WorldWideScience

Sample records for brown bear ursus

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Tubulopapillary mammary carcinoma in a brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nak, Deniz; Cangul, I Taci; Nak, Yavuz; Cihan, Huseyin; Celimli, Nureddin

    2008-04-01

    A 28-yr-old, nulliparous female brown bear (Ursus arctos) at the Karacabey Ovakurusu Bear Sanctuary presented with an enlargement of the mammary gland. Three other nodules were also noted in the proximity of the mammary gland and over the vulva. Clinical, hematologic, ultrasonographic, and radiologic examinations were performed; the enlarged mammary gland was removed and the other masses were also excised. Histopathologic examination revealed tubulopapillary carcinoma of the mammary gland, and the other masses were diagnosed as epidermoid cysts. This is the first reported case of tubulopapillary mammary carcinoma accompanied by epidermoid cysts in a bear.

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, V.; Smith, R.

    1993-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Interactions of brown bears, Ursus arctos, and gray wolves, Canis lupus, at Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tom S.; Partridge, Steven T.; Schoen, John W.

    2004-01-01

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

  10. ISOLATION OF STREPTOCOCCI FROM A FATAL CASE OF MYOCARDITIS IN A CAPTIVE BROWN BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipek, Volkan; Gocmen, Huban; Cangul, I Taci

    2017-03-01

    A 10-yr-old, male brown bear ( Ursus arctos ) from Bursa Zoo in Turkey died without any apparent signs. Severe purulent pericarditis and myocarditis with mild ascites, lung edema, and moderate liver congestion were observed during necropsy. Microscopically, there were severe neutrophilic infiltrations in the myocardium and thoracic lymph nodes. A member of the Streptococcus bovis - Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) was isolated and identified phenotypically.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Electroejaculation and semen characteristics of the captive Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, A; Matsui, M; Tsuruga, H; Sakamoto, H; Takahashi, Y; Kanagawa, H

    1998-08-01

    An electroejaculation technique was applied to the Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis) for semen collection and characterization of their seminal traits. Ten captive sexually mature bears were anesthetized and subjected to 21 electroejaculation trials during their mating season in 1995 and 1996. Spermic electroejaculates were recovered from 6 of the 10 bears (14 of 21 trials). The semen was characterized by serous fluid of semitransparent white color and a neutral pH. The mean values of ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, percentage of sperm motility, percentage of live spermatozoa, and percentage of pleiomorphic forms were 2.7 ml, 471.6 x 10(6) cells/ml, 80.2%, 89.7% and 21.8%, respectively. Although there was considerable variation among the seminal traits of the individual bears, the electroejaculation technique was effective in obtaining ejaculates from captive bears.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. First molecular detection of Neospora caninum in European brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čobádiová, A; Víchová, B; Majláthová, V; Reiterová, K

    2013-10-18

    Neospora caninum is an important intracellular protozoan parasite with an affinity to the central nervous system of many animals and a major causative agent of repeated abortions in cattle. In total, 45 muscle, liver, or spleen samples of brown bear sampled in different locations of Central Slovakia were examined by PCR. Genotyping of N. caninum was based on amplification of Nc-5 gene and ITS1 rRNA fragments and subsequent sequencing. Presence of N. caninum DNA was confirmed in 24.4% (11/45) of tested animals. The results obtained in study confirm the first molecular evidence of N. caninum DNA in European brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Slovakia. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Geographic and genetic boundaries of brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in the Caucasus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtskhvaladze, Marine; Gavashelishvili, Alexander; Tarkhnishvili, David

    2010-05-01

    The taxonomic status of brown bears in the Caucasus remains unclear. Several morphs or subspecies have been identified from the morphological (craniological) data, but the status of each of these subspecies has never been verified by molecular genetic methods. We analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences (control region) to reveal phylogenetic relationships and infer divergence time between brown bear subpopulations in the Caucasus. We estimated migration and gene flow from both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite allele frequencies, and identified possible barriers to gene flow among the subpopulations. Our suggestion is that all Caucasian bears belong to the nominal subspecies of Ursus arctos. Our results revealed two genetically and geographically distinct maternal haplogroups: one from the Lesser Caucasus and the other one from the Greater Caucasus. The genetic divergence between these haplogroups dates as far back as the beginning of human colonization of the Caucasus. Our analysis of the least-cost distances between the subpopulations suggests humans as a major barrier to gene flow. The low genetic differentiation inferred from microsatellite allele frequencies indicates that gene flow between the two populations in the Caucasus is maintained through the movements of male brown bears. The Likhi Ridge that connects the Greater and Lesser Caucasus mountains is the most likely corridor for this migration.

  19. Spinal spondylosis and acute intervertebral disc prolapse in a European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, W M; Hartley, M P; Duncan, N M; Barrows, M G

    2005-06-01

    A 22-year-old male European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) was presented to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital after an acute onset of hind limb paralysis 4 days earlier. Previous radiographs revealed marked degenerative joint disease of the stifles, tarsi and digits. The clinical findings were consistent with acute disc prolapse. Lateral radiographs of the entire vertebral column were made as well as ventrodorsal pelvic radiographs. The latter were within normal limits. The vertebral column revealed multiple lesions consistent with chronic and acute disc herniations. Lateral compression of the caudal lumbar nerve roots could not be ruled out. Owing to multiple significant findings of the vertebral column and the poor prognosis for full recovery after surgery, the bear was euthanased. The diagnosis of an acute disc prolapse and multiple chronic disc herniations was confirmed on necropsy.

  20. 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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheat, Rachel E; Allen, Jennifer M; Miller, Sophie D L; Wilmers, Christopher C; Levi, Taal

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. The food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bipan C. Rathore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We documented the food habits of the Himalayan Brown Bear Ursus arctos in Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, Himachal Pradesh, India, between 2002 and 2004 using scat analysis (n=222, direct observation (n=57, and feeding sign observations (n=57.  We concluded that Himalayan Brown Bears lead a predominantly herbivorous life style as plant matter occurred more frequently in scats (79% than animal matter (21%.  During summer, monsoon and fall, the frequency occurrence of plant matter was 72.2%, 77% and 91% respectively.  During early summer, brown bears foraged primarily on green vegetation such as Rumex nepalensis followed by Chaerophyllum reflexum.  Based on direct feeding observations, brown bears were observed to be feeding on 29 species of plants including agricultural crops and one fungi, Morchella esculenta.  The overuse by livestock, decline in local herbs and excessive extraction of high altitudinal medicinal plants in this habitat may pose a threat to the fragmented brown bear population. 

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sommer, Felix; Ståhlman, Marcus; Ilkayeva, Olga; Arnemo, Jon M.; 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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

    .... 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bagher Nezami Balouchi

    2014-01-01

    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 Albo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-07

    We report here the complete genome sequence (GenBank KP997032) of rabies virus strain RABV/Ursus arctos/Russia/Primorye/PO-01/2014, isolated in November 2014 from a brown bear (Ursus arctos) that attacked a person in Primorsky Krai (Russian Federation). This strain was clustered into the Eurasian genetic subgroup of genotype 1 (street rage). Copyright © 2016 Shchelkanov et al.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    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....

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Spinal spondylosis and acute intervertebral disc prolapse in a European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.M. Wagner

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available A 22-year-old male European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos was presented to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital after an acute onset of hind limb paralysis 4 days earlier. Previous radiographs revealed marked degenerative joint disease of the stifles, tarsi and digits. The clinical findings were consistent with acute disc prolapse. Lateral radiographs of the entire vertebral column were made as well as ventrodorsal pelvic radiographs. The latter were within normal limits. The vertebral column revealed multiple lesions consistent with chronic and acute disc herniations. Lateral compression of the caudal lumbar nerve roots could not be ruled out. Owing to multiple significant findings of the vertebral column and the poor prognosis for full recovery after surgery, the bear was euthanased. The diagnosis of an acute disc prolapse and multiple chronic disc herniations was confirmed on necropsy.

  9. 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.

  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. PMID:24839968

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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...... 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.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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Ferrusola, C.; Martínez-Rodríguez, C.; Álvarez, M.; Borragán, S.; Chamorro, C.; Peña, F. J.; Anel, L.; de Paz, P.

    2017-01-01

    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 BSP1

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-López, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Martínez-Rodríguez, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-01-01

    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 (Pbears 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 BSP1) and Mg ion were identified between these two groups

  19. 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...

