 1988, Garner et al. 1994, Amstrup 1995, Amstrup et al. 1995, Amstrup 2000).As human populations increase and demands for polar bears and other arctic resources escalate, managers must know the sizes and distributions of the polar bear populations. Resource managers also need reliable estimates of breeding rates, reproductive intervals, litter sizes, and survival of young and adults.Our objectives for this research were 1) to determine the seasonal and annual movements of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, 2) to define the boundaries of the population(s) using this region, 3) to determine the size and status of the Beaufort Sea polar bear population, and 4) to establish reproduction and survival rates (Amstrup 2000).

  12. Activity patterns of brown bears (Ursus arctos on the Deosai Plateau, northern Pakistan

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    M. A. Nawaz

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Ondersoek is ingestel na die daaglikse aktiwiteite van Himalaja-bruinbere (Ursus arctos in die Deosai Nasionale Park, noordelike Pakistan, oor ’n tydperk van vier jaar (1993 – 1995 en 1999. Bere spandeer die grootste gedeelte van die dag aan voeding, gevolg deur beweging. Rus en ander aktiwiteite gekombineerd vorm ’n wesentlike gedeelte van die daaglikse program. Geen betekenisvolle verskil in die daaglikse tydsbegroting kon tussen manlike en vroulike individue aangetoon word nie, maar onvolwassenes beweeg beduidend meer rond as beide volwassenes of jong beertjies en eenjariges. Afwykende aktiwiteitspatrone wat gedurende die somer van 1999 opgemerk is, kan aan menslike versteuring wat deur die Kargil-oorlog tussen Indië en Pakistan teweeggebring is, toegeskryf word.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Immunolocalization of steroidogenic enzymes in the corpus luteum and placenta of the Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubota, T; Taki, S; Nakayama, K; Mason, J I; Kominami, S; Harada, N; Kita, I

    2001-04-01

    The Japanese black bear, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, is a seasonal breeder and shows delayed implantation for several months during pregnancy. The objective of this study was to clarify the steroidogenic capability of the corpus luteum and placenta during pregnancy, including both delayed implantation and fetal development, by immunolocalization of steroidogenic enzymes in these organs of the Japanese black bear. Ovaries and placentae from 15 wild Japanese black bears, which had been killed legally by hunters and were thought to be pregnant, were used in an immunocytochemical study to localize the cholesterol side chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3betaHSD), 17alpha-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450c17) and aromatase cytochrome P450 (P450arom) by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method using polyclonal antisera raised in mammals against P450scc, 3betaHSD, P450c17 and P450arom. P450scc and 3betaHSD were localized in all luteal cells throughout pregnancy. P450c17 was present in a few luteal cells, especially in the outer area of the corpus luteum throughout pregnancy, but the number of positively immunostained cells decreased during the post-implantation period. Cells positively immunostained for P450c17 were significantly smaller than negatively immunostained cells (P black bear, corpora lutea are a source of progesterone which may play an important role in the maintenance of delayed implantation and fetal development during pregnancy. Corpora lutea have a minimum capability to synthesize androgen in small luteal cells and oestrogen in normal-sized luteal cells during pregnancy, and placentae have the ability to synthesize oestrogen during late pregnancy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana J R Lafferty

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Allelic diversity of the MHC class II DRB genes in brown bears (Ursus arctos) and a comparison of DRB sequences within the family Ursidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goda, N; Mano, T; Kosintsev, P; Vorobiev, A; Masuda, R

    2010-11-01

    The allelic diversity of the DRB locus in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes was analyzed in the brown bear (Ursus arctos) from the Hokkaido Island of Japan, Siberia, and Kodiak of Alaska. Nineteen alleles of the DRB exon 2 were identified from a total of 38 individuals of U. arctos and were highly polymorphic. Comparisons of non-synonymous and synonymous substitutions in the antigen-binding sites of deduced amino acid sequences indicated evidence for balancing selection on the bear DRB locus. The phylogenetic analysis of the DRB alleles among three genera (Ursus, Tremarctos, and Ailuropoda) in the family Ursidae revealed that DRB allelic lineages were not separated according to species. This strongly shows trans-species persistence of DRB alleles within the Ursidae. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  19. Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy

    OpenAIRE

    Harvey, Jeffrey A.; van den Berg, Daphne; Ellers, Jacintha; Kampen, Remko; Crowther, Thomas W.; Roessingh, Peter; Verheggen, Bart; Nuijten, Rascha J. M.; Post, Eric; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Stirling, Ian; Balgopal, Meena; Amstrup, Steven C.; Mann, Michael E.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing surface temperatures, Arctic sea-ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization in the world. However, there is a wide gap between this broad scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those d...

  20. Seasonal food habits of brown bear (Ursus arctos syriacus Linnaeus, 1758 in Cenral Alborz Protected Area

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    Bagher Nezami Balouchi

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Mountains of Central Alborz Protected Area hold a big population of brown bear, the largest varnivore species in Iran. Understanding food habits is crucial to understanding the ecology of the species. Diet influences many ecological and life-history traits, such as spatial distribution, social and foraging behavior, body mass and reproduction. Therefore, during Jun 2006 to May 2007 we had a comprehensive study on brown bear food habits, as the largest omnivorous of the country in Central Alborz Protected Area. Our investigation showed that plant materials composed the main proportion of food items of the brown bears in the spring until mid-summer. Insects, especially ants were predominantly eaten in the first half of summer. As approaching to hibernation period in late autumn, fruits played the main role of bear food items having high fat content. We never witnessed bear attack on wild herbivores. Furthermore, we never found remains of wild herbivores except a few livestock remains in brown bear scats during our survey period. Accordingly, we concluded that brown bears were almost herbivorous in the Central Alborz Protected Area. We never found any bear scats or fresh signs in three consecutive years, between first of December until mid of March. Also, no direct sighting of brown bear was reported to us by local people and game keepers within the mentioned period. Accordingly, it can be concluded that the brown bears hibernate for a period of 3-3.5 months in winter in the Central Alborz Protected Area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Estimating the success rate of ovulation and early litter loss rate in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) by examining the ovaries and uteri

    OpenAIRE

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Sawada, Seigo; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-01-01

    In order to develop a method for estimating the success/failure rates of reproductive processes, especially those of ovulation and neonate nurturing, in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus), we examined offspring status, corpora lutea (CLs), placental scars (PSs) and corpora albicantia (CAs) in 159 females (0-23 years old) killed as nuisances on Honshu Island of Japan during 2001-2009. PSs were found to remain in the uterus at least until November of the year of...

  3. Activity pattern of the orphaned Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae) cubs during rehabilitation processes.

    OpenAIRE

    S. Dasgupta; P. Choudhury; B.C. Bhattacharjee

    2014-01-01

    Five Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus cubs aged between 6.5-15 months were studied for five months using instantaneous scan sampling (n=3049 scans) while they were undergoing acclimatization in the rehabilitation areas in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. During the course of the study, feeding, moving, climbing, resting and playing activities were recorded in three consecutive time periods, representing three phases of acclimatization. The frequency of climbing and moving i...

  4. Body Temperature during Hibernation Is Highly Correlated with a Decrease in Circulating Innate Immune Cells in the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos): A Common Feature among Hibernators?

    OpenAIRE

    Sahdo, Berolla; Evans, Alina L.; Arnemo, Jon Martin; Fröbert, Ole; Särndahl, Eva; Blanc, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    International audience; Background: Hibernation involves periods of severely depressed metabolism (torpor) and decreases in body temperature (Tb). Small arctic mammals ( < 5kg), in which Tb generally drop drastically, display leukopenia during hibernation. This raised the question of whether the decreased leukocyte counts in mammalian hibernators is due to torpor per se or is secondary to low Tb. The present study examined immune cell counts in brown bears (Ursus arctos), where torpor is only...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 F...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 bears with extensive recent immobilization experience. These findings support the use of positive reinforcement training for routine health procedures to minimize anxiety.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Niels; Nielsen, Thomas S; Vendelbo, Mikkel H

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Brown bears are recorded from Ireland during both the Late Pleistocene and early?mid Holocene. Although most of the Irish landmass was covered by an ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Irish brown bears are known to have hybridized with polar bears during the Late Pleistocene, and it is suggested that the Irish brown bear population did not become extinct but instead persisted in situ through the LGM in a southwestern ice-free refugium. We use historical population modelling to d...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-23

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

  10. Admixture and gene flow from Russia in the recovering Northern European brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu L Bourbonnais

    Full Text Available 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

  12. Effects of cryopreservation on head morphometry and its relation with chromatin status in brown bear (Ursus arctos) spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, M; García-Macías, V; Martínez-Pastor, F; Martínez, F; Borragán, S; Mata, M; Garde, J; Anel, L; De Paz, P

    2008-12-01

    The Cantabrian brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a highly endangered species in Spain and basic studies are necessary in order to bank its germplasm. Sperm heads are mainly made up of chromatin, thus their shape depends partly on chromatin structure. Thawed semen from 10 bears was used to analyze chromatin status by sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and head morphometry by the computer-assisted sperm morphology assessment (CASMA) system. Morphometry was analyzed before and after freezing-thawing in order to evaluate the effects of cryopreservation on sperm heads. Each spermatozoon was measured for four primary parameters (length, L; width, W; area, A; perimeter, P) and derived parameters (ellipticity: L/W, circularity: 4piA/ P2, elongation: (L-W)/(L+W), regularity: piLW/ 4A). All the derived parameters significantly differed between bears. Likewise, cryopreservation affected head morphometry by reducing its size. Clustering based on morphometric parameters separated three subpopulations, one of them being significantly more influenced by the cryopreservation process. We obtained high correlations between head morphometry and SCSA parameters: standard deviation of DNA fragmentation index (SD-DFI) was correlated with perimeter and area (r=0.75 and r=0.62, respectively) and DFIm and DFIt (moderate and total DNA fragmentation index) were correlated with perimeter (r=0.65 and r=0.67, respectively). Nevertheless, classification of males according to SCSA or head morphometry did not completely agree so the two assays might explain male variability differently. We conclude that cryopreservation affected morphometry at least in a subset of spermatozoa. These results might improve future application of sperm banking techniques in this species.

  13. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Rasmus; Sønderkær, Mads; Arinell, Karin; Swenson, Jon E.; Revsbech, Inge G.

    2016-01-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5–7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms as follows: (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of a few key proteins. The comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general. PMID:27609515

  14. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welinder, Karen Gjesing; Hansen, Rasmus; Overgaard, Michael Toft; Brohus, Malene; Sønderkær, Mads; von Bergen, Martin; Rolle-Kampczyk, Ulrike; Otto, Wolfgang; Lindahl, Tomas L; Arinell, Karin; Evans, Alina L; Swenson, Jon E; Revsbech, Inge G; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-10-21

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms as follows: (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of a few key proteins. The comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Habitat Suitability Modelling of Brown Bear (Ursus arctos in Shimbar Protected Area, Khuzestan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Status determination of wildlife habitats is very important in conservation programs and management of wildlife. So, in this study Ursus arctos habitat suitability was modeled using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt in Shimbar protected area. In order to model the habitat suitability, after investigating and resolving the spatial autocorrelation of occurrence records, spatially independent localities were divided into the calibration and evaluation sets and then were combined with 10 environmental variables (VIF<10 selected by MMS software. The performance of predictive models was tested using AUC and jackknife validation test. So, we applied two different thresholds, the LPT threshold and 10% threshold to generate presence/absence map. Also other Jackknife tests applied to measure variables importance. The results showed that predictive model was more efficient than random model (AUC=0.980. In addition, the potential suitable areas cover 20.75% of study area. The MaxEnt model had 88.46% success rate and was statistically significant (P = 0.000. Results of Jackknife showed that ‘plant type’ variable alone contains valuable information for modelling. Our study demonstrated that habitat suitability was successfully predicted by MaxEnt modelling, so this methodology might provide a powerful tool for improving the wildlife habitats information.

  17. Serial transrectal ultrasonography for monitoring the reproductive activity of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus ussuricus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, H G; Jeong, D H; Yang, J J; Lee, B K; Kong, J K; Lee, J W; Kim, I H

    2015-02-01

    This study evaluated the structural changes in the reproductive tract of Asiatic black bears using serial transrectal ultrasonography. In addition, the ultrasonographic observations were compared with the results of vaginal cytology and hormonal analyses. The collection of blood for hormonal analysis, vaginal cytology and transrectal ultrasonography was performed in two bears (Bears 1 and 2) from June 2011 to August 2013 without mating and in a third bear (Bear 3) from April to December 2012, allowing natural mating. Serial ultrasonographic observations showed cyclic changes in ovarian structures (e.g. emergence of small follicles, growth and ovulation of dominant follicles and corpus luteum (CL) formation) during the reproductive cycles of the three bears. The diameter of the uterine horns remained similar throughout the reproductive cycle in Bears 1 and 2, and it remained similar from April until October, but an enlargement containing foetuses was observed in Bear 3 in December. The ultrasonographic observations were consistent with the data obtained through vaginal cytology and progesterone analysis during the reproductive cycle. An average of 4.0 (±0.4) dominant follicles was observed during the oestrous stage (May-August), during which the superficial cells accounted for >90% of the total vaginal cells. In addition, the detection of an average of 2.6 (±0.2) CL was associated with increased plasma progesterone concentrations (3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml) between June and December (near hibernation). In conclusion, serial transrectal ultrasonography demonstrated yearly oestrous (ovulation) cycles via follicular dynamics and CL formation on ovaries, accordingly with vaginal cytology and hormonal level in the Asiatic black bear. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  18. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infections in Pennsylvania black bears, Ursus americanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, N; Humphreys, J G; Dubey, J P

    1993-10-01

    Serum samples from 665 hunter-killed black bears killed in 1989 to 1992 throughout Pennsylvania (USA) were tested for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies by the agglutination test in dilutions of 1:25, 1:50, and 1:500. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were found in 535 of 665 (80%) bears. Considering the highest dilutions at which antibodies were detected, prevalences were 10% at 1:25, 37% at 1:50 and 33% at 1:500. No significant difference in antibody prevalence was found between males (79%) and females (80%), but a significant difference was found between juvenile (65%) and adult (83%) bears.

  19. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spiralis in North Carolina black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nutter, F B; Levine, J F; Stoskopf, M K; Gamble, H R; Dubey, J P

    1998-10-01

    Serum samples from 143 hunter-killed black bears were collected during the 1996 and 1997 black bear hunting seasons in eastern North Carolina. All samples were tested for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii by the modified agglutination test. Antibodies to T. gondii were present in 120 of 143 (84%) bears. Females had significantly higher titers than males (Wilcoxon rank sums test, P = 0.045), and titers increased with age (Jonckheere test, P = 0.01). Samples collected during 1996 (n = 79) were tested for antibodies to Trichinella spiralis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No samples were positive for antibodies to T. spiralis.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Fahlman, Åsa; Evans, Alina L.

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundEstablishment 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...... bears in Sweden.ResultsThe 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...... and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, Felix; Ståhlman, Marcus; Ilkayeva, Olga

    2016-01-01

    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......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...

  2. A case of autumn mating in the Apennine brown Bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus)

    OpenAIRE

    Tosoni, Elisabetta; Paolozzi, Germano; Trella, Ezechia; Boitani, Luigi; Ciucci, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Although the breeding season of brown bears generally occurs during early spring or summer, a few incidents of autumn mating have been recently documented in British Columbia and Japan. Considering the rarity, yet the relevance, of these events, we report a case of autumn courtship and mating in the Apennine brown bear observed as late as 3 November 2010 in the Abruzzo Lazio and Molise National Park, central Italy. Mating was preceded and followed by muzzle sniffing and play fighting, and inv...

  3. The king of the forest: Local knowledge about European brown bears (Ursus arctos and implications for their conservation in contemporary Western Macedonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Lescureux

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available From a conservation point of view, Macedonia′s brown bear (Ursus arctos population appears to be a key link in the distribution of one of Europe′s largest brown bear populations, the Dinaric-Pindos population. The lack of information concerning the bear population in the Republic of Macedonia and bear acceptance by local people inspired us to explore local knowledge and perceptions concerning bears that could be relevant for their conservation. Accordingly, we adopted a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews to determine how the specific behaviour and ecology of bears can influence, through interactions, local peoples′ knowledge and perceptions. Our results show that due to numerous interactions, the informants′ knowledge appeared to be detailed and consistent, both internally and with existing scientific literature about bears. Bear specific behaviour allows them to be located, individualised and thus appropriated by villagers, and also to be identified as an alter-ego. For the villagers, the occasional harmfulness of a bear is not the result of a general characteristic of bears in general, but of some individual bear′s behaviour. Finally, bears enjoy a relatively good image as long as local people can react against individuals that cause damage. However, direct or indirect poaching of bears is still a main concern for the Macedonian brown bear′s conservation.

  4. Hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus) experience skeletal muscle protein balance during winter anorexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohuis, T D; Harlow, H J; Beck, T D I

    2007-05-01

    Black bears spend four to seven months every winter confined to their den and anorexic. Despite potential for skeletal muscle atrophy and protein loss, bears appear to retain muscle integrity throughout winter dormancy. Other authors have suggested that bears are capable of net protein anabolism during this time. The present study was performed to test this hypothesis by directly measuring skeletal muscle protein metabolism during the summer, as well as early and late hibernation periods. Muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis of six free-ranging bears in the summer, and from six others early in hibernation and again in late winter. Protein synthesis and breakdown were measured on biopsies using (14)C-phenylalanine as a tracer. Muscle protein, nitrogen, and nucleic acid content, as well as nitrogen stable isotope enrichment, were also measured. Protein synthesis was greater than breakdown in summer bears, suggesting that they accumulate muscle protein during periods of seasonal food availability. Protein synthesis and breakdown were both lower in winter compared to summer but were equal during both early and late denning, indicating that bears are in protein balance during hibernation. Protein and nitrogen content, nucleic acid, and stable isotope enrichment measurements of the biopsies support this conclusion.

  5. Quantitative Characteristics of Brown Bear (Ursus arctos L. Feeding on Umbelliferae Plants

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    S.S. Ogurtsov

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The natural feeding preferences of brown bear for Umbelliferae plants have been considered. The general quantitative characteristics of feeding on forbs have been revealed for bears inhabiting the Central Forest State Nature Biosphere Reserve (Tver region. Umbelliferae plants dominate in the diet of brown bears during late spring and early summer. Angelica sylvestris, Chaerophyllum aromaticum, Aegopodium podagraria, and Heracleum sibiricum are most frequently consumed by bears in the nature reserve. Feeding on A. sylvestris is directly associated with the overall abundance of this plant species and varies depending on its phenological stages. The preference is given to widely distributed age-size forb groups with the thickest stems. The maximum share of consumed plants has been observed in small forest herblands and overgrown fields adjacent to the forest cover. In all the biotopes, bears are attracted to herb sites with the highest abundance of consumed plants. Ch. aromaticum and H. sibiricum are distributed more locally and, therefore, less common in the diet of bears.

  6. Detection of Dirofilaria immitis in a brown bear (Ursus arctos in Greece

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    Papadopoulos E.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Dirofilaria immitis (canine heartworm is a filarial nematode found in the pulmonary circulation and the heart of susceptible hosts. It represents an important zoonotic vector-borne disease of domestic dogs and several wildlife species. Herein we report for the first time, the finding of Dirofilaria immitis worms in a brown bear killed in a vehicle collision in Northern Greece. The worms were morphologically identified; molecular examination, based on the analysis of the mitochondrial genes 12S (433 bp and CO1 (610 bp, verified the identification by demonstrating 100% similarity to D. immitis specimens deposited in GenBank. Brown bears in Greece occupy habitats that are shared with the potential wild and domestic hosts and the vectors of D. immitis and thus may be particularly susceptible to this parasite. This report contributes to the knowledge of dirofilariosis spread in Europe and on the epidemiological threats that may affect the survival of the endangered brown bear in Greece.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. MORPHOMETRIC PARAMETERS OF CRANIAL AND POSTCRANIAL SKELETON IN CAVE BEAR (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 FROM LUKINA PEĆINA CAVE AND MEGARA IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lada Lukić-Bilela

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available During the investigation of the Lukina pećina cave (Srednja stijena, Ravan mountain the bone remains of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 were found. We demonstrate for the first time the morphometric proportions of the cave bear from this locality. Our reasearch also included the new findings from the Megara cave (Bjelašnica. Analyzed morphometric proportions completely fell within the variation range of the Pleistocene cave bear population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general variation range.Key words: Ursus spelaeus, Lukina pećina Cave, Megara, mandible, postcranial skeleton

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Late quaternary brown bear (Ursidae: Ursus cf. arctos) from a cave in the Huachuca Mountains, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas J. Czaplewski; Steve Willsey

    2013-01-01

    In 2008, Steve Willsey discovered the fragmentary cranium of a bear loose on the floor of a cave at about 2270 m elevation near the crest of the Huachuca Mountains. In 2009, we revisited the cave to examine the specimen with the intention of identifying the species. We photographed and measured the main pieces and left them in the cave. The skull is from an adult,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Trichinella and polar bears: a limited risk for humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupouy-Camet, J; Bourée, P; Yera, H

    2017-07-01

    In this review, we identified 63 cases reported since World War II of human trichinellosis linked to the consumption of parasitized polar bear (Ursus maritimus) meat. This low number contrasts to the numerous cases of human trichinellosis related to consumption of the meat of black (U. americanus) or brown bears (U. arctos). The prevalence of Trichinella infection is high in bears, but larval muscular burden is usually lower in polar bears compared to other bear species. Polar bears, therefore, seem to play a limited role in the transmission of trichinellosis to humans, as native residents living in the Arctic traditionally consume well-cooked bear meat, and travellers and foreign hunters have only limited access to this protected species due to the declining polar bear population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Genomic evidence of widespread admixture from polar bears into brown bears during the last ice age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James A; Heintzman, Peter D; Harris, Kelley; Teasdale, Matthew D; Kapp, Joshua; Soares, André E Rodrigues; Stirling, Ian; Bradley, Daniel; Edwards, Ceiridwen J; Graim, Kiley; Kisleika, Aliaksandr A; Malev, Alexander V; Monaghan, Nigel; Green, Richard E; Shapiro, Beth

    2018-02-20

    Recent genomic analyses have provided substantial evidence for past periods of gene flow from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) into Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos), with some analyses suggesting a link between climate change and genomic introgression. However, because it has mainly been possible to sample bears from the present day, the timing, frequency, and evolutionary significance of this admixture remains unknown. Here, we analyze genomic DNA from three additional and geographically distinct brown bear populations, including two that lived temporally close to the peak of the last ice age. We find evidence of admixture in all three populations, suggesting that admixture between these species has been common in their recent evolutionary history. In addition, analyses of ten fossil bears from the now-extinct Irish population indicate that admixture peaked during the last ice age, when brown bear and polar bear ranges overlapped. Following this peak, the proportion of polar bear ancestry in Irish brown bears declined rapidly until their extinction. Our results support a model in which ice age climate change created geographically widespread conditions conducive to admixture between polar bears and brown bears, as is again occurring today. We postulate that this model will be informative for many admixing species pairs impacted by climate change. Our results highlight the power of paleogenomics to reveal patterns of evolutionary change that are otherwise masked in contemporary data.