  20. Diseases and mortality in free-ranging brown bear (Ursus arctos), gray wolf (Canis lupus), and wolverine (Gulo gulo) in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörner, Torsten; Eriksson, Hanna; Bröjer, Caroline; Nilsson, Kristina; Uhlhorn, Henrik; Agren, Erik; af Segerstad, Carl Hård; Jansson, Désirée S; Gavier-Widén, Dolores

    2005-04-01

    Ninety-eight brown bears (Ursus arctos), 20 gray wolves (Canis lupus), and 27 wolverines (Gulo gulo), all free-ranging, were submitted to the National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, during 1987-2001 for investigation of diseases and causes of mortality. The most common cause of natural death in brown bears was infanticide. Infanticide also was observed in wolverines but not in wolves. Traumatic injuries, originating from road or railway accidents, were the most common cause of death in wolves and occurred occasionally in brown bears. Most wolverines were submitted as forensic cases in which illegal hunting/poaching was suspected. Sarcoptic mange was observed in several wolves but not in brown bears or wolverines. Sarcoptic mange most likely was acquired from infected red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that were killed by wolves. Other parasites and infectious diseases were only found sporadically.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Live-trapping and handling brown bear

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper reports techniques developed to live trap and handle brown bears on the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. The brown bears (Ursus middendorffi) on the...

  5. Cryopreservation of the semen collected by electroejaculation from the Hokkaido brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Akiko; Matsu, Motozumi; Sakamoto, Hideyuki; Katagiri, Seiji; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki

    2002-04-01

    Four adult Hokkaido brown bears were used as semen donors, and semen characteristics were examined before freezing and after thawing. A total of 10 electroejaculates were diluted with Tris-egg yolk extender and cooled to 4 degrees C over 90 min. Spermatozoa were equilibrated with 4.7% glycerol for 80 min. Semen packed in 0.25 ml plastic straws were frozen with liquid nitrogen vapor. Percentages (mean +/- SD) of motile and live sperm were 96+/-2 and 86.5+/-7.2% before freezing, and 43+/-5 and 67.4+/-3.9% after thawing, respectively. Although the number of progressively motile sperm after thawing varied among samples (1.8+/-1.2 x 10(8) cells/ejaculate), frozen semen in the present study might serve for artificial insemination.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

    ...]) 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Live-trapping and handling brown bear

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In recent years bears have become increasingly important as big game animals. The brown bears (Ursus middendorfi) on the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Kodiak...

  12. 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,...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 

  17. 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, pBears have fewer innate immune cells in circulation during hibernation, 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.

  18. Kenai Peninsula Brown Bear Studies : Report of the Interagency Brown Bear Study Team, 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes work conducted during the 1986 field season on brown bear (Ursus arctos) from the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Ground surveys were conducted to...

  19. 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.

  20. Sex-specific genetic analysis indicates low correlation between demographic and genetic connectivity in the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schregel, Julia; Kopatz, Alexander; Eiken, Hans Geir; Swenson, Jon E; Hagen, Snorre B

    2017-01-01

    The degree of gene flow within and among populations, i.e. genetic population connectivity, may closely track demographic population connectivity. Alternatively, the rate of gene flow may change relative to the rate of dispersal. In this study, we explored the relationship between genetic and demographic population connectivity using the Scandinavian brown bear as model species, due to its pronounced male dispersal and female philopatry. Thus, we expected that females would shape genetic structure locally, whereas males would act as genetic mediators among regions. To test this, we used eight validated microsatellite markers on 1531 individuals sampled noninvasively during country-wide genetic population monitoring in Sweden and Norway from 2006 to 2013. First, we determined sex-specific genetic structure and substructure across the study area. Second, we compared genetic differentiation, migration/gene flow patterns, and spatial autocorrelation results between the sexes both within and among genetic clusters and geographic regions. Our results indicated that demographic connectivity was not a reliable indicator of genetic connectivity. Among regions, we found no consistent difference in long-term gene flow and estimated current migration rates between males and females. Within regions/genetic clusters, only females consistently displayed significant positive spatial autocorrelation, indicating male-biased small-scale dispersal. In one cluster, however, males showed a dispersal pattern similar to females. The Scandinavian brown bear population has experienced substantial recovery over the last decades; however, our results did not show any changes in its large-scale population structure compared to previous studies, suggesting that an increase in population size and dispersal of individuals does not necessary lead to increased genetic connectivity. Thus, we conclude that both genetic and demographic connectivity should be estimated, so as not to make false

  1. 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 colloids except PureSperm 45/90% rendered samples with fewer damaged acrosomes. In the after thawing group, all tested centrifugation colloids showed a good capacity to decrease the number of damaged acrosomes. Furthermore, PureSperm treatment (45/90%) resulted in an increase in apoptotic-like changes not only immediately after thawing but also after the incubation test, leading us to suggest that this gradient could induce some kind of deleterious effects on the sperm samples. On the other hand, PureSperm treatment (40/80%) yielded a quality preservation capacity similar to Androcoll-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 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.

  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. 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

    .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 (Pecho contrast was present in all cardiac chambers in all seven bears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease...

  4. Monitoring the effective population size of a brown bear (Ursus arctos) population using new single-sample approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrbinšek, Tomaž; Jelenčič, Maja; Waits, Lisette; Kos, Ivan; Jerina, Klemen; Trontelj, Peter

    2012-02-01

    The effective population size (N(e) ) could be the ideal parameter for monitoring populations of conservation concern as it conveniently summarizes both the evolutionary potential of the population and its sensitivity to genetic stochasticity. However, tracing its change through time is difficult in natural populations. We applied four new methods for estimating N(e) from a single sample of genotypes to trace temporal change in N(e) for bears in the Northern Dinaric Mountains. We genotyped 510 bears using 20 microsatellite loci and determined their age. The samples were organized into cohorts with regard to the year when the animals were born and yearly samples with age categories for every year when they were alive. We used the Estimator by Parentage Assignment (EPA) to directly estimate both N(e) and generation interval for each yearly sample. For cohorts, we estimated the effective number of breeders (N(b) ) using linkage disequilibrium, sibship assignment and approximate Bayesian computation methods and extrapolated these estimates to N(e) using the generation interval. The N(e) estimate by EPA is 276 (183-350 95% CI), meeting the inbreeding-avoidance criterion of N(e) > 50 but short of the long-term minimum viable population goal of N(e) > 500. The results obtained by the other methods are highly consistent with this result, and all indicate a rapid increase in N(e) probably in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new single-sample approaches to the estimation of N(e) provide efficient means for including N(e) in monitoring frameworks and will be of great importance for future management and conservation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Garner, Gerald W.; Vyse, Ernest R.

    1991-01-01

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

  6. The brown bear (Ursus arctos L. in Trentino, Italy: geographical distribution and population size during 1987-1991 / L'orso bruno (Ursus arctos L. nel Trentino: distribuzione geografica e consistenza numerica negli anni 1987-1991

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Osti

    1993-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The present research on alpine Brown bears (Ursus arctos L., covers a period of five years (1987-1991 of collection of data about the status of this population in Western Trentino (Northeastern Italy. The last wild brown bears survive in the Alps in a range of about 800 km² in the western province of Trento, on the slopes of the Brenta mountains. At present, only about 240 km² of this area are usually utilized by bear population. Within the last five years the bear population has probably remained stable. About 10 bears are presently believed to live in Trentino, with an annual reproduction until 1989. Riassunto La presente ricerca sulla distribuzione e consistenza numerica dell'Orso bruno (Ursus arctos L. in Trentino comprende un periodo di cinque anni. Nel Trentino occidentale è ancora presente una piccola popolazione di orsi bruni nelle montagne del gruppo di Brenta su un territorio di circa 800 kmq. Di questi soltanto 240 kmq risultano di importanza primaria per la presenza costante della specie. Negli anni della ricerca la popolazione sembra essersi mantenuta numericamente stabile (circa 10 orsi con una riproduzione annuale fino al 1989.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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......PBDE, 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...... status among wildlife populations and humans relying on food resources that are contaminated with OHCs....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

    use of Androcoll-Bear 65% since the yield is better than Androcoll-Bear 80%. Our findings pave the way for further research on application of sperm selection techniques to sperm banking in the brown bear.

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Dynamics of a hunted brown bear population at Black Lake, Alaska, annual progress report, 1993, Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report presents results through the sixth year of an interagency study of the dynamics of a hunted brown bear (Ursus arctos) population and makes comparisons...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-10-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Use of a distance-based test of independence to measure brown bear-caribou association in northeastern Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — We investigated the relationship between populations of radio-collared brown bear (Ursus arctos) and calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus) on the Arctic National...