  17. NEW LOCALITY OF CAVE BEAR (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: MORPHO- ANATOMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CRANIAL SKELETON FOUND IN CAVE AT VRELO MOKRANJSKA MILJACKA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lada Lukić-Bilela

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available During the investigation of the Cave at Vrelo Mokranjska Miljacka, the bone remains of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller & Heinroth, 1794 was found. This is the new Pleistocene fauna locality of this extinct species in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Almost complete cranial skeleton belongs to a young adult male. Analyzed morphometric proportions completely fit within the variation range of the Pleistocene cave bear populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Key words: Ursus spelaeus, skull, teeth, Cave of Vrelo Mokranjska Miljacka

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2016 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  19. Change in body weight of mothers and neonates and in milk composition during denning period in captive Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iibuchi, Ruriko; Nakano, Noriko; Nakamura, Tadashi; Urashima, Tadasu; Shimozuru, Michito; Murase, Tetsuma; Tsubota, Toshio

    2009-05-01

    Japanese black bears, Ursus thibetanus japonicus, have been classified as a vulnerable species so that data on reproduction are needed to maintain and/or extend their population. They are known to have a peculiar style of reproduction, giving birth to their neonates and raising them during denning, a period of complete fasting. In this study, we investigated the metabolic rate and milk composition of mother bears raising neonates, and the changes in body weight of the neonates under captive conditions. Seven female bears kept in dens were weighed once a month, and the amount of energy they used was calculated. From birth, cubs were also weighed and their growth rate was determined. In addition, the milk composition was analyzed to investigate its characteristics. As a result, it was found that mother bears used 34% more energy than did solitary females. There was no significant difference in the energy used for nursing whether they had single or twin cubs. On the other hand, the body weight gain of single cubs was significantly higher than that of twin cubs, suggesting that the growth of the cubs was highly affected by the suppression of mother's energy consumption during the fasting period. The milk had high fat and low sugar concentrations. This indicates that mother bears used the fat accumulated prior to denning for their main energy source when raising cubs. Considering all results together, Japanese black bears showed remarkable efficiency in the use of energy for reproduction during the fasting period.

  20. A Double-Blinded, Randomized Comparison of Medetomidine-Tiletamine-Zolazepam and Dexmedetomidine-Tiletamine-Zolazepam Anesthesia in Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus Arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fandos Esteruelas, Núria; Cattet, Marc; Zedrosser, Andreas; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Küker, Susanne; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M

    2017-01-01

    We compared anesthetic features, blood parameters, and physiological responses to either medetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam or dexmedetomidine-tiletamine-zolazepam using a double-blinded, randomized experimental design during 40 anesthetic events of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) either captured by helicopter in Sweden or by culvert trap in Canada. Induction was smooth and predictable with both anesthetic protocols. Induction time, the need for supplemental drugs to sustain anesthesia, and capture-related stress were analyzed using generalized linear models, but anesthetic protocol did not differentially affect these variables. Arterial blood gases and acid-base status, and physiological responses were examined using linear mixed models. We documented acidemia (pH of arterial blood bears could not be attributed to the anesthetic protocol. Heart rate increased with increasing rectal temperature (p bears captured by helicopter in Sweden than in bears captured by culvert trap in Canada (p bears. Both drug combinations appeared to be safe and reliable for the anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears captured by helicopter or by culvert trap.

  1. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. The first finding of Asian black bear (Carnivora, Ursidae, Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) in the Late Pleistocene of northern Eurasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosintsev, P A; Tiunov, M P; Gimranov, D O; Panov, V S

    2016-11-01

    An M1 tooth of Asian black bear (Ursus (Euarctos) thibetanus G. Cuvier, 1823) was found in deposits of the Tetyukhinskaya cave (Middle Sikhote-Alin, 44°35'N, 135°36'E). This finding is the first reliable evidence of Asian black bear's presence in Pleistocene of Primorye. Its morphological and morphometric descriptions are given. The period of inhabitation of U. (E.) thibetanus determined based on the radiocarbon date obtained during the study of the tooth, is 39 874 ± 133 BP (NSK-850, UGAMS-21786), which corresponds to the middle of Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3) of Late Pleistocene. The composition of ancient theriofauna indicates the existence of wide variety of landscapes in Primorye in the middle of Late Pleistocene. A refugium of forest fauna, in which species of taiga, nemoral, and Central Asian mountain-forest theriocomplexes were present, was located in southern Primorye in Late Pleistocene.

  3. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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%, pbears 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The primary structure of the hemoglobin of Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus, Carnivora) and structural comparison to other hemoglobin sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, O; Braunitzer, G; Göltenboth, R

    1987-05-01

    The complete primary structure of the alpha- and beta-chains of the hemoglobin of Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) is presented. After cleavage of the heme-protein link and chain separation by RP-HPLC, amino-acid sequences were determined by Edman degradation in liquid- and gas-phase sequenators. An interesting result of this work is the demonstration that the hemoglobin of Malayan Sun Bear is identical to the hemoglobins of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) and Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus tibetanus). The paper gives an updated table of identical hemoglobin chains from different species. This paper may be considered as a compilation of work on the genetic relationship of Pandas.

  5. Changes in blood glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests and blood biochemical values in adult female Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamine, Akari; Shimozuru, Michito; Shibata, Haruki; Tsubota, Toshio

    2012-02-01

    The metabolic mechanisms to circannual changes in body mass of bears have yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) has a metabolic mechanism that efficiently converts carbohydrates into body fat by altering insulin sensitivity during the hyperphagic stage before hibernation. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the changes in blood biochemical values and glucose and insulin responses to intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTT) during the active season (August, early and late November). Four, adult, female bears (5-17 years old) were anesthetized with 6 mg/kg TZ (tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl) in combination with 0.1 mg/kg acepromazine maleate. The bears were injected intravenously with glucose (0.5 g/kg of body mass), and blood samples were obtained before, at, and intermittently after glucose injection. The basal triglycerides concentration decreased significantly with increase in body mass from August to November. Basal levels of plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations were not significantly different among groups. The results of IVGTT demonstrated the increased peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in early November. In contrast, peripheral insulin resistance was indicated by the exaggerated insulin response in late November. Our findings suggest that bears shift their glucose and lipid metabolism from the stage of normal activity to the hyperphagic stage in which they show lipogenic-predominant metabolism and accelerate glucose uptake by increasing the peripheral insulin sensitivity.

  6. Molecular evidence of the multiple genotype infection of a wild Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis) by Babesia sp. UR1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinnai, Michio; Kawabuchi-Kurata, Takako; Tsuji, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Rui; Hirata, Haruyuki; Fujisawa, Kohei; Shiraki, Hiromi; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Nasuno, Toyohiko; Ishihara, Chiaki

    2010-10-11

    A frozen-stored blood clot of a wild brown bear cub Ursus arctos yesoensis that had been captured in Hokkaido, Japan was examined for piroplasma infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two 18S ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequences were generated. One 1565-bp sequence showed the highest similarity with B. gibsoni (95.9% identity) but, phylogenetically, was found to belong to a distinct lineage. The other sequence (1709-bp) could not be definitively assigned to a described taxon, sharing only limited homology to the closest named species (90.1% identity with C. felis). In order to enhance information obtained from the SSU rDNA sequence, further detection and sequence analysis of the CCTeta gene sequence were done revealing the simultaneous presence of three closely related genotypes (all in a monophyletic lineage) within a single bear host. This finding suggested the possibility that a new Babesia species (Babesia sp. UR1) might have been maintained in nature in wild brown bears. While the parasite's biology is yet unknown, to our knowledge, this is, excepting the single case documentation in 1910 of a hemoparasite in a bear at Russian zoo, the first reported case of piroplasms inhabiting a bear species. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Douglas, David C.; Olson, Jay

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986-1995 and 2008-2013) when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In bo...

  8. Resilience and risk: a demographic model to inform conservation planning for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is having widespread ecological effects, including loss of Arctic sea ice. This has led to listing of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and other ice-dependent marine mammals under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Methods are needed to evaluate the effects of climate change on population persistence to inform recovery planning for listed species. For polar bears, this includes understanding interactions between climate and secondary factors, such as subsistence harvest, which provide economic, nutritional, or cultural value to humans.

  9. Six months of disuse during hibernation does not increase intracortical porosity or decrease cortical bone geometry, strength, or mineralization in black bear (Ursus americanus) femurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E; Wojda, Samantha J; Barlow, Lindsay N; Drummer, Thomas D; Bunnell, Kevin; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L; Donahue, Seth W

    2009-07-22

    Disuse typically uncouples bone formation from resorption, leading to bone loss which compromises bone mechanical properties and increases the risk of bone fracture. Previous studies suggest that bears can prevent bone loss during long periods of disuse (hibernation), but small sample sizes have limited the conclusions that can be drawn regarding the effects of hibernation on bone structure and strength in bears. Here we quantified the effects of hibernation on structural, mineral, and mechanical properties of black bear (Ursus americanus) cortical bone by studying femurs from large groups of male and female bears (with wide age ranges) killed during pre-hibernation (fall) and post-hibernation (spring) periods. Bone properties that are affected by body mass (e.g. bone geometrical properties) tended to be larger in male compared to female bears. There were no differences (p>0.226) in bone structure, mineral content, or mechanical properties between fall and spring bears. Bone geometrical properties differed by less than 5% and bone mechanical properties differed by less than 10% between fall and spring bears. Porosity (fall: 5.5+/-2.2%; spring: 4.8+/-1.6%) and ash fraction (fall: 0.694+/-0.011; spring: 0.696+/-0.010) also showed no change (p>0.304) between seasons. Statistical power was high (>72%) for these analyses. Furthermore, bone geometrical properties and ash fraction (a measure of mineral content) increased with age and porosity decreased with age. These results support the idea that bears possess a biological mechanism to prevent disuse and age-related osteoporoses.

  10. 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).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Measuring environmental stress in East Greenland polar bears, 1892-1927 and 1988-2009: what does hair cortisol tell us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechshøft, T Ø; Rigét, F F; Sonne, C; Letcher, R J; Muir, D C G; Novak, M A; Henchey, E; Meyer, J S; Eulaers, I; Jaspers, V L B; Eens, M; Covaci, A; Dietz, R

    2012-09-15

    Hair sampled from 96 East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) over the periods 1892-1927 and 1988-2009 was analyzed for cortisol as a proxy to investigate temporal patterns of environmental stress. Cortisol concentration was independent of sex and age, and was found at significantly higher (ppolar bear hair appears to be a relatively poor indicator of the animal's general POP load in adipose tissue. However, further investigations are warranted to explore the reasons for the temporal decrease found in the bears' hair cortisol levels. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Seasonal and individual variation in the use of rail-associated food attractants by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in a national park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Maureen H; Fassina, Sarah; Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; St Clair, Colleen C

    2017-01-01

    Similar to vehicles on roadways, trains frequently kill wildlife via collisions along railways. Despite the prevalence of this mortality worldwide, little is known about the relative importance of wildlife attractants associated with railways, including spilled agricultural products, enhanced vegetation, invertebrates, and carcasses of rail-killed ungulates. We assessed the relative importance of several railway attractants to a provincially-threatened population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff and Yoho National Parks, Canada, for which rail-caused mortality has increased in recent decades without known cause. We examined the relationship between the use of the railway and diet by fitting 21 grizzly bears with GPS collars in 2011-2013 and measuring the stable isotope values (δ15N, δ34S) derived from their hair. We also examined the importance of rail-associated foods to grizzly bears by analyzing 230 grizzly bear scats collected from May through October in 2012-2014, some of which could be attributed to GPS-collared bears. Among the 21 collared bears, 17 used the rail rarely (bears (which included the three smallest bears and the largest bear in our sample) used the rail frequently (>20% of their monitored days). We found no significant relationships between δ15N and δ34S values measured from the hair of grizzlies and their frequency of rail use. Instead, δ15N increased with body mass, especially for male bears, suggesting large males consumed more animal protein during hair growth. All four bears that used the railway frequently produced scats containing grain. Almost half the scats (43%) collected within 150 m of the railway contained grain compared to only 7% of scats found >150 m from the railway. Scats deposited near the rail were also more likely to contain grain in the fall (85% of scats) compared to summer (14%) and spring (17%), and those containing grain were more diverse in their contents (6.8 ± 2.2 species vs. 4.9 ± 1.6, P bears in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A Moore