  1. Population dynamics of a hunted brown bear population at Black Lake, Alaska, fourth annual progress report for 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report presents results through the sixth year of an interagency study of the dynamics of a hunted brown bear (Ursus arctos) population and makes comparisons...

  2. Demodicosis in black bears (Ursus americanus) from Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, D J; Spalding, M G; Wooding, J B

    1993-01-01

    Demodicosis was diagnosed in five black bears (Ursus americanus) from north-central Florida. The first bear examined, a 5-yr-old male, had severe alopecia except for the dorsal neck, paws, and ears. The skin was characterized by moderate orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, and mild to moderate follicular hyperkeratosis. Superficial dermatitis, follicular pustules, and epidermal pustules were present, but rare. Specimens of Demodex sp. were seen most commonly within hair follicles devoid of hair and at the infundibulum of sebaceous glands. Four additional bears from the same area also had some degree of alopecia and skin scrapings were positive for Demodex sp. This mite may be common, although its prevalence is not known.

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS

    2006-01-01

    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....... In adult males, statistically significant (p thickening and chlordane (sigmaCHL) concentrations, and tubular medullary hyalin casts and sigmaCHL, sigma...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjorn 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. Acquired arteriovenous fistula in a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Density and structure of a hunted population of brown bears at Black Lake, Alaska, first annual progress report covering period from July 1987 to December 1988

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes the results of the first year of a proposed 10 year cooperative interagency study of brown bears (Ursus arctos) at Black Lake on the Alaska...

  15. Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steyaert, S.M.J.G.; Stoen, O.G.; Elfström, M.; Karlsson, J.; Lammeren, van R.J.A.; Bokdam, J.; Zedrosser, A.

    2011-01-01

    Livestock depredation is an important factor that contributes to low public acceptance of large carnivores, and is often used as an incentive to reduce large carnivore populations. In central Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) coexist with a traditional cattle husbandry system that allows daytime

  16. 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.

  17. Brown bear telemetry and trapping: Special report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Brown bear studies were continued during the 1967 field season with emphasis on development of techniques for instrumenting bears with radio transmitters and...

  18. Blindness in a wild American black bear cub (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dombrowski, Elizabeth; McGregor, Glenna F; Bauer, Bianca S; Parker, Dennilyn; Grahn, Bruce H

    2016-07-01

    An approximately six-month-old wild American black bear (Ursus americanus) was found wandering in Saskatchewan and was presented to the Veterinary Medical Centre of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for apparent blindness. Clinical examination confirmed an inability to navigate a photopic maze, bilateral tapetal hyper-reflectivity, fundi devoid of retinal vessels, and small pale optic nerve papillae. Single-flash electroretinography revealed A and B-wave amplitudes of approximately 40 and 140 microvolts, respectively, in both eyes. Histologic abnormalities included bilateral optic papillary mineralization and bilateral segmental optic nerve degeneration, with occasional intralesional lymphocytes confirmed with immunohistochemistry for CD3+. There was also bilateral multifocal retinal dysplasia, gliosis, lymphocytic retinitis, a complete lack of retinal blood vessels, an intravitreal vascular membrane, and a mild lymphocytic-plasmacytic uveitis with small pre-iridal cellular membranes. The presence of a positive ERG in a blind bear with numerous retinal ganglion cells and degenerative changes in the optic nerve are most consistent with vision loss due to optic nerve injury, which given the young age of the bear likely occurred during ocular development. The presence of ocular inflammation suggests this injury resulted from an inflammatory/infectious process. The etiology could not be determined. Hepatic concentrations of vitamin A were within the normal reference range for domestic species. Pan-herpesvirus PCR and immunohistochemistry for canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii were negative, although this does not rule out these or other infectious etiologies. This represents the first case report of neonatal or congenital ocular abnormalities in an ursid species. © 2015 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  19. 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.

  20. Taxonomy Icon Data: brown bear [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available s_arctos_L.png Ursus_arctos_NL.png Ursus_arctos_S.png Ursus_arctos_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_i...con/icon.cgi?i=Ursus+arctos&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Ursus+arctos&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy..._icon/icon.cgi?i=Ursus+arctos&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Ursus+arctos&t=NS ...

  1. Temporal changes in the population density and diet of brown bears in eastern Hokkaido, Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Sato, Yoshikazu; AOI, Toshiki; Kaji, Koichi; Takatsuki, Seiki

    2004-01-01

    In eastern Hokkaido, Japan, occurrences of human-brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis) conflict have increased during the last decade. Locals speculate that these conflicts have been caused by an increase in the bear population and/or changes in bear ecology, although no evidence is available to support either hypothesis. We compared scat densities and the diets of bears for the years 1978 and 1998–2000 in Urahoro, eastern Hokkaido. The scat density in 2000 tended to be lower than in 1978, sugg...

  2. Introgressive hybridization: brown bears as vectors for polar bear alleles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailer, Frank

    2015-03-01

    The dynamics and consequences of introgression can inform about numerous evolutionary processes. Biologists have therefore long been interested in hybridization. One challenge, however, lies in the identification of nonadmixed genotypes that can serve as a baseline for accurate quantification of admixture. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Cahill et al. (2015) analyse a genomic data set of 28 polar bears, eight brown bears and one American black bear. Polar bear alleles are found to be introgressed into brown bears not only near a previously identified admixture zone on the Alaskan Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof (ABC) Islands, but also far into the North American mainland. Elegantly contrasting admixture levels at autosomal and X chromosomal markers, Cahill and colleagues infer that male-biased dispersal has spread these introgressed alleles away from the Late Pleistocene contact zone. Compared to a previous study on the ABC Island population in which an Alaskan brown bear served as a putatively admixture-free reference, Cahill et al. (2015) utilize a newly sequenced Swedish brown bear as admixture baseline. This approach reveals that brown bears have been impacted by introgression from polar bears to a larger extent (up to 8.8% of their genome), than previously known, including the bear that had previously served as admixture baseline. No evidence for introgression of brown bear into polar bear is found, which the authors argue could be a consequence of selection. Besides adding new exciting pieces to the puzzle of polar/brown bear evolutionary history, the study by Cahill and colleagues highlights that wildlife genomics is moving from analysing single genomes towards a landscape genomics approach. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. The importance of meat, particularly salmon, to body size, population productivity, and conservation of North American brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    G.V. Hilderbrand; C.C. Schwartz; C.T. Robbins; M.E. Hanley Jacoby; S.M. Arthur; C. Servheen

    1999-01-01

    We hypothesized that the relative availability of meat, indicated by contribution to the diet, would be positively related to body size and population productivity of North American brown, or grizzly, bears (Ursus arctos). Dietary contributions of plant matter and meat derived from both terrestrial and marine sources were quantified by stable-...

  7. Social play in wild brown bears of varying age-sex class

    OpenAIRE

    Clapham, Melanie; Kitchin, John

    2016-01-01

    Social play behaviour is a well-described phenomenon, almost ubiquitous among mammals. Despite its prevalence, social play takes several forms and may vary in function across species. For solitary species, the function of play outside of the family group remains unclear. Here, we describe the motor patterns of play among non-littermate wild brown bears Ursus arctos of different age-sex class. Play was documented during a time of abundant food availability in three different scenarios: play am...

  8. Progress report: brown bear studies - 1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Forty-four brown bears (22 adult female, 22 offspring) were captured in the Ayakulik River, Sturgeon River, and Frazer Lake drainages of Kodiak Island in July, 1983....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C; Leifsson, P S; Dietz, R

    2004-01-01

    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 enzy...... Greenland polar bear. Furthermore, caution should be exercised in suggesting linkages of such inflammatory abnormalities with correlations to anthropogenic pollutant exposures. Udgivelsesdato: 2005-Jan-20...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-12-01

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

  11. Conservation Strategy for Brown Bear and Its Habitat in Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achyut Aryal

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Himalaya region of Nepal encompasses significant habitats for several endangered species, among them the brown bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus. However, owing to the remoteness of the region and a dearth of research, knowledge on the conservation status, habitat and population size of this species is lacking. Our aim in this paper is to report a habitat survey designed to assess the distribution and habitat characteristics of the brown bear in the Nepalese Himalaya, and to summarize a conservation action plan for the species devised at a pair of recent workshops held in Nepal. Results of our survey showed that brown bear were potentially distributed between 3800 m and 5500 m in the high mountainous region of Nepal, across an area of 4037 km2 between the eastern border of Shey Phoksundo National Park (SPNP and the Manasalu Conservation Area (MCA. Of that area, 2066 km2 lie inside the protected area (350 km2 in the MCA; 1716 km2 in the Annapurna Conservation Area and 48% (1917 km2 lies outside the protected area in the Dolpa district. Furthermore, 37% of brown bear habitat also forms a potential habitat for blue sheep (or bharal, Pseudois nayaur, and 17% of these habitats is used by livestock, suggesting a significant potential for resource competition. Several plant species continue to be uprooted by local people for fuel wood. Based on the results of our field survey combined with consultations with local communities and scientists, we propose that government and non-government organizations should implement a three-stage program of conservation activities for the brown bear. This program should: (a Detail research activities in and outside the protected area of Nepal; (b support livelihood and conservation awareness at local and national levels; and (c strengthen local capacity and reduce human-wildlife conflict in the region.

  12. 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

  13. Kodiak brown bear population on Kodiak Island, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Methods and estimates of the Brown bear population on Kodiak Island. The total number of Kodiak Brown Bears on Kodiak Island has been estimated to be 1669. Three...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maite Arilla

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Behavioural Profiles of Brown and Sloth Bears in Captivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintavalle Pastorino, Giovanni; Christodoulides, Yiannis; Curone, Giulio; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Faustini, Massimo; Albertini, Mariangela; Preziosi, Richard; Mazzola, Silvia Michela

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Animal personality research is a growing field, since understanding animal personalities has notable implications in ecology and the evolution of animal behaviours. In the current study, we tested different methods described in the literature to obtain robust individual behavioural profiles. Data collected through behavioral observations were categorised into activity budgets, space usage, and social interactions for each individual. In addition, behavioural profile questionnaires were completed by the three zoo keepers who had regular interactions with the bears. The questionnaires included 22 adjectives, which were rated on a scale of 1–12 depending on how well they described each individual bear. The mean ratings of the keepers were used to create the behavioural profiles by adding the adjectives to the appropriate domains, according to the NEO Five Factor Inventory of personality model (NEO-FFI). The data gathered was used to produce behavioural profiles for all animals, in order to clarify the personality characteristics of each subject. Testing and improving existing methodologies to determine animal personality is important for providing optimal welfare and management of captive animals, since it can help to develop more effective management regimes in zoos by remodelling husbandry according to each animal’s personality type. Abstract Three brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to identify space usage and certain aspects of social behavior. Behaviour monitoring allowed the researchers to evaluate the welfare of the animals by identifying the occurrence of stereotypic behaviours, which are sometimes associated with stress. Behavioural profiles were created using data obtained through behavioural

  17. Hibernation and seasonal fasting in bears: the energetic costs and consequences for polar bears

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Charles T. Robbins; Claudia Lopez-Alfaro; Karyn D. Rode; Øivind Tøien; O. Lynne Nelson

    2012-01-01

    ...–fall fasting when polar bears (Ursus maritimus) lose access to most marine mammals. To evaluate the consequences of such changes, we compared the cost of fasting by polar bears with hibernation by brown bears (U. arctos...

  18. Competition between apex predators? Brown bears decrease wolf kill rate on two continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordiz, Andrés; Metz, Matthew C.; Milleret, Cyril; Wikenros, Camilla; Smith, Douglas W.; Stahler, Daniel R.; Kindberg, Jonas; MacNulty, Daniel R.; Wabakken, Petter; Swenson, Jon E.; Sand, Håkan

    2017-01-01

    Trophic interactions are a fundamental topic in ecology, but we know little about how competition between apex predators affects predation, the mechanism driving top-down forcing in ecosystems. We used long-term datasets from Scandinavia (Europe) and Yellowstone National Park (North America) to evaluate how grey wolf (Canis lupus) kill rate was affected by a sympatric apex predator, the brown bear (Ursus arctos). We used kill interval (i.e. the number of days between consecutive ungulate kills) as a proxy of kill rate. Although brown bears can monopolize wolf kills, we found no support in either study system for the common assumption that they cause wolves to kill more often. On the contrary, our results showed the opposite effect. In Scandinavia, wolf packs sympatric with brown bears killed less often than allopatric packs during both spring (after bear den emergence) and summer. Similarly, the presence of bears at wolf-killed ungulates was associated with wolves killing less often during summer in Yellowstone. The consistency in results between the two systems suggests that brown bear presence actually reduces wolf kill rate. Our results suggest that the influence of predation on lower trophic levels may depend on the composition of predator communities. PMID:28179516

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime-Andrade G. J.

    1997-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Drivers of hibernation in the brown bear

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, Alina; Singh, N.J.; Friebe, A.; Arnemo, Jon M.; Laske, T.G.; Fröbert, O.; Swenson, Jon E.; Blanc, S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Hibernation has been a key area of research for several decades, essentially in small mammals in the laboratory, yet we know very little about what triggers or ends it in the wild. Do climatic factors, an internal biological clock, or physiological processes dominate? Using state-of-the-art tracking and monitoring technology on fourteen free-ranging brown bears over three winters, we recorded movement, heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), body temperature (Tb), physical a...

  2. Hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide metabolites in the blood of free-ranging brown bears and their potential roles in hibernation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Inge G.; Shen, Xinggui; Chakravarti, Ritu

    2014-01-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) lie in dens for half a year without eating while their basal metabolism is largely suppressed. To understand the underlying mechanisms of metabolic depression in hibernation, we measured type and content of blood metabolites of two ubiquitous...

  3. Habitat suitability index model for black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This descriptive model applies only to black bear in the coastal forests and adjacent vegetative communities, which extend from Afognak Island and the shores of...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Background: 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. Case Description: A 24-year-old female polar bear residing at the zoo was found t...

  5. An integrative approach in the management of human-wildlife conflicts : the case of the French brown bear

    OpenAIRE

    Piédallu, Blaise

    2016-01-01

    The conservation of controversial animal populations requires an understanding of the species’ ecology, but also an analysis of the human attitudes towards its presence. However, those two aspects are rarely studied together through a combination of environmental sciences and sociology. Here we study the brown bear (Ursus arctos) population residing in the Pyrenees mountains, analyzing both population dynamics and distribution, and the attitudes of Pyrenean people towards the species. We also...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  10. Drivers of hibernation in the brown bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, A L; Singh, N J; Friebe, A; Arnemo, J M; Laske, T G; Fröbert, O; Swenson, J E; Blanc, S

    2016-01-01

    Hibernation has been a key area of research for several decades, essentially in small mammals in the laboratory, yet we know very little about what triggers or ends it in the wild. Do climatic factors, an internal biological clock, or physiological processes dominate? Using state-of-the-art tracking and monitoring technology on fourteen free-ranging brown bears over three winters, we recorded movement, heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), body temperature (Tb), physical activity, ambient temperature (TA), and snow depth to identify the drivers of the start and end of hibernation. We used behavioral change point analyses to estimate the start and end of hibernation and convergent cross mapping to identify the causal interactions between the ecological and physiological variables over time. To our knowledge, we have built the first chronology of both ecological and physiological events from before the start to the end of hibernation in the field. Activity, HR, and Tb started to drop slowly several weeks before den entry. Bears entered the den when snow arrived and when ambient temperature reached 0 °C. HRV, taken as a proxy of sympathetic nervous system activity, dropped dramatically once the bear entered the den. This indirectly suggests that denning is tightly coupled to metabolic suppression. During arousal, the unexpected early rise in Tb (two months before den exit) was driven by TA, but was independent of HRV. The difference between Tb and TA decreased gradually suggesting that bears were not thermoconforming. HRV increased only three weeks before exit, indicating that late activation of the sympathetic nervous system likely finalized restoration of euthermic metabolism. Interestingly, it was not until TA reached the presumed lower critical temperature, likely indicating that the bears were seeking thermoneutrality, that they exited the den. We conclude that brown bear hibernation was initiated primarily by environmental cues, but terminated by

  11. 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.

  12. 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 14C 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 14C 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.