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Animal physiology. Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, J P; Harlow, H J; Durner, G M; Anderson-Sprecher, R; Albeke, S E; Regehr, E V; Amstrup, S C; Ben-David, M

    2015-07-17

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) summer on the sea ice or, where it melts, on shore. Although the physiology of "ice" bears in summer is unknown, "shore" bears purportedly minimize energy losses by entering a hibernation-like state when deprived of food. Such a strategy could partially compensate for the loss of on-ice foraging opportunities caused by climate change. However, here we report gradual, moderate declines in activity and body temperature of both shore and ice bears in summer, resembling energy expenditures typical of fasting, nonhibernating mammals. Also, we found that to avoid unsustainable heat loss while swimming, bears employed unusual heterothermy of the body core. Thus, although well adapted to seasonal ice melt, polar bears appear susceptible to deleterious declines in body condition during the lengthening period of summer food deprivation. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, J.P.; Harlow, H.J.; Durner, George M.; Anderson-Sprecher, R.; Albeke, Shannon E.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) summer on the sea ice or, where it melts, on shore. Although the physiology of “ice” bears in summer is unknown, “shore” bears purportedly minimize energy losses by entering a hibernation-like state when deprived of food. Such a strategy could partially compensate for the loss of on-ice foraging opportunities caused by climate change. However, here we report gradual, moderate declines in activity and body temperature of both shore and ice bears in summer, resembling energy expenditures typical of fasting, nonhibernating mammals. Also, we found that to avoid unsustainable heat loss while swimming, bears employed unusual heterothermy of the body core. Thus, although well adapted to seasonal ice melt, polar bears appear susceptible to deleterious declines in body condition during the lengthening period of summer food deprivation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  20. Body temperature during hibernation is highly correlated with a decrease in circulating innate immune cells in the brown bear (Ursus arctos): a common feature among hibernators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahdo, Berolla; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M; Fröbert, Ole; Särndahl, Eva; Blanc, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    Hibernation involves periods of severely depressed metabolism (torpor) and decreases in body temperature (Tb). Small arctic mammals (hibernation. This raised the question of whether the decreased leukocyte counts in mammalian hibernators is due to torpor per se or is secondary to low Tb. The present study examined immune cell counts in brown bears (Ursus arctos), where torpor is only associated with shallow decreases in Tb. The results were compared across hibernator species for which immune and Tb data were available. The white blood cell counts were determined by flow cytometry in 13 bears captured in the field both during summer and winter over 2 years time. Tb dropped from 39.6±0.8 to 33.5±1.1°C during hibernation. Blood neutrophils and monocytes were lower during hibernation than during the active period (47%, p= 0.001; 43%, p=0.039, respectively), whereas no change in lymphocyte counts was detected (p=0.599). Further, combining our data and those from 10 studies on 9 hibernating species suggested that the decline in Tb explained the decrease in innate immune cells (R(2)=0.83, phibernation, which may represent a suppressed innate immune system. Across species comparison suggests that, both in small and large hibernators, Tb is the main driver of immune function regulation during winter dormancy. The lack of a difference in lymphocyte counts in this context requires further investigations.

  1. Decrease in the red cell cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate increases hemoglobin oxygen affinity in the hibernating brown bear Ursus arctos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revsbech, Inge G; Malte, Hans; Fröbert, Ole; Evans, Alina; Blanc, Stéphane; Josefsson, Johan; Fago, Angela

    2013-01-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) reduce basal O(2) consumption rate to ∼25% compared with the active state, while body temperature decreases moderately (to ∼30°C), suggesting a temperature-independent component in their metabolic depression. To establish whether changes in O(2) consumption during hibernation correlate with changes in blood O(2) affinity, we took blood samples from the same six individuals of hibernating and nonhibernating free-ranging brown bears during winter and summer, respectively. A single hemoglobin (Hb) component was detected in all samples, indicating no switch in Hb synthesis. O(2) binding curves measured on red blood cell lysates at 30°C and 37°C showed a less temperature-sensitive O(2) affinity than in other vertebrates. Furthermore, hemolysates from hibernating bears consistently showed lower cooperativity and higher O(2) affinity than their summer counterparts, regardless of the temperature. We found that this increase in O(2) affinity was associated with a significant decrease in the red cell Hb-cofactor 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG) during hibernation to approximately half of the summer value. Experiments performed on purified Hb, to which DPG had been added to match summer and winter levels, confirmed that the low DPG content was the cause of the left shift in the Hb-O(2) equilibrium curve during hibernation. Levels of plasma lactate indicated that glycolysis is not upregulated during hibernation and that metabolism is essentially aerobic. Calculations show that the increase in Hb-O(2) affinity and decrease in cooperativity resulting from decreased red cell DPG may be crucial in maintaining a fairly constant tissue oxygen tension during hibernation in vivo.

  2. Diet and morphology of extant and recently extinct northern bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattson, David J.

    1998-01-01

    I examined the relationship of diets to skull morphology of extant northern bears and used this information to speculate on diets of the recently extinct cave (Ursus spelaeus) and short-faced (Arctodus simus) bears. Analyses relied upon published skull measurements and food habits of Asiatic (U. thibetanus) and American (U. americanus) black bears, polar bears (U. maritimus), various subspecies of brown bears (U. arctos), and the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Principal components analysis showed major trends in skull morphology related to size, crushing force, and snout shape. Giant pandas, short-faced bears, cave bears, and polar bears exhibited extreme features along these gradients. Diets of brown bears in colder, often non-forested environments were distinguished by large volumes of roots, foliage, and vertebrates, while diets of the 2 black bear species and brown bears occupying broadleaf forests contained greater volumes of mast and invertebrates and overlapped considerably. Fractions of fibrous foods in feces (foliage and roots) were strongly related to skull morphology (R2=0.97)">(R2=0.97). Based on this relationship, feces of cave and short-faced bears were predicted to consist almost wholly of foliage, roots, or both. I hypothesized that cave bears specialized in root grubbing. In contrast, based upon body proportions and features of the ursid digestive tract, I hypothesized that skull features associated with crushing force facilitated a carnivorous rather than herbivorous diet for short-faced bears.

  3. Geographic structure and demographic history of Iranian brown bear (Ursus arctos based on mtDNA control region sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Reza Ashrafzadeh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the brown bear's range has declined and its populations in some areas have faced extinction. Therefore, to have a comprehensive picture of genetic diversity and geographic structure of populations is essential for effective conservation strategies. In this research, we sequenced a 271bp segment of mtDNA control region of seven Iranian brown bears, where a total dataset of 467 sequences (brown and polar bears were used in analyses. Overall, 113 different haplotypes and 77 polymorphic sites were identified within the segment. Based on phylogenetic analyses, Iranian brown bears were not nested in any other clades. The low values of Nm (range=0.014-0.187 and high values of Fst (range=0.728-0.972 among Iranian bears and others revealed a genetically significant differentiation. We aren't found any significant signal of demographic reduction in Iranian bears. The time to the most recent common ancestor of Iranian brown bears (Northern Iran was found to be around 19000 BP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. A preliminary baseline status of the Syrian Brown Bear Ursus arctos syriacus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae) in Golestanak, Northern Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad Sadegh Farhadinia; Negin Valizadegan

    2015-01-01

    Baseline information is lacking for the Syrian Brown Bear across the sub-species range, making it difficult to assess at any level.  In the present investigation, our goal was to illustrate the population status of the Brown Bear in the Golestanak area, northern Iran, based on field surveys we conducted during the summers of 2011 and 2012.  We counted a total of 30 and 21 bears in two consecutive years, with family groups consisting of more than half of the identified individuals.  Sub-adults...

  6. Penile density and globally used chemicals in Canadian and Greenland polar bears

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dyck, Markus; Rigét, Frank F

    2015-01-01

    -range dispersed and to biomagnify to very high concentrations in the tissues of Arctic apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern relating to EDCs is their effects on vital organ-tissues such as bone and it is possible that EDCs represent a more serious challenge to the species......' survival than the more conventionally proposed prey reductions linked to climate change. We therefore analyzed penile bone mineral density (BMD) as a key phenotype for reproductive success in 279 polar bear samples born 1990-2000 representing eight polar bear subpopulations. Since EDC concentrations were...... not available from the same specimens, we compared BMD with published literature information on EDC concentrations. Latitudinal and longitudinal BMD and EDC gradients were clearly observed, with Western Hudson bears having the highest BMD and lowest EDCs, and North East Greenland polar bears carrying the lowest...

  7. Estimating the success rate of ovulation and early litter loss rate in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) by examining the ovaries and uteri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Atsushi; Yamauchi, Kiyoshi; Tsujimoto, Tsunenori; Mizoguchi, Toshio; Oi, Toru; Sawada, Seigo; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    In order to develop a method for estimating the success/failure rates of reproductive processes, especially those of ovulation and neonate nurturing, in the Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus), we examined offspring status, corpora lutea (CLs), placental scars (PSs) and corpora albicantia (CAs) in 159 females (0-23 years old) killed as nuisances on Honshu Island of Japan during 2001-2009. PSs were found to remain in the uterus at least until November of the year of parturition. CA detectability began to decline after September of the year of parturition. Monthly and age-specific proportions of CL-present females revealed that the post-mating season starts in August, and that the age of first ovulation is 4 years. These results indicate that the success rate of ovulation (SRO: the probability that solitary/non-lactating mature females actually succeed in ovulation) can be estimated by calculating the proportion of CL-present females among > or = 4-year-old females without PSs captured from August to November; the early litter loss rate (ELLR: the probability that parenting females lose all of their cubs [0-year-old offspring] before mating season) can be estimated by calculating the proportion of CL-present females among those with PSs and CAs captured in August or later. The estimated values of SRO and ELLR were 0.93 (62/67) and 0.27 (6/22), respectively.

  8. The selection by the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus of spring plant food items according to their nutritional values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shino Furusaka

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to investigate the nutritional aspects of the bear diet quantitatively, in order to understand plant food selection in spring. Bears were observed directly from April to July in 2013 and 2014, to visually recognize plant species consumed by bears, and to describe the foraging period in the Ashio-Nikko Mountains, central Japan. Leaves were collected from eight dominant tree species, regardless of whether bears fed on them in spring, and their key nutritional components analyzed: crude protein (CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF, and total energy. Bears tended to consume fresh leaves of specific species in May, and nutritional analysis revealed that these leaves had higher CP and lower NDF than other non-food leaves. However, CP in consumed leaves gradually decreased, and NDF increased from May to July, when the bears’ food item preference changed from plant materials to ants. Bears may consume tree leaves with high CP and low NDF after hibernation to rebuild muscle mass.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Preservation of bone mass and structure in hibernating black bears (Ursus americanus) through elevated expression of anabolic genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorov, Vadim B; Goropashnaya, Anna V; Tøien, Øivind; Stewart, Nathan C; Chang, Celia; Wang, Haifang; Yan, Jun; Showe, Louise C; Showe, Michael K; Donahue, Seth W; Barnes, Brian M

    2012-06-01

    Physical inactivity reduces mechanical load on the skeleton, which leads to losses of bone mass and strength in non-hibernating mammalian species. Although bears are largely inactive during hibernation, they show no loss in bone mass and strength. To obtain insight into molecular mechanisms preventing disuse bone loss, we conducted a large-scale screen of transcriptional changes in trabecular bone comparing winter hibernating and summer non-hibernating black bears using a custom 12,800 probe cDNA microarray. A total of 241 genes were differentially expressed (P 1.4) in the ilium bone of bears between winter and summer. The Gene Ontology and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis showed an elevated proportion in hibernating bears of overexpressed genes in six functional sets of genes involved in anabolic processes of tissue morphogenesis and development including skeletal development, cartilage development, and bone biosynthesis. Apoptosis genes demonstrated a tendency for downregulation during hibernation. No coordinated directional changes were detected for genes involved in bone resorption, although some genes responsible for osteoclast formation and differentiation (Ostf1, Rab9a, and c-Fos) were significantly underexpressed in bone of hibernating bears. Elevated expression of multiple anabolic genes without induction of bone resorption genes, and the down regulation of apoptosis-related genes, likely contribute to the adaptive mechanism that preserves bone mass and structure through prolonged periods of immobility during hibernation.