  13. [Food habits and hunting patterns of Tibetan brown bear during warm seasons in Kekexili region on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ai-Chun; Jiang, Zhi-Gang; Li, Chun-Wang; Cai, Ping

    2010-12-01

    Tibetan brown bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus) is an endemic subspecies of brown bear on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. We once reported a preliminary study on the summer food habit of Tibetan brown bear from July to August, 2005 in the Kekexili (Hoh Xil).. However, the hunting modes of the Tibetan brawn bear have not been reported. From July to August, 2009, we collected additional data on food habits and hunting patterns of Tibetan brown bear in the Kekexili region. We found Tibetan brown bears are more raptatorial than vegetarian, and their basal food was plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), relative frequency occurrence of pika in the fecal residual of brawn bear was 37.3%, dry weight of pika residuals was 44.7%, respectively, followed by wild yak (Bos grunniens) , 18.7% and 30.2%, and Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni) 15.0% and 16.2%. Both prey actively mode and scavenge mode were used by Tibetan brown bears in Kekexili. Tibetan brawn bears actively dug and hunted for pika and scavenged bodies of wild yak, Tibetan antelope and Tibetan gazelle. We observed that Tibetan brawn bears spent about 10% of their time to dig and to hunt for pika but we had never seen Tibetan brawn bears actively hunted large mammals such as wild yak, Tibetan antelope and Tibetan gazelle. The total amount of Tibetan antelope, Tibetan gazelle and wild yak ingested by Tibetan brown bear through scavenge was about the same amount of Plateau pika and Himalayan marmot (Marmota himalayana) eaten by the bear.

  14. Brown bear-human interactions associated with deer hunting on Kodiak Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Victor G.

    1994-01-01

    I compared distribution and range of brown bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) with temporal and spatial distribution of Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) hunting activity on westside Kodiak Island, Alaska, to examine impacts of deer hunting on bears. Mean number of bears that annually ranged ≤5 km from the coast, >5 km inland from the coast, or in both areas was 10, 8, and 11, respectively. Bears that exclusively or seasonally occupied the coast zone were usually classed as having moderate or high potential to interact with hunters because most hunter access and effort (>95%) was via the coast. Bears that ranged exclusively inland were considered unlikely to encounter hunters. Animals that ranged in both zones often (39%) moved inland during fall (Oct-Dec) and most bears (70%) denned in the inland zone. Females that denned near the coast entered dens later (x̄ = 22 Nov) than females that denned inland (x̄ = 12 Nov). Two radio-collared bears were known to raid deer-hunting camps and 9 other marked bears were observed by hunters or were located sport hunters and 1 was killed (nonsport) in a Native village. Deer hunters killed 2 unmarked females in defense of life or property situations in the study area. High bear densities and concentrated deer-hunting activity combine to make conflicts unavoidable. Adverse impacts to bears can be minimized by maintaining low levels of human activity in inland areas and improving hunter awareness of bear ecology and behavior.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 polar 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    Background: 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. Case Description: 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. Conclusions: 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. PMID:28680731

  20. Ursus arctos : ethology and anthropogenic disturbances

    OpenAIRE

    Duran Tapia, Joana

    2015-01-01

    Brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a typically solitary mammal. Because of this and its elusiveness, its ethology is difficult to study and is not still completely understood. Brown bear’s behavior is highly influenced by some of its reproductive characteristics and, increasingly, by anthropogenic disturbance. Thus, it is important to analyse the impact of anthropogenic disturbance on brown bear’s ethology and to develop management strategies to minimize negative impacts.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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......), 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...

  4. DORSAL LAMINECTOMY TO RELIEVE SPINAL CORD COMPRESSION IN A CAPTIVE SYRIAN BEAR (URSUS ARCTOS SYRIACUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büeler, Ariela Rosenzweig; Merbl, Yael; Kushnir, Yishai; Chai, Orit; Aizenberg, Itzhak; Horowitz, Igal; Matalon, Einat; Tam, Doron; Shamir, Merav H

    2016-12-01

    A 19-yr-old captive male Syrian bear ( Ursus arctos syriacus) presented with a right hind limb lameness that progressed to nonambulatory paraparesis over the course of 2 wk. When night enclosure confinement and a short course of glucocorticoids and antibiotics did not lead to improvement, radiographs were performed, followed by cerebrospinal fluid analysis and myelography, revealing a dynamic spinal cord compression at the level of T2-T3. Dorsal laminectomy of both T2 and T3 was performed to allow decompression. The bear recovered uneventfully with first sign of neurological improvement apparent at 10 days postoperatively. Following 6 mo of rehabilitation the bear was walking and using his hind limbs normally.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    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 bio-accumulate and bio-magnify in the food chain, leading to high concentrations at the level of top-predators. In Arctic wildlife, including the polar bear, various adverse health effects have been related to internal concentrations of commercially used anthropogenic chemicals like PCB and DDT. The extent to which these individual health effects are associated to population-level effects is, however, unknown. In this study we assembled data on adipose tissue concentrations of ∑PCB, ∑DDT, dieldrin and ∑PBDE in individual polar bears from peer-reviewed scientific literature. Data were available for 14 out of the 19 subpopulations. We found that internal concentrations of these contaminants exceed threshold values for adverse individual health effects in several subpopulations. In an exploratory regression analysis we identified a clear negative correlation between polar bear population density and sub-population specific contaminant concentrations in adipose tissue. The results suggest that adverse health effects of contaminants in individual polar bears may scale up to population-level consequences. Our study highlights the need to consider contaminant exposure along with other threats in polar bear population viability analyses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Genomic evidence of geographically widespread effect of gene flow from polar bears into brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James A; Stirling, Ian; Kistler, Logan; Salamzade, Rauf; Ersmark, Erik; Fulton, Tara L; Stiller, Mathias; Green, Richard E; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-03-01

    Polar bears are an arctic, marine adapted species that is closely related to brown bears. Genome analyses have shown that polar bears are distinct and genetically homogeneous in comparison to brown bears. However, these analyses have also revealed a remarkable episode of polar bear gene flow into the population of brown bears that colonized the Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands (ABC islands) of Alaska. Here, we present an analysis of data from a large panel of polar bear and brown bear genomes that includes brown bears from the ABC islands, the Alaskan mainland and Europe. Our results provide clear evidence that gene flow between the two species had a geographically wide impact, with polar bear DNA found within the genomes of brown bears living both on the ABC islands and in the Alaskan mainland. Intriguingly, while brown bear genomes contain up to 8.8% polar bear ancestry, polar bear genomes appear to be devoid of brown bear ancestry, suggesting the presence of a barrier to gene flow in that direction. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. A "clearcut" case? Brown bear selection of coarse woody debris and carpenter ants on clearcuts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E; Storch, Ilse; Kindberg, Jonas; Barck, Hanna; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2015-07-15

    Forest management alters habitat characteristics, resulting in various effects among and within species. It is crucial to understand how habitat alteration through forest management (e.g. clearcutting) affects animal populations, particularly with unknown future conditions (e.g. climate change). In Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) forage on carpenter ants (Camponotus herculeanus) during summer, and may select for this food source within clearcuts. To assess carpenter ant occurrence and brown bear selection of carpenter ants, we sampled 6999 coarse woody debris (CWD) items within 1019 plots, of which 902 were within clearcuts (forests ⩽30 years of age) and 117 plots outside clearcuts (forests >30 years of age). We related various CWD and site characteristics to the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries (nests) and bear foraging sign at three spatial scales: the CWD, plot, and clearcut scale. We tested whether both absolute and relative counts (the latter controlling for the number of CWD items) of galleries and bear sign in plots were higher inside or outside clearcuts. Absolute counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for galleries (mean counts; inside: 1.8, outside: 0.8). CWD was also higher inside (mean: 6.8) than outside clearcuts (mean: 4.0). However, even after controlling for more CWD inside clearcuts, relative counts were higher inside than outside clearcuts for both galleries (mean counts; inside: 0.3, outside: 0.2) and bear sign (mean counts; inside: 0.03, outside: 0.01). Variables at the CWD scale best explained gallery and bear sign presence than variables at the plot or clearcut level, but bear selection was influenced by clearcut age. CWD circumference was important for both carpenter ant and bear sign presence. CWD hardness was most important for carpenter ant selection. However, the most important predictor for bear sign was the presence or absence of carpenter ant galleries. Bears had a high foraging "success" rate (⩾88%) in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Gerald F.; Adams, Deborah; Garner, Gerald W.; Labelle, Martine; Pietsch, Jacy; Ramsay, Malcolm; Schwartz, Charles; Titus, Kimberly; Williamson, Scott

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed 286 nucleotides of the middle portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 61 brown bears from three locations in Alaska and 55 polar bears from Arctic Canada and Arctic Siberia to test our earlier observations of paraphyly between polar bears and brown bears as well as to test the extreme uniqueness of mitochondrial DNA types of brown bears on Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof (ABC) islands of southeastern Alaska. We also investigated the phylogeography of brown bears of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula in relation to other Alaskan brown bears because the former are being threatened by increased human development. We predicted that: (1) mtDNA paraphyly between brown bears and polar bears would be upheld, (2) the mtDNA uniqueness of brown bears of the ABC islands would be upheld, and (3) brown bears of the Kenai Peninsula would belong to either clade II or clade III of brown bears of our earlier studies of mtDNA. All of our predictions were upheld through the analysis of these additional samples.