  12. Myocardial Adiponectin Isoform Shift in Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure-A Comparison to Hibernating Brown Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, O Lynne; Wood, Rachael M; Häggström, Jens; Kvart, Clarence; Robbins, Charles T

    2017-07-20

    Adiponectin is the most abundant plasma adipokine, and is well known for its role in energy homeostasis and cardiac protection. In humans with dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial adiponectin protein expression is reduced compared to normal hearts and has been implicated in the pathology of cardiomyopathy. Serum adiponectin levels are often conflicting, with higher levels associated with poor survival in humans with congestive heart failure (CHF). We evaluated adiponectin serum concentrations and myocardial protein expression in dogs with naturally occurring myxomatous mitral valve disease and CHF. We compared the findings to active and hibernating brown bears as bears are adapted to endure an extreme period of low cardiac output during their annual hibernation. Bears exhibited largely the active high-molecular weight (HMW) versus the low-molecular weight isoforms of myocardial adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 6.3) during both the active period and hibernation, while healthy dogs exhibited a more balanced mix of isoforms. Dogs with CHF expressed predominately HMW isoforms of adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 12.5), appearing more similar to bears. In contrast to humans, serum adiponectin was significantly lower in dogs with CHF and lowest levels in the severest CHF class. In both dogs and bears, myocardial adiponectin was expressed independent of circulating adiponectin concentrations, suggesting a local regulatory mechanism within the heart.

  13. Comparison of the behaviour of European brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) in six different parks, with particular attention to stereotypies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montaudouin, S; Le Pape, G

    2004-09-30

    In order to assess the influence of environmental parameters on their behaviour, 16 European brown bears were observed in six different zoological parks. Activities were measured by scan sampling and their relationships to housing conditions were established by multifactorial correspondence analysis and cluster analysis. The largest enclosures were characterised by high scores of play, social behaviours, eating, and interest in the inside as well as the outside of the enclosure. Because these parks were newer, their bears were the youngest of those studied. Stereotypies were associated with medium age animals and small enclosures. The oldest subjects were characterised by high frequencies of resting. Stereotyped walk was observed only in those parks where keepers throw food to the bears. This result and detailed observation of stereotyped movements suggest that the meaning of the stereotypy for the animal could be to induce the keeper's arrival.

  14. Regional contamination versus regional dietary differences: Understanding geographic variation in brominated and chlorinated contaminant levels in polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, M.A.; Letcher, R.J.; Aars, Jon; Born, E.W.; Branigan, M.; Dietz, R.; Evans, T.J.; Gabrielsen, G.W.; Muir, D.C.G.; Peacock, E.; Sonne, C.

    2011-01-01

    The relative contribution of regional contamination versus dietary differences to geographic variation in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) contaminant levels is unknown. Dietary variation between Alaska Canada, East Greenland, and Svalbard subpopulations was assessed by muscle nitrogen and carbon stable isotope (?? 15N, ?? 13C) and adipose fatty acid (FA) signatures relative to their main prey (ringed seals). Western and southern Hudson Bay signatures were characterized by depleted ?? 15N and ??13C, lower proportions of C20 and C22 monounsaturated FAs and higher proportions of C18 and longer chain polyunsaturated FAs. East Greenland and Svalbard signatures were reversed relative to Hudson Bay. Alaskan ?? 2011 American Chemical Society.

  15. Detection and prevalence of four different hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. in Eastern North Carolina American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmoreland, Lori S H; Stoskopf, Michael K; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2017-02-01

    Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. are globally emerging, obligate parasitic, epierythrocytic bacteria that infect many vertebrates, including humans. Hemoplasma infection can cause acute life-threatening symptoms or lead to a chronic sub-clinical carrier state. Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. transmission, prevalence, and host specificity are uncertain. The purpose of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of Mycoplasma species in blood from 68 free-ranging black bears from the eastern coast of North Carolina. DNA amplification of Mycoplasma 16S rRNA gene identified four distinct species infecting 34/68 (50%) of the black bear blood samples, including Candidatus M. haematoparvum. The high prevalence of hemotropic Mycoplasma infection in this wildlife species highlights the importance of understanding intra and inter species transmission. Black bears may play a role in the transmission of hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. between animals, arthropod vectors, and humans. Further studies are needed to elucidate black bears as a potential reservoir for hemotropic Mycoplasma infections. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Seasonal variation in haematological and biochemical variables in free-ranging subadult brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Evans, Alina L; Fahlman, Åsa; Bertelsen, Mads F; Blanc, Stéphane; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-08

    Free-ranging brown bears exhibit highly contrasting physiological states throughout the year. They hibernate 6 months of the year, experiencing a decrease in body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and metabolism. An increase in food consumption and the resulting weight gain (mostly through fat storage) prior to hibernation are also part of the brown bear's annual cycle. Due to these physiological changes, haematological and biochemical variables vary dramatically throughout the year. Seasonal changes in 12 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were evaluated in blood samples collected from 40 free-ranging subadult brown bears (22 females, 18 males) immobilised in Sweden in winter (February-March), spring (April-May), and summer (June). Higher levels of haemoglobin, haematocrit and red blood cell count, and a lower white blood cell count and mean cell volume was found during hibernation than in spring and summer. Lower values of the enzymes; aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutamate dehydrogenase (GD) and amylase, and increased values of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HBA) and blood lipids; triglycerides, cholesterol and free fatty acids, were present during hibernation compared to spring and summer. This study documents significant shifts in haematological and biochemical variables in samples collected from brown bears anaesthetised in winter (February-March) compared to in spring and summer (April-June), reflecting the lowered metabolic, renal and hepatic activity during hibernation. Lower values of enzymes and higher values of blood lipids during hibernation, likely reflect a lipid-based metabolism.

  17. A preliminary baseline status of the Syrian Brown Bear Ursus arctos syriacus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae in Golestanak, Northern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Sadegh Farhadinia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Baseline information is lacking for the Syrian Brown Bear across the sub-species range, making it difficult to assess at any level.  In the present investigation, our goal was to illustrate the population status of the Brown Bear in the Golestanak area, northern Iran, based on field surveys we conducted during the summers of 2011 and 2012.  We counted a total of 30 and 21 bears in two consecutive years, with family groups consisting of more than half of the identified individuals.  Sub-adults had the lowest contribution among the observed individuals, just below 10%, which may be due to their high dispersal behaviour to avoid adults.  Our results provide a foundation for future systematic baseline investigations on the population status of the brown bear in northern Iran, which can be used in management programs.  Aside from improving monitoring efforts within key habitats of the species, enhancing conservation efforts to secure the population is essential to safeguard this female core area. 

  18. Effect of colloid (Androcoll-Bear, Percoll, and PureSperm) selection on the freezability of brown bear (Ursus arctos) sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Rodríguez, M; Álvarez, M; Anel-López, L; López-Urueña, E; Manrique, P; Borragán, S; Morrell, J M; de Paz, P; Anel, L

    2016-04-01

    The development of a species-specific conservation protocol that involves artificial insemination with frozen semen needs to validate an effective methodology for freezing semen. Colloid centrifugation has been suggested and widely applied as an effective tool for selecting animal spermatozoa for artificial breeding. The objective of the present study was to compare different methods of centrifugation, single layer using Androcoll-Bear and Percoll and double layer using PureSperm 100 (in two different discontinuous gradients 40%-80% and 45%-90%), for the selection of fresh brown bear sperm samples. In the before freezing group, all selected samples showed a higher progressive motility and viability (except Percoll for motility 43.0 ± 5.3 [P Bear in number of damaged acrosomes, different relative to the control (control, 5.3 ± 0.6; PureSperm 80, 2.0 ± 0.3; Androcoll, 2.1 ± 0.9 [P Bear constitutes a useful tool for handling of brown bear ejaculates owing to its simple handling and procedure with a reliable sperm selection and freezability. This colloid yielded an improvement in several sperm parameters in brown bear frozen-thawed semen; the selected spermatozoa of fresh samples with this colloid showed a better resistance to freezing compared with the control sample not only for motility but also for viability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) locomotion: forelimb joint mechanics across speed in the sagittal and frontal planes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    The majority of terrestrial locomotion studies have focused on parasagittal motion and paid less attention to forces or movement in the frontal plane. Our previous research has shown that grizzly bears produce higher medial ground reaction forces (lateral pushing from the animal) than would be expected for an upright mammal, suggesting frontal plane movement may be an important aspect of their locomotion. To examine this, we conducted an inverse dynamics analysis in the sagittal and frontal planes, using ground reaction forces and position data from three high-speed cameras of four adult female grizzly bears. Over the speed range collected, the bears used walks, running walks and canters. The scapulohumeral joint, wrist and the limb overall absorb energy (average total net work of the forelimb joints, -0.97 W kg -1 ). The scapulohumeral joint, elbow and total net work of the forelimb joints have negative relationships with speed, resulting in more energy absorbed by the forelimb at higher speeds (running walks and canters). The net joint moment and power curves maintain similar patterns across speed as in previously studied species, suggesting grizzly bears maintain similar joint dynamics to other mammalian quadrupeds. There is no significant relationship with net work and speed at any joint in the frontal plane. The total net work of the forelimb joints in the frontal plane was not significantly different from zero, suggesting that, despite the high medial ground reaction forces, the forelimb acts as a strut in that plane. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Acute gastric dilatation and volvulus in a free-living polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Nielsen, Carol A.

    1989-01-01

    A large, adult male polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was found dead on a barrier island north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (USA), in June 1987. There were no external signs of trauma. A twisted distended stomach, distinctive parenchymal and fascial congestion, and significant difficulty in repositioning the anterior abdominal organs, indicated that gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) was the proximate cause of death. Polar bears frequently consume large quantities of food at one time and have large stomachs that are well adapted to periodic gorging. The scarcity of food in winter and early spring, combined with voluntary fasting and protracted vigorous activity during the breeding season in late spring may have predisposed this bear to GDV. The relationship between GDV and postprandial exercise emphasizes the need for a better understanding of how the present human invasion of arctic habitats may influence polar bear activities.

  1. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Cahill

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  4. High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, A M; Durner, G M; Rode, K D; Atwood, T C; Atkinson, S N; Peacock, E; Costa, D P; Owen, M A; Williams, T M

    2018-02-02

    Regional declines in polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) populations have been attributed to changing sea ice conditions, but with limited information on the causative mechanisms. By simultaneously measuring field metabolic rates, daily activity patterns, body condition, and foraging success of polar bears moving on the spring sea ice, we found that high metabolic rates (1.6 times greater than previously assumed) coupled with low intake of fat-rich marine mammal prey resulted in an energy deficit for more than half of the bears examined. Activity and movement on the sea ice strongly influenced metabolic demands. Consequently, increases in mobility resulting from ongoing and forecasted declines in and fragmentation of sea ice are likely to increase energy demands and may be an important factor explaining observed declines in body condition and survival. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  5. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Atwood, Todd C.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  6. Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James

    2017-01-01

    The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of in situ stressors associated with increasing human activities. These changes are making it more difficult for polar bears to reliably use their traditional habitats and maintain fitness. Here, we provide an overview of how human activities in the Arctic are likely to change a polar bear’s behavior and to influence their resilience to environmental change. Developing a more thorough understanding of polar bear behavior and their capacity for flexibility in response to anthropogenic disturbances and subsequent mitigations may lead to successful near-term management interventions.