  1. 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 (Pgrizzly bears, especially during helicopter capture operations.

  2. Using gene transcription to assess ecological and anthropological stressors in brown bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Gustine, Dave; Joly, Kyle; Hilderbrand, Grant

    2017-01-01

    Increasingly, population- and ecosystem-level health assessments are performed using sophisticated molecular tools. Advances in molecular technology enable the identification of synergistic effects of multiple stressors on the individual physiology of different species. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are an apex predator; thus, they are ideal candidates for detecting potentially ecosystem-level systemic perturbations using molecular-based tools. We used gene transcription to analyze 130 brown bear samples from three National Parks and Preserves in Alaska. Although the populations we studied are apparently stable in abundance and exist within protected and intact environments, differences in transcript profiles were noted. The most prevalent differences were among locations. The transcript patterns among groups reflect the influence of environmental factors, such as nutritional status, disease, and xenobiotic exposure. However, these profiles also likely represent baselines for each unique environment by which future measures can be made to identify early indication of population-level changes due to, for example, increasing Arctic temperatures. Some of those environmental changes are predicted to be potentially positive for brown bears, but other effects such as the manifestation of disease or indirect effects of oceanic acidification may produce negative impacts.

  3. Elevated plasma concentrations of haptoglobin in European brown bears during hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mominoki, Katsumi; Morimatsu, Masami; Karjalainen, Minna; Hohtola, Esa; Hissa, Raimo; Saito, Masayuki

    2005-12-01

    Haptoglobin (Hp), a hemoglobin-binding protein, is known as an acute phase protein and increases during the acute phase of inflammation in most mammals. We reported previously in brown bears that the mean Hp concentrations were higher in blood samples obtained in winter than those in spring. To examine a possible relation of the seasonal variations of Hp to hibernation, in the present study, we measured the plasma concentrations of Hp as well as some other acute phase proteins (alpha(2)-macroglobulin, alpha(1)-antitrypsin, C-reactive protein) in 6 European brown bears (Ursus arctos), from which blood samples were obtained at 5-6 different months of year including February, the time of hibernation. The Hp concentrations showed clear seasonal variations, being highest in February. The alpha(2)-macroglobulin concentrations also showed a similar but much smaller rise in February, but those of alpha(1)-antitrypsin and C-reactive protein did not show any seasonal variations. Our results suggest that the seasonal variation of plasma Hp concentration in brown bears is associated with a hibernation-specific mechanism more than that of acute phase response.

  4. 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 polar 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.

  5. LAPAROSCOPIC OVARIECTOMY IN THE ASIATIC BLACK BEAR (URSUS THIBETANUS) WITH THE USE OF THE SONICISION™ DEVICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung Y; Jeong, Dong H; Seok, Seong H; Yang, Jeong J; Kong, Ju Y; Park, Se J; Jin, So Y; Kim, Min H; Lee, Bae K; Lee, Hee C; Yeon, Seong C

    2017-03-01

    Laparoscopic ovariectomy was performed in two Asiatic black bears ( Ursus thibetanus ). Bears were placed in a 20° Trendelenburg position on a surgical table. A three-portal technique was used. A camera port was established 10 cm caudal to the umbilicus with a 5-mm cannula. Two instrument ports were made 1 cm caudal to the umbilicus with a 5-mm cannula and 8 cm caudal to the camera port with a 12-mm cannula, respectively. The suspensory ligament, ovarian vasculature, and uterine horn tip were progressively dissected following coagulation with the Sonicision™ cordless ultrasonic dissection device. The resected ovary was exteriorized through the 12-mm instrument portal site but enlarged to a 2-cm incision length. The abdominal musculature, subcutaneous tissue, and skin of the portal sites were closed separately. Total surgical time was 113 min (Bear A) and 49 min (Bear B), and no postoperative complications were encountered. This is the first report of laparoscopic ovariectomy in the Asiatic black bear.

  6. Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Animal space use is influenced by many factors and can affect individual survival and fitness. Under optimal foraging theory, individuals use landscapes to optimize high-quality resources while minimizing the amount of energy used to acquire them. The spatial resource variability hypothesis states that as patchiness of resources increases, individuals use larger areas to obtain the resources necessary to meet energetic requirements. Additionally, under the temporal resource variability hypothesis, seasonal variation in available resources can reduce distances moved while providing a variety of food sources. Our objective was to determine if seasonal home ranges of brown bears (Ursus arctos) were influenced by temporal availability and spatial distribution of resources and whether individual reproductive status, sex, or size (i.e., body mass) mediated space use. To test our hypotheses, we radio collared brown bears (n = 32 [9 male, 23 female]) in 2014–2016 and used 18 a prioriselected linear models to evaluate seasonal utilization distributions (UD) in relation to our hypotheses. Our top-ranked model by AICc, supported the spatial resource variability hypothesis and included percentage of like adjacency (PLADJ) of all cover types (P  0.17 for males, solitary females, and females with dependent young), and body mass (kg; P = 0.66). Based on this model, for every percentage increase in PLADJ, UD area was predicted to increase 1.16 times for all sex and reproductive classes. Our results suggest that landscape heterogeneity influences brown bear space use; however, we found that bears used larger areas when landscape homogeneity increased, presumably to gain a diversity of food resources. Our results did not support the temporal resource variability hypothesis, suggesting that the spatial distribution of food was more important than seasonal availability in relation to brown bear home range size.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Torres Pérez-Hidalgo, Trinidad José de

    2007-01-01

    Cave bears (Ursus deningeri and U. spelaeus) and hominids (Homo heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens) were potential competitors for environmental resources (subterranean and open air). Here, we examined the age at death of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmuller-Heinroth) specimens from Amutxate cave in order to shed light on the effect of resource sharing between cave bears and hominids. After studying dental wear of the deciduous and permanent dentitions, the ontogen...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive measures for assessing long-term stress in free ranging mammals are an increasingly important approach for understanding physiological responses to landscape conditions. Using a spatially and temporally expansive dataset of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) generated from a threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population in Alberta, Canada, we quantified how variables representing habitat conditions and anthropogenic disturbance impact long-term stress in grizzly bears. We cha...

  9. In-Air Auditory Psychophysics and the Management of a Threatened Carnivore, the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    OpenAIRE

    Owen, Megan A.; Bowles, Ann E.

    2011-01-01

    Management criteria for preventing biologically-significant noise disturbance in large terrestrial mammals have not been developed based on a sound, empirical understanding of their sensory ecology. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal denning areas on the coastal plain of Alaska’s North Slope hold large petroleum reserves and will be subject to increased development in the future. Anthropogenic noise could adversely affect polar bears by disrupting intra-...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okano, Tsukasa; Murase, Tetsuma; Tsubota, Toshio

    2004-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.; Bechshøft, T.O.; Rigét, F.F.

    2013-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in assessing the relationship between climatic oscillations, environmental contaminants and the modelling of animal physiological and morphological responses. We therefore undertook a study of skull condylobasal length (CBL; reflecting body size) and bone mineral...... 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...... positive correlations with CBL were found for DDT, dieldrin and PBDE (all p climate index no significant relationship was found for BMD (p = 0.97, r = -0.01, n = 27) nor CBL (p = 0.31, r = -0.2, n = 27). We therefore suggest...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Effect of hibernation and reproductive status on body mass and condition of coastal brown bears

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

    We investigated the effect of hibernation and reproductive status on changes in body mass and composition of adult female brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. This information is fundamental to understanding nutritional ecology of wild brown bear populations. Six adult females handled in the fall and following spring (paired samples) lost 73 ± 22 kg (x̄ ± SD; 32 ± 10%) of fall body mass over 208 ± 19 days. Of this mass loss, 56 ± 22% (55 ± 22 kg) was lipid and 44 ± 22% (43 ± 21 kg) was lean body mass. Catabolism of lipid stores accounted for 88.4 ± 8.1% of the body energy used to meet maintenance demands. Overwinter differences in body composition of adult females assessed only once in either the fall (n = 21) or spring (n = 32) were similar to those of paired samples. Relative fatness of bears entering the den was positively related to the contribution of fat (%) to body mass (P hibernation. Thus, relative fatness at the onset of fasting influences the relative proportion of lipid stores and lean body mass catabolized to meet protein and energy demands during hibernation. In the spring, lone females had greater body and lean masses than females with cubs of the year or yearlings. Lipid content was greatest in lone females in the fall. Studies using body mass and composition as indices of population health should consider season or reproductive class.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) genetic profiles, 1998-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Tabitha A.; Mikle, Nathaniel; Kendall, Katherine C.; Macleod, Amy C.