  7. A comprehensive analysis of three Asiatic black bear mitochondrial genomes (subspecies ussuricus, formosanus and mupinensis), with emphasis on the complete mtDNA sequence of Ursus thibetanus ussuricus (Ursidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Dae-Sik; Ki, Jang-Seu; Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Kim, Bo-Hyun; Lee, Bae-Keun; Han, Sang-Hoon; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2008-08-01

    In the present paper, we describe the mitochondrial genome sequence of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus ussuricus) with particular emphasis on the control region (CR), and compared with mitochondrial genomes on molecular relationships among the bears. The mitochondrial genome sequence of U. thibetanus ussuricus was 16,700 bp in size with mostly conserved structures (e.g. 13 protein-coding, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes). The CR consisted of several typical conserved domains such as F, E, D, and C boxes, and a conserved sequence block. Nucleotide sequences and the repeated motifs in the CR were different among the bear species, and their copy numbers were also variable according to populations, even within F1 generations of U. thibetanus ussuricus. Comparative analyses showed that the CR D1 region was highly informative for the discrimination of the bear family. These findings suggest that nucleotide sequences of both repeated motifs and CR D1 in the bear family are good markers for species discriminations.

  8. Human disturbances of denning polar bears in Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amstrup, S.C. (Alaska Fish and Wildlife Research Center, Anchorage, AK (United States))

    1993-09-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) give birth in dens of snow and ice. The altricial neonates cannot leave the den for >2 months post-partum and are potentially vulnerable to disturbances near dens. The coastal plain (1002) area of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) lies in a region of known polar bear denning and also may contain >9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Polar bears in dens could be affected in many ways by hydrocarbon development. The distribution of dens on ANWR was documented between 1981 and 1992 and responses of bears in dens to various anthropogenic disturbances were observed. Of 44 dens located by radiotelemetry on the mainland coast of Alaska and Canada, 20 (45%) were on ANWR and 15 (34%) were within the 1002 area. Thus, development of ANWR will increase the potential that denning polar bears are disturbed by human activities. However, perturbations resulting from capture, marking, and radiotracking maternal bears did not affect litter sizes or stature of cubs produced. Likewise, 10 of 12 denned polar bears tolerated exposure to exceptional levels of activity. This tolerance and the fact that investment in the denning effort increases through the winter indicated that spatial and temporal restrictions on developments could prevent the potential for many disruptions of denned bears from being realized. 16 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  9. Human disturbances of denning polar bears in Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amstrup, S.C.

    1993-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) give birth in dens of snow and ice. The altricial neonates cannot leave the den for >2 months post-partum and are potentially vulnerable to disturbances near dens. The coastal plain (1002) area of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) lies in a region of known polar bear denning and also may contain >9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Polar bears in dens could be affected in many ways by hydrocarbon development. The distribution of dens on ANWR was documented between 1981 and 1992 and responses of bears in dens to various anthropogenic disturbances were observed. Of 44 dens located by radiotelemetry on the mainland coast of Alaska and Canada, 20 (45%) were on ANWR and 15 (34%) were within the 1002 area. Thus, development of ANWR will increase the potential that denning polar bears are disturbed by human activities. However, perturbations resulting from capture, marking, and radiotracking maternal bears did not affect litter sizes or stature of cubs produced. Likewise, 10 of 12 denned polar bears tolerated exposure to exceptional levels of activity. This tolerance and the fact that investment in the denning effort increases through the winter indicated that spatial and temporal restrictions on developments could prevent the potential for many disruptions of denned bears from being realized. 16 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs

  10. Effects of intramuscular administration of tiletamine-zolazepam with and without sedative pretreatment on plasma and serum biochemical values and glucose tolerance test results in Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamine, Akari; Shimozuru, Michito; Shibata, Haruki; Tsubota, Toshio

    2012-08-01

    To establish a safe anesthetic protocol with little effect on blood biochemical values and IV glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) results in Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus). 16 captive female Japanese black bears (5 to 17 years of age). Bears were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups (4 bears/group) in which various treatment combinations were administered via blow dart: tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl (9 mg/kg) alone (TZ), TZ (6 mg/kg) and acepromazine maleate (0.1 mg/kg), TZ (6 mg/kg) and butorphanol tartrate (0.3 mg/kg), or TZ (3 mg/kg) and medetomidine HCl (40 μg/kg). Glucose injection for the IVGTT was started 130 minutes after TZ administration. Blood samples were obtained before, at, and intermittently after glucose injection for measurement of biochemical variables as well as plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations during the IVGTT. Rectal temperature, pulse rate, and respiratory rate were assessed every 15 minutes during the experiment. Induction and maintenance of anesthesia were safely achieved with little adverse effect on cardiopulmonary function when each of the 4 anesthetic regimens was used, although mild hypothermia was induced. No difference was evident between treatment groups in blood biochemical values. Blood glucose and insulin concentration profiles during the IVGTT were similar among the bears given TZ, with or without acepromazine or butorphanol, but hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia developed in bears given TZ with medetomidine. All 4 anesthetic regimens yielded chemical restraint without affecting clinical and biochemical values in bears, but medetomidine appeared to affect IVGTT results. For this reason, medetomidine should not be used when anesthetizing bears for IVGTTs.

  11. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  12. Monitoring the welfare of polar bear populations in a rapidly changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

    2017-01-01

    Most programs for monitoring the welfare of wildlife populations support efforts aimed at reaching discrete management objectives, like mitigating conflict with humans. While such programs can be effective, their limited scope may preclude systemic evaluations needed for large-scale conservation initiatives, like the recovery of at-risk species. We discuss select categories of metrics that can be used to monitor how polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are responding to the primary threat to their long-term persistence—loss of sea ice habitat due to the unabated rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG; e.g., CO2) concentrations—that can also provide information on ecosystem function and health. Monitoring key aspects of polar bear population dynamics, spatial behavior, health and resiliency can provide valuable insight into ecosystem state and function, and could be a powerful tool for achieving Arctic conservation objectives, particularly those that have transnational policy implications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Using tri-axial accelerometers to identify wild polar bear behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Anthony M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Cutting, A.; Owen, M.A.; Jensen, S.; Ware, J.V.; Robbins, C.T.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Obbard, M.E.; Middel, K.R.; Thiemann, G.W.; Williams, T.M.

    2017-01-01

    Tri-axial accelerometers have been used to remotely identify the behaviors of a wide range of taxa. Assigning behaviors to accelerometer data often involves the use of captive animals or surrogate species, as their accelerometer signatures are generally assumed to be similar to those of their wild counterparts. However, this has rarely been tested. Validated accelerometer data are needed for polar bears Ursus maritimus to understand how habitat conditions may influence behavior and energy demands. We used accelerometer and water conductivity data to remotely distinguish 10 polar bear behaviors. We calibrated accelerometer and conductivity data collected from collars with behaviors observed from video-recorded captive polar bears and brown bears U. arctos, and with video from camera collars deployed on free-ranging polar bears on sea ice and on land. We used random forest models to predict behaviors and found strong ability to discriminate the most common wild polar bear behaviors using a combination of accelerometer and conductivity sensor data from captive or wild polar bears. In contrast, models using data from captive brown bears failed to reliably distinguish most active behaviors in wild polar bears. Our ability to discriminate behavior was greatest when species- and habitat-specific data from wild individuals were used to train models. Data from captive individuals may be suitable for calibrating accelerometers, but may provide reduced ability to discriminate some behaviors. The accelerometer calibrations developed here provide a method to quantify polar bear behaviors to evaluate the impacts of declines in Arctic sea ice.

  15. Vitamins A and E in liver, kidney, and whole blood of East Greenland polar bears sampled 1994–2008: reference values and temporal trends

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bechshoft, T.; Sonne, C.; Jakobsen, Jette

    2015-01-01

    that POPs could be disrupting polar bear vitamin status. However, while the observed temporal increases in vitamin concentrations were likely POP related, the question remains as to whether they stem from influence of contaminants only or also, e.g., changes in prey species. Further studies are needed......Vitamins A (retinol) and E (α-tocopherol) are dietary vitamins, essential for, e.g., growth and development, reproduction, and immune function. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been found to be related to vitamin A and E metabolism. However, few investigations have been published...... on this health issue in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of this study was thus to provide reference values for concentrations of vitamin A in liver, kidney cortex, and whole blood and vitamin E in kidney cortex and whole blood from 166 East Greenland polar bears, as well as to assess the relationship...

  16. The endocrine disruption properties of an adipose contaminant mixture extracted from East Greenland polar bears studied in the H295R cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjorth, R.; Letcher, R. J.; Blair, D.

    been well described and especially the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is recognized as being one of the most contaminated species in the Arctic. The present study investigated the in vitro endocrine disruptive effects of the POP mixture found in adipose tissue from 10 East Greenland polar bears collected...... compounds, where some can be in the parts-perbillion (ppb) concentration range. However, most reported studies on endocrine disruption effects have been on single compounds at concentrations higher than environmentally relevant. The presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic wildlife has...... (dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione). These results demonstrated comprehensive in vitro effects of POPs extracted from polar bear adipose tissue on key elements in the steroidogenesis, and identifies disruption of CYP17 activity as a mode of action. A POP-induced interference with CYP17 can potentially explain...

  17. Dietary biomagnification of organochlorine contaminants in Alaskan polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentzen, T.W.; Follmann, Erich H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; York, G.S.; Wooller, M.J.; Muir, D.C.G.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in the adipose tissue of polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) vary throughout the Arctic. The range in concentrations has not been explained fully by bear age, sex, condition, location, or reproductive status. Dietary pathways expose polar bears to a variety of contaminant profiles and concentrations. Prey range from lower trophic level bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L., 1758), one of the least contaminated marine mammals, to highly contaminated upper trophic level ringed seals (Phoca hispida (Schreber, 1775)). We used ??15N and ??13C signatures to estimate the trophic status of 42 polar bears sampled along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast to determine the relationship between organochlorine concentration and trophic level. The ?? 15N values in the cellular portions of blood ranged from 18.2% to 20.7%. We found strong positive relationships between concentrations of the most recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and ??15N values in models incorporating age, lipid content, and ??13C value. Specifically these models accounted for 67% and 76% of the variation in PCB153 and oxychlordane concentration in male polar bears and 85% and 93% in females, respectively. These results are strong indicators of variation in diet and biomagnification of organochlorines among polar bears related to their sex, age, and trophic position. ?? 2008 NRC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  20. Field metabolic rate and PCB adipose tissue deposition efficiency in East Greenland polar bears derived from contaminant monitoring data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlova, Viola; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Dietz, Rune; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Vorkamp, Katrin; Rigét, Frank Farsø; Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Grimm, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Climate change will increasingly affect the natural habitat and diet of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Understanding the energetic needs of polar bears is therefore important. We developed a theoretical method for estimating polar bear food consumption based on using the highly recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener, 2,2',4,4',55-hexaCB (CB153) in bear adipose tissue as an indicator of food intake. By comparing the CB153 tissue concentrations in wild polar bears with estimates from a purposely designed individual-based model, we identified the possible combinations of field metabolic rates (FMR) and CB153 deposition efficiencies in East Greenland polar bears. Our simulations indicate that if 30% of the CB153 consumed by polar bear individuals were deposited into their adipose tissue, the corresponding FMR would be only two times the basal metabolic rate. In contrast, if the modelled CB153 deposition efficiency were 10%, adult polar bears would require six times more energy than that needed to cover basal metabolism. This is considerably higher than what has been assumed for polar bears in previous studies though it is similar to FMRs found in other marine mammals. An implication of this result is that even relatively small reductions in future feeding opportunities could impact the survival of East Greenland polar bears.

  1. Field metabolic rate and PCB adipose tissue deposition efficiency in East Greenland polar bears derived from contaminant monitoring data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viola Pavlova

    Full Text Available Climate change will increasingly affect the natural habitat and diet of polar bears (Ursus maritimus. Understanding the energetic needs of polar bears is therefore important. We developed a theoretical method for estimating polar bear food consumption based on using the highly recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB congener, 2,2',4,4',55-hexaCB (CB153 in bear adipose tissue as an indicator of food intake. By comparing the CB153 tissue concentrations in wild polar bears with estimates from a purposely designed individual-based model, we identified the possible combinations of field metabolic rates (FMR and CB153 deposition efficiencies in East Greenland polar bears. Our simulations indicate that if 30% of the CB153 consumed by polar bear individuals were deposited into their adipose tissue, the corresponding FMR would be only two times the basal metabolic rate. In contrast, if the modelled CB153 deposition efficiency were 10%, adult polar bears would require six times more energy than that needed to cover basal metabolism. This is considerably higher than what has been assumed for polar bears in previous studies though it is similar to FMRs found in other marine mammals. An implication of this result is that even relatively small reductions in future feeding opportunities could impact the survival of East Greenland polar bears.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Variation in winter diet of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears inferred from stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentzen, T.W.; Follmann, Erich H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; York, G.S.; Wooller, M.J.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2007-01-01

    Ringed seals (Phoca hispida Schreber, 1775 = Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben, 1777)) represent the majority of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) annual diet. However, remains of lower trophic level bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L., 1758) are available in the southern Beaufort Sea and their dietary contribution to polar bears has been unknown. We used stable isotope (13C/12C, δ13C, 15N/14N, and δ15N) analysis to determine the diet composition of polar bears sampled along Alaska’s Beaufort Sea coast in March and April 2003 and 2004. The mean δ15N values of polar bear blood cells were 19.5‰ (SD = 0.7‰) in 2003 and 19.9‰ (SD = 0.7‰) in 2004. Mixing models indicated bowhead whales composed 11%–26% (95% CI) of the diets of sampled polar bears in 2003, and 0%–14% (95% CI) in 2004. This suggests significant variability in the proportion of lower trophic level prey in polar bear diets among individuals and between years. Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting seals, and the temporal and spatial availabilities of sea ice are projected to decline. Consumption of low trophic level foods documented here suggests bears may increasingly scavenge such foods in the future.

  4. Remote biopsy darting and marking of polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Anthony M.; Peacock, Elizabeth; McKinney, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Remote biopsy darting of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is less invasive and time intensive than physical capture and is therefore useful when capture is challenging or unsafe. We worked with two manufacturers to develop a combination biopsy and marking dart for use on polar bears. We had an 80% success rate of collecting a tissue sample with a single biopsy dart and collected tissue samples from 143 polar bears on land, in water, and on sea ice. Dye marks ensured that 96% of the bears were not resampled during the same sampling period, and we recovered 96% of the darts fired. Biopsy heads with 5 mm diameters collected an average of 0.12 g of fur, tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue, while biopsy heads with 7 mm diameters collected an average of 0.32 g. Tissue samples were 99.3% successful (142 of 143 samples) in providing a genetic and sex identification of individuals. We had a 64% success rate collecting adipose tissue and we successfully examined fatty acid signatures in all adipose samples. Adipose lipid content values were lower compared to values from immobilized or harvested polar bears, indicating that our method was not suitable for quantifying adipose lipid content.

  5. Planning the Brown Bear Ursus arctos reintroduction in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park. A tool to establish a metapopulation in the Central-Eastern Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Mustoni

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In the 17th century, brown bears (Ursus arctos were still abundant and widely distributed over the entire alpine area of northern Italy and even in large, dense forests of the prealps and the Po plain. The start of the decline coincided with increasing deforestation for farming at the end of the 18th century and, in the 19th century, increased access to previously remote wilderness areas of the prealpine and alpine mountains, where direct persecution by farmers and hunters caused the extinction of local bear populations. The last remnant population that occupied the Adamello-Brenta Alps was considered biologically extinct since 1989 (only three, non-reproducing bears. Here we present an analysis of the reintroduction process as the most suitable tool for brown bear recovery in the Italian Alps, taking into account both the benefits of reinstating a viable population and the risks that the coexistence between man and bear could cause. The reintroduction process is discussed aiming at an evaluation of its contribution to the global future efforts for brown bear conservation in the alpine region. A GIS-based habitat suitability analysis was implemented to test for good-quality bear habitat in a vast mountainous area around the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park (6500 km², the release site of bears. The model was based on presence/absence data, gathered over the last 20 years, and habitat parameters in 25 ha cells in the core-area of the remnant bear population (645 km² study area. Other parameters of human disturbance and livestock densities, were considered at the scale of the municipality. Bears positively selected deciduous forest but seemed to avoid areas with intensive pasture activity, mainly of horses and sheep, despite the latter being a potential prey. Habitats containing large amounts of bare rock, farmland and urbanised areas were avoided. There were no significant

  6. Mass Loss Rates of Fasting Polar Bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilfold, Nicholas W; Hedman, Daryll; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Lunn, Nicholas J; Richardson, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have adapted to an annual cyclic regime of feeding and fasting, which is extreme in seasonal sea ice regions of the Arctic. As a consequence of climate change, sea ice breakup has become earlier and the duration of the open-water period through which polar bears must rely on fat reserves has increased. To date, there is limited empirical data with which to evaluate the potential energetic capacity of polar bears to withstand longer fasts. We measured the incoming and outgoing mass of inactive polar bears (n = 142) that were temporarily detained by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship during the open-water period near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, in 2009-2014. Polar bears were given access to water but not food and held for a median length of 17 d. Median mass loss rates were 1.0 kg/d, while median mass-specific loss rates were 0.5%/d, similar to other species with high adiposity and prolonged fasting capacities. Mass loss by unfed captive adult males was identical to that lost by free-ranging individuals, suggesting that terrestrial feeding contributes little to offset mass loss. The inferred metabolic rate was comparable to a basal mammalian rate, suggesting that while on land, polar bears can maintain a depressed metabolic rate to conserve energy. Finally, we estimated time to starvation for subadults and adult males for the on-land period. Results suggest that at 180 d of fasting, 56%-63% of subadults and 18%-24% of adult males in this study would die of starvation. Results corroborate previous assessments on the limits of polar bear capacity to withstand lengthening ice-free seasons and emphasize the greater sensitivity of subadults to changes in sea ice phenology.

  7. A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vongraven, Dag; Aars, Jon; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; DeBruyn, T.D.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Gill, Michael J.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Omelak, Jack; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Peacock, Elizabeth; Richardson, E.E.; Sahanatien, Vicki; Stirling, Ian; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) occupy remote regions that are characterized by harsh weather and limited access. Polar bear populations can only persist where temporal and spatial availability of sea ice provides adequate access to their marine mammal prey. Observed declines in sea ice availability will continue as long as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. At the same time, human intrusion and pollution levels in the Arctic are expected to increase. A circumpolar understanding of the cumulative impacts of current and future stressors is lacking, long-term trends are known from only a few subpopulations, and there is no globally coordinated effort to monitor effects of stressors. Here, we describe a framework for an integrated circumpolar monitoring plan to detect ongoing patterns, predict future trends, and identify the most vulnerable polar bear subpopulations. We recommend strategies for monitoring subpopulation abundance and trends, reproduction, survival, ecosystem change, human-caused mortality, human–bear conflict, prey availability, health, stature, distribution, behavioral change, and the effects that monitoring itself may have on polar bears. We assign monitoring intensity for each subpopulation through adaptive assessment of the quality of existing baseline data and research accessibility. A global perspective is achieved by recommending high intensity monitoring for at least one subpopulation in each of four major polar bear ecoregions. Collection of data on harvest, where it occurs, and remote sensing of habitat, should occur with the same intensity for all subpopulations. We outline how local traditional knowledge may most effectively be combined with the best scientific methods to provide comparable and complementary lines of evidence. We also outline how previously collected intensive monitoring data may be sub-sampled to guide future sampling frequencies and develop indirect estimates or indices of subpopulation status. Adoption of this framework

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. The endocrine disruption properties of an adipose contaminant mixture extracted from East Greenland polar bears studied in the H295R cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjorth, R.; Letcher, R. J.; Blair, D.

    In recent years there has been much debate on the potential risk of chemicals that have been classified as endocrine disruption compounds (EDCs). Human and environmental risk assessment of EDCs is a challenge since the exposure to humans and wildlife is a complex mixture of many known and unknown...... compounds, where some can be in the parts-perbillion (ppb) concentration range. However, most reported studies on endocrine disruption effects have been on single compounds at concentrations higher than environmentally relevant. The presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic wildlife has...... been well described and especially the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is recognized as being one of the most contaminated species in the Arctic. The present study investigated the in vitro endocrine disruptive effects of the POP mixture found in adipose tissue from 10 East Greenland polar bears collected...

  10. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Stephen G; Castro de la Guardia, Laura; Derocher, Andrew E; Sahanatien, Vicki; Tremblay, Bruno; Huard, David

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling. Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands. Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  11. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Hamilton

    Full Text Available Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling.Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands.Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  12. Polar bear maternity denning in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Gardner, Craig L.

    1994-01-01

    The distribution of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is circumpolar in the NOrthern Hemisphere, but known locations of maternal dens are concentrated in relatively few, widely scattered locations. Denning is either uncommon or unknown within gaps. To understand effects of industrial development and propose increases in hunting, the temporal and spatial distribution of denning in the Beaufort Sea must be known. We caputred and radiocollared polar bears between 1981 and 1991 and determined tht denning in the Beaufort Sea region was sufficient to account for the estimated population there. Of 90 dend, 48 were on drifting pack ice, 38 on land, and 4 on land-fast ice. The portions of dens on land was higher (P= 0.029) in later compared with earlier years of the study. Bears denning on pack ice drifting as far as 997 km (x=385km) while in dens. there was no difference in cun production by bears denning on land and pack ice (P =0.66). Mean entry and exit dates were 11 November and 5 April for land dens and 22 November and 26 March for pack-ice dens. Female polar bears captured in the Beaufort Sea appeared to be isolated from those caught eat of Cape Bathurst in Canada. Of 35 polar bears that denned along the mainland coast of Alaska and Canada 80% denned between 137 00'W snf 146 59'W. Bears followed to >1 den did not reuse sites and consecutive dens were 20-1,304 km apart. However radio-collared bears are largely faithful to substrate (pack-ice, land, and land-fast ice) and the general geographic area of previous dens. Bears denning on land may be vunerable to human activities such as hunting and industrial development. However, predictable denning chronology and alck of site fidelity indicate that many potential impacts on denning polar bears could be mitigated.

  13. Six months of disuse during hibernation does not increase intracortical porosity or decrease cortical bone geometry, strength, or mineralization in black bear (Ursus americanus) femurs

    OpenAIRE

    McGee-Lawrence, Meghan E.; Wojda, Samantha J.; Barlow, Lindsay N.; Drummer, Thomas D.; Bunnell, Kevin; Auger, Janene; Black, Hal L.; Donahue, Seth W.