    2016-01-01

    Two independent sampling methods were used to collect genetic samples from grizzly bears (Ursus arctos): (i) hair traps—corrals of barbed wire with lure in the center systematically distributed using an 8 x 8 km (1998, 2000) or 7 x 7 km (2004) grid and (ii) bear rubs—naturally occurring trees or other objects that bears rub on fitted with barbed wire (1998–2000, 2004, and 2009–2012). From 1998 to 2000, sampling occurred on 8000 km2 in the northern extent of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE), whereas systematic and consistent, ecosystem-wide sampling occurred in 2004 and 2009–2012. In total, there were 6160 confirmed grizzly bear detections, leading to the identification of 1115 unique individual genotypes (520 male, 595 female). The data contain the genotypes or partial genotypes of those 1115 individuals, with an individual ID, sex, and up to 24 genotyped, codominant loci. The loci represented are; G10J, G1A, G10B, G1D, G10H, G10M, G10P, G10C, CXX110, CXX20, G10L, MU50, MU59, G10U, MU23, G10X, REN145.P07, MSUT2, CPH9, MU51, REN144.A06, MU26, D123, D1A. Each locus is split into two columns, the first of which contains the first allele and the second of which contains the second allele of each genotyped locus for each individual. Values within the columns of each locus represent the size of the alleles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braid, Andrew C R; Nielsen, Scott E

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew C R Braid

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

  9. 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.

  10. Skeletal muscles of hibernating brown bears are unusually resistant to effects of denervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, David C; Hershey, John D; Mattoon, John S; Robbins, Charles T

    2012-06-15

    Hibernating bears retain most of their skeletal muscle strength despite drastically reduced weight-bearing activity. Regular neural activation of muscles is a potential mechanism by which muscle atrophy could be limited. However, both mechanical loading and neural activity are usually necessary to maintain muscle size. An alternative mechanism is that the signaling pathways related to the regulation of muscle size could be altered so that neither mechanical nor neural inputs are needed for retaining strength. More specifically, we hypothesized that muscles in hibernating bears are resistant to a severe reduction in neural activation. To test this hypothesis, we unilaterally transected the common peroneal nerve, which innervates ankle flexor muscles, in hibernating and summer-active brown bears (Ursus arctos). In hibernating bears, the long digital extensor (LDE) and cranial tibial (CT) musculotendon masses on the denervated side decreased after 11 weeks post-surgery by 18 ± 11 and 25 ± 10%, respectively, compared with those in the intact side. In contrast, decreases in musculotendon masses of summer-active bears after denervation were 61 ± 4 and 58 ± 5% in the LDE and CT, respectively, and significantly different from those of hibernating bears. The decrease due to denervation in summer-active bears was comparable to that occurring in other mammals. Whole-muscle cross-sectional areas (CSAs) measured from ultrasound images and myofiber CSAs measured from biopsies decreased similarly to musculotendon mass. Thus, hibernating bears alter skeletal muscle catabolic pathways regulated by neural activity, and exploration of these pathways may offer potential solutions for disuse atrophy of muscles.

  11. Predicting the Distribution of Asiatic Cheetah, Persian Leopard and Brown Bear in Response to EnvironmentalFactors in Isfahan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Hemami

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution modelling is important for assessing threats and conservation status of species and for planning conservation programs. We studied the distribution of suitable habitats of Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor and brown bear (Ursus arctos in Isfahan province within and outside the protected areas. Suitable habitats of the three studied carnivores in Isfahan province were mapped in relation to climatic, topographic and anthropogenic variables using MAXENT. Assessing the developed model using the area under the ROC function showed that predictions for the three carnivore species were significantly better than random. Potential suitable habitats of Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard and brown bear constituted 5.2%, 12% and 3.4% of the Isfahan province area, respectively. Slope was the most important factor determining Persian leopard habitat suitability, while climatic factors (mainly mean autumn and mean annual precipitation were the most important determinants of Asiatic cheetah and brown bear distribution. The protected area network within the province covers 55.7%, 23.7%, and 11.6% of the suitable habitats for Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard and brown bear, respectively. Parts of suitable habitats of the three species are located outside the protected areas, which could be considered in planning conservation programs as potential movement corridors.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Fernández-Gil

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  3. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Naves, Javier; Ordiz, Andrés; Quevedo, Mario; Revilla, Eloy; Delibes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  4. 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.

  5. Assessing Nutritional Parameters of Brown Bear Diets among Ecosystems Gives Insight into Differences among Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Alfaro, Claudia; Coogan, Sean C P; Robbins, Charles T; Fortin, Jennifer K; Nielsen, Scott E

    2015-01-01

    Food habit studies are among the first steps used to understand wildlife-habitat relationships. However, these studies are in themselves insufficient to understand differences in population productivity and life histories, because they do not provide a direct measure of the energetic value or nutritional composition of the complete diet. Here, we developed a dynamic model integrating food habits and nutritional information to assess nutritional parameters of brown bear (Ursus arctos) diets among three interior ecosystems of North America. Specifically, we estimate the average amount of digestible energy and protein (per kilogram fresh diet) content in the diet and across the active season by bears living in western Alberta, the Flathead River (FR) drainage of southeast British Columbia, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). As well, we estimate the proportion of energy and protein in the diet contributed by different food items, thereby highlighting important food resources in each ecosystem. Bear diets in Alberta had the lowest levels of digestible protein and energy through all seasons, which might help explain the low reproductive rates of this population. The FR diet had protein levels similar to the recent male diet in the GYE during spring, but energy levels were lower during late summer and fall. Historic and recent diets in GYE had the most energy and protein, which is consistent with their larger body sizes and higher population productivity. However, a recent decrease in consumption of trout (Oncorhynchus clarki), whitebark pine nuts (Pinus albicaulis), and ungulates, particularly elk (Cervus elaphus), in GYE bears has decreased the energy and protein content of their diet. The patterns observed suggest that bear body size and population densities are influenced by seasonal availability of protein an energy, likely due in part to nutritional influences on mass gain and reproductive success.

  6. Assessing Nutritional Parameters of Brown Bear Diets among Ecosystems Gives Insight into Differences among Populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia López-Alfaro

    Full Text Available Food habit studies are among the first steps used to understand wildlife-habitat relationships. However, these studies are in themselves insufficient to understand differences in population productivity and life histories, because they do not provide a direct measure of the energetic value or nutritional composition of the complete diet. Here, we developed a dynamic model integrating food habits and nutritional information to assess nutritional parameters of brown bear (Ursus arctos diets among three interior ecosystems of North America. Specifically, we estimate the average amount of digestible energy and protein (per kilogram fresh diet content in the diet and across the active season by bears living in western Alberta, the Flathead River (FR drainage of southeast British Columbia, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE. As well, we estimate the proportion of energy and protein in the diet contributed by different food items, thereby highlighting important food resources in each ecosystem. Bear diets in Alberta had the lowest levels of digestible protein and energy through all seasons, which might help explain the low reproductive rates of this population. The FR diet had protein levels similar to the recent male diet in the GYE during spring, but energy levels were lower during late summer and fall. Historic and recent diets in GYE had the most energy and protein, which is consistent with their larger body sizes and higher population productivity. However, a recent decrease in consumption of trout (Oncorhynchus clarki, whitebark pine nuts (Pinus albicaulis, and ungulates, particularly elk (Cervus elaphus, in GYE bears has decreased the energy and protein content of their diet. The patterns observed suggest that bear body size and population densities are influenced by seasonal availability of protein an energy, likely due in part to nutritional influences on mass gain and reproductive success.

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

    OpenAIRE

    D. Brent Jones; Larisa R G DeSantis

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Evolution of major histocompatibility complex class I and class II genes in the brown bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuduk, Katarzyna; Babik, Wiesław; Bojarska, Katarzyna; Sliwińska, Ewa B; Kindberg, Jonas; Taberlet, Pierre; Swenson, Jon E; Radwan, Jacek

    2012-10-02

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins constitute an essential component of the vertebrate immune response, and are coded by the most polymorphic of the vertebrate genes. Here, we investigated sequence variation and evolution of MHC class I and class II DRB, DQA and DQB genes in the brown bear Ursus arctos to characterise the level of polymorphism, estimate the strength of positive selection acting on them, and assess the extent of gene orthology and trans-species polymorphism in Ursidae. We found 37 MHC class I, 16 MHC class II DRB, four DQB and two DQA alleles. We confirmed the expression of several loci: three MHC class I, two DRB, two DQB and one DQA. MHC class I also contained two clusters of non-expressed sequences. MHC class I and DRB allele frequencies differed between northern and southern populations of the Scandinavian brown bear. The rate of nonsynonymous substitutions (dN) exceeded the rate of synonymous substitutions (dS) at putative antigen binding sites of DRB and DQB loci and, marginally significantly, at MHC class I loci. Models of codon evolution supported positive selection at DRB and MHC class I loci. Both MHC class I and MHC class II sequences showed orthology to gene clusters found in the giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca. Historical positive selection has acted on MHC class I, class II DRB and DQB, but not on the DQA locus. The signal of historical positive selection on the DRB locus was particularly strong, which may be a general feature of caniforms. The presence of MHC class I pseudogenes may indicate faster gene turnover in this class through the birth-and-death process. South-north population structure at MHC loci probably reflects origin of the populations from separate glacial refugia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L McLellan

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 2

    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...... and p,p'-DDT, α- and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), HCB, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and BB-153), 18 showed statistically significant average yearly declines of -4.4% (range: -2.0 to -10.8%/year) among subadult polar...... bears (i.e. females...

  14. 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.

  15. Behavioural Profiles of Brown and Sloth Bears in Captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastorino, Giovanni Quintavalle; Christodoulides, Yiannis; Curone, Giulio; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Faustini, Massimo; Albertini, Mariangela; Preziosi, Richard; Mazzola, Silvia Michela

    2017-05-13

    Three brown bear (Ursusarctosarctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursusursinusinornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to identify space usage and certain aspects of social behavior. Behaviour monitoring allowed the researchers to evaluate the welfare of the animals by identifying the occurrence of stereotypic behaviours, which are sometimes associated with stress. Behavioural profiles were created using data obtained through behavioural observations (coding) and keeper questionnaires (rating). The behavioural observations indicated a number of stereotypic behaviours in sloth bears but not in brown bears. The uniformity of zone usage was calculated to investigate if the enclosure size and features were adequate for use, and a social aspect of otherwise solitary animals was also identified. The behavioural profiles generated through coding and rating were compared to determine the reliability between these two methods in Ursids. Profiles were not compared between individuals since this study is not a comparison between different personality types but rather an effort (one of the few ones existing in literature) to select a valid and reproducible methodology capable of assessing personality in bears.

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

    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.

  17. Ancient DNA reveals differences in behaviour and sociality between brown bears and extinct cave bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortes, Gloria G; Grandal-d'Anglade, Aurora; Kolbe, Ben; Fernandes, Daniel; Meleg, Ioana N; García-Vázquez, Ana; Pinto-Llona, Ana C; Constantin, Silviu; de Torres, Trino J; Ortiz, Jose E; Frischauf, Christine; Rabeder, Gernot; Hofreiter, Michael; Barlow, Axel

    2016-10-01

    Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized the study of extinct species and populations, providing insights on phylogeny, phylogeography, admixture and demographic history. However, inferences on behaviour and sociality have been far less frequent. Here, we investigate the complete mitochondrial genomes of extinct Late Pleistocene cave bears and middle Holocene brown bears that each inhabited multiple geographically proximate caves in northern Spain. In cave bears, we find that, although most caves were occupied simultaneously, each cave almost exclusively contains a unique lineage of closely related haplotypes. This remarkable pattern suggests extreme fidelity to their birth site in cave bears, best described as homing behaviour, and that cave bears formed stable maternal social groups at least for hibernation. In contrast, brown bears do not show any strong association of mitochondrial lineage and cave, suggesting that these two closely related species differed in aspects of their behaviour and sociality. This difference is likely to have contributed to cave bear extinction, which occurred at a time in which competition for caves between bears and humans was likely intense and the ability to rapidly colonize new hibernation sites would have been crucial for the survival of a species so dependent on caves for hibernation as cave bears. Our study demonstrates the potential of ancient DNA to uncover patterns of behaviour and sociality in ancient species and populations, even those that went extinct many tens of thousands of years ago. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Sociodemographic factors modulate the spatial response of brown bears to vacancies created by hunting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Shane C; Leclerc, Martin; Pelletier, Fanie; Rosell, Frank; Swenson, Jon E; Bischof, Richard; Kindberg, Jonas; Eiken, Hans Geir; Hagen, Snorre B; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    There is a growing recognition of the importance of indirect effects from hunting on wildlife populations, e.g. social and behavioural changes due to harvest, which occur after the initial offtake. Nonetheless, little is known about how the removal of members of a population influences the spatial configuration of the survivors. We studied how surviving brown bears (Ursus arctos) used former home ranges that had belonged to casualties of the annual bear hunting season in southcentral Sweden (2007-2015). We used resource selection functions to explore the effects of the casualty's and survivor's sex, age and their pairwise genetic relatedness, population density and hunting intensity on survivors' spatial responses to vacated home ranges. We tested the competitive release hypothesis, whereby survivors that increase their use of a killed bear's home range are presumed to have been released from intraspecific competition. We found strong support for this hypothesis, as survivors of the same sex as the casualty consistently increased their use of its vacant home range. Patterns were less pronounced or absent when the survivor and casualty were of opposite sex. Genetic relatedness between the survivor and the casualty emerged as the most important factor explaining increased use of vacated male home ranges by males, with a stronger response from survivors of lower relatedness. Relatedness was also important for females, but it did not influence use following removal; female survivors used home ranges of higher related female casualties more, both before and after death. Spatial responses by survivors were further influenced by bear age, population density and hunting intensity. We have shown that survivors exhibit a spatial response to vacated home ranges caused by hunting casualties, even in nonterritorial species such as the brown bear. This spatial reorganization can have unintended consequences for population dynamics and interfere with management goals. Altogether

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    A novel antibody-based protein microarray was developed that simultaneously determines expression of 31 stress-associated proteins in skin samples collected from free-ranging grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. The microarray determines proteins belonging to four broad functional categories associated with stress physiology: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis proteins, apoptosis/cell cycle proteins, cellular stress/proteotoxicity proteins and oxidative stress/inflammation proteins. Small skin samples (50-100 mg) were collected from captured bears using biopsy punches. Proteins were isolated and labelled with fluorescent dyes, with labelled protein homogenates loaded onto microarrays to hybridize with antibodies. Relative protein expression was determined by comparison with a pooled standard skin sample. The assay was sensitive, requiring 80 µg of protein per sample to be run in triplicate on the microarray. Intra-array and inter-array coefficients of variation for individual proteins were generally bears. This suggests that remotely delivered biopsy darts could be used in future sampling. Using generalized linear mixed models, certain proteins within each functional category demonstrated altered expression with respect to differences in year, season, geographical sampling location within Alberta and bear biological parameters, suggesting that these general variables may influence expression of specific proteins in the microarray. Our goal is to apply the protein microarray as a conservation physiology tool that can detect, evaluate and monitor physiological stress in grizzly bears and other species at risk over time in response to environmental change.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Distance-dependent effect of the nearest neighbor: spatiotemporal patterns in brown bear reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordiz, Andrés; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E; Kojola, Ilpo; Bischof, Richard

    2008-12-01

    In mammals, reproductive synchrony and reproductive suppression usually are found in social, group-living species, which often display hierarchical relationships among related animals. Some individuals, particularly younger, philopatric females beyond the age of sexual maturity, may not raise offspring because they are suppressed by other individuals. Although brown bears (Ursus arctos) are a solitary species, the existence of socially induced delayed primiparity of philopatric females has been documented. Here we show further evidence for interactions of a population-regulatory nature that are typically associated with social species. We found that an adult female's probability of having cubs in a given year was influenced by whether or not her nearest neighboring adult female had cubs. At short distances (10 km and < or = 20 km, the effect reversed, and it disappeared beyond 20 km. We argue that reproductive suppression is probably caused by resource competition among females living close to each other. Previously, similar population regulation mechanisms