    2009-01-01

    Disuse typically uncouples bone formation from resorption, leading to bone loss which compromises bone mechanical properties and increases the risk of bone fracture. Previous studies suggest that bears can prevent bone loss during long periods of disuse (hibernation), but small sample sizes have limited the conclusions that can be drawn regarding the effects of hibernation on bone structure and strength in bears. Here we quantified the effects of hibernation on structural, mineral, and mechan...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    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. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Improving sperm banking efficiency in endangered species through the use of a sperm selection method in brown bear (Ursus arctos) thawed sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-Lopez, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Morrell, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-06-26

    Sperm selection methods such as Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) have been demonstrated to be a useful tool to improve the quality of sperm samples and therefore to increase the efficiency of other artificial reproductive techniques in several species. This procedure could help to improve the quality of genetic resource banks, which is essential for endangered species. In contrast, these sperm selection methods are optimized and focused on farm animals, where the recovery task is not as important as in endangered species because of their higher sperm availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate two centrifugation methods (300 x g/20 min and 600 x g/10 min) and three concentrations of SLC media (Androcoll-Bear -80, 65 and 50%) to optimise the procedure in order to recover as many sperm with the highest quality as possible. Sperm morphology could be important in the hydrodynamic relationship between the cell and centrifugation medium and thus the effect of sperm head morphometry on sperm yield and its hydrodynamic relationship were studied. The samples selected with Androcoll-Bear 65% showed a very good yield (53.1 ± 2.9) although the yield from Androcoll-Bear 80% was lower (19.3 ± 3.3). The latter showed higher values of motility than the control immediately after post-thawing selection. However, both concentrations of colloid (65 and 80%) showed higher values of viable sperm and viable sperm with intact acrosome than the control. After an incubation of 2 h at 37 °C, the samples from Androcoll-Bear 80% had higher kinematics and proportion of viable sperm with intact acrosome. In the morphometric analysis, the sperm selected by the Androcoll-Bear 80% showed a head with a bigger area which was more elongated than the sperm from other treatments. We conclude that sperm selection with Androcoll-Bear at either 65% or 80% is a suitable technique that allows a sperm population with better quality than the initial sample to be obtained. We recommend the

  17. Growth trajectories in the cave bear and its extant relatives: an examination of ontogenetic patterns in phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Manuela; Geiger, Madeleine; Stange, Madlen; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2015-11-02

    The study of postnatal ontogeny can provide insights into evolution by offering an understanding of how growth trajectories have evolved resulting in adult morphological disparity. The Ursus lineage is a good subject for studying cranial and mandibular shape and size variation in relation to postnatal ontogeny and phylogeny because it is at the same time not diverse but the species exhibit different feeding ecologies. Cranial and mandibular shapes of Ursus arctos (brown bear), U. maritimus (polar bear), U. americanus (American black bear), and the extinct U. spelaeus (cave bear) were examined, using a three-dimensional geometric morphometric approach. Additionally, ontogenetic series of crania and mandibles of U. arctos and U. spelaeus ranging from newborns to senile age were sampled. The distribution of specimens in morphospace allowed to distinguish species and age classes and the ontogenetic trajectories U. arctos and U. spelaeus were found to be more similar than expected by chance. Cranial shape changes during ontogeny are largely size related whereas the evolution of cranial shape disparity in this clade appears to be more influenced by dietary adaptation than by size and phylogeny. The different feeding ecologies are reflected in different cranial and mandibular shapes among species. The cranial and mandibular shape disparity in the Ursus lineage appears to be more influenced by adaptation to diet than by size or phylogeny. In contrast, the cranial and mandibular shape changes during postnatal ontogeny in U. arctos and U. spelaeus are probably largely size related. The patterns of morphospace occupation of the cranium and the mandible in adults and through ontogeny are different.

  18. Was the giant short-faced bear a hyper-scavenger? A new approach to the dietary study of ursids using dental microwear textures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohue, Shelly L; DeSantis, Larisa R G; Schubert, Blaine W; Ungar, Peter S

    2013-01-01

    Dramatic environmental changes associated with global cooling since the late Miocene, and the onset of glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene served as a backdrop to the evolutionary radiation of modern bears (family Ursidae). These environmental changes likely prompted changes in food availability, and triggered dietary adaptations that served as motive forces in ursid evolution. Here, we assess correspondence of dental microwear textures of first and second lower molars with diet in extant ursids. We use the resulting baseline data to evaluate the hypothesis that the Pleistocene giant short-faced bear, Arctodus simus, was a bone consumer and hyper-scavenger at Rancho La Brea, California, USA. Significant variation along the tooth row is consistent with functional differentiation, with the second molar serving as a better dietary recorder than the first. Results evince significant variation among species: carnivorous and omnivorous ursids (Ursus maritimus, U. americanus) have significantly higher and more variable complexity (Asfc) than more herbivorous ones (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Tremarctos ornatus, U. malayanus), and A. melanoleuca is differentiated from U. maritimus and U. americanus by significantly higher and more variable anisotropy (epLsar) values. Arctodus simus from Rancho La Brea exhibits wear attributes most comparable to its closest living relative (T. ornatus), which is inconsistent with hard-object (e.g., bone) consumption, and the hypothesis that short-faced bears were bone consuming hyper-scavengers across their range.

  19. Was the giant short-faced bear a hyper-scavenger? A new approach to the dietary study of ursids using dental microwear textures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelly L Donohue

    Full Text Available Dramatic environmental changes associated with global cooling since the late Miocene, and the onset of glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene served as a backdrop to the evolutionary radiation of modern bears (family Ursidae. These environmental changes likely prompted changes in food availability, and triggered dietary adaptations that served as motive forces in ursid evolution. Here, we assess correspondence of dental microwear textures of first and second lower molars with diet in extant ursids. We use the resulting baseline data to evaluate the hypothesis that the Pleistocene giant short-faced bear, Arctodus simus, was a bone consumer and hyper-scavenger at Rancho La Brea, California, USA. Significant variation along the tooth row is consistent with functional differentiation, with the second molar serving as a better dietary recorder than the first. Results evince significant variation among species: carnivorous and omnivorous ursids (Ursus maritimus, U. americanus have significantly higher and more variable complexity (Asfc than more herbivorous ones (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Tremarctos ornatus, U. malayanus, and A. melanoleuca is differentiated from U. maritimus and U. americanus by significantly higher and more variable anisotropy (epLsar values. Arctodus simus from Rancho La Brea exhibits wear attributes most comparable to its closest living relative (T. ornatus, which is inconsistent with hard-object (e.g., bone consumption, and the hypothesis that short-faced bears were bone consuming hyper-scavengers across their range.

  20. Was the Giant Short-Faced Bear a Hyper-Scavenger? A New Approach to the Dietary Study of Ursids Using Dental Microwear Textures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohue, Shelly L.; DeSantis, Larisa R. G.; Schubert, Blaine W.; Ungar, Peter S.

    2013-01-01

    Dramatic environmental changes associated with global cooling since the late Miocene, and the onset of glacial-interglacial cycles in the Pleistocene served as a backdrop to the evolutionary radiation of modern bears (family Ursidae). These environmental changes likely prompted changes in food availability, and triggered dietary adaptations that served as motive forces in ursid evolution. Here, we assess correspondence of dental microwear textures of first and second lower molars with diet in extant ursids. We use the resulting baseline data to evaluate the hypothesis that the Pleistocene giant short-faced bear, Arctodus simus, was a bone consumer and hyper-scavenger at Rancho La Brea, California, USA. Significant variation along the tooth row is consistent with functional differentiation, with the second molar serving as a better dietary recorder than the first. Results evince significant variation among species: carnivorous and omnivorous ursids (Ursus maritimus, U. americanus) have significantly higher and more variable complexity (Asfc) than more herbivorous ones (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Tremarctos ornatus, U. malayanus), and A. melanoleuca is differentiated from U. maritimus and U. americanus by significantly higher and more variable anisotropy (epLsar) values. Arctodus simus from Rancho La Brea exhibits wear attributes most comparable to its closest living relative (T. ornatus), which is inconsistent with hard-object (e.g., bone) consumption, and the hypothesis that short-faced bears were bone consuming hyper-scavengers across their range. PMID:24204860

  1. Testing methods for using high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor polar bear abundance and distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRue, Michelle A.; Stapleton, Seth P.; Porter, Claire; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Atwood, Todd C.; Dyck, Markus; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution satellite imagery is a promising tool for providing coarse information about polar species abundance and distribution, but current applications are limited. With polar bears (Ursus maritimus), the technique has only proven effective on landscapes with little topographic relief that are devoid of snow and ice, and time-consuming manual review of imagery is required to identify bears. Here, we evaluated mechanisms to further develop methods for satellite imagery by examining data from Rowley Island, Canada. We attempted to automate and expedite detection via a supervised spectral classification and image differencing to expedite image review. We also assessed what proportion of a region should be sampled to obtain reliable estimates of density and abundance. Although the spectral signature of polar bears differed from nontarget objects, these differences were insufficient to yield useful results via a supervised classification process. Conversely, automated image differencing—or subtracting one image from another—correctly identified nearly 90% of polar bear locations. This technique, however, also yielded false positives, suggesting that manual review will still be required to confirm polar bear locations. On Rowley Island, bear distribution approximated a Poisson distribution across a range of plot sizes, and resampling suggests that sampling >50% of the site facilitates reliable estimation of density (CV in certain areas, but large-scale applications remain limited because of the challenges in automation and the limited environments in which the method can be effectively applied. Improvements in resolution may expand opportunities for its future uses.

  2. White-beaked dolphins trapped in the ice and eaten by polar bears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Aars

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice, where they hunt ice-associated seals. However, they are opportunistic predators and scavengers with a long list of known prey species. Here we report from a small fjord in Svalbard, Norwegian High Arctic, a sighting of an adult male polar bear preying on two white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris on 23 April 2014. This is the first record of this species as polar bear prey. White-beaked dolphins are frequent visitors to Svalbard waters in summer, but have not previously been reported this far north in early spring. We suggest they were trapped in the ice after strong northerly winds the days before, and possibly killed when forced to surface for air at a small opening in the ice. The bear had consumed most parts of one dolphin. When observed he was in the process of covering the mostly intact second dolphin with snow. Such caching behaviour is generally considered untypical of polar bears. During the following ice-free summer and autumn, at least seven different white-beaked dolphin carcasses were observed in or near the same area. We suggest, based on the area and the degree to which these dolphins had decayed, that they were likely from the same pod and also suffered death due to entrapment in the ice in April. At least six different polar bears were seen scavenging on the carcasses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Polar bear encephalitis: establishment of a comprehensive next-generation pathogen analysis pipeline for captive and free-living wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szentiks, C A; Tsangaras, K; Abendroth, B; Scheuch, M; Stenglein, M D; Wohlsein, P; Heeger, F; Höveler, R; Chen, W; Sun, W; Damiani, A; Nikolin, V; Gruber, A D; Grobbel, M; Kalthoff, D; Höper, D; Czirják, G Á; Derisi, J; Mazzoni, C J; Schüle, A; Aue, A; East, M L; Hofer, H; Beer, M; Osterrieder, N; Greenwood, A D

    2014-05-01

    This report describes three possibly related incidences of encephalitis, two of them lethal, in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Standard diagnostic methods failed to identify pathogens in any of these cases. A comprehensive, three-stage diagnostic 'pipeline' employing both standard serological methods and new DNA microarray and next generation sequencing-based diagnostics was developed, in part as a consequence of this initial failure. This pipeline approach illustrates the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of these tools in determining pathogen caused deaths in non-model organisms such as wildlife species and why the use of a limited number of diagnostic tools may fail to uncover important wildlife pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, James; Vongraven, Dag; Atwood, Todd C.; Hansen, Bob; Jessen, Amalie; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; York, Geoff; Vallender, Rachel; Hedman, Daryll; Gibbons, Melissa

    2017-01-01

    Understanding causes of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) attacks on humans is critical to ensuring both human safety and polar bear conservation. Although considerable attention has been focused on understanding black (U. americanus) and grizzly (U. arctos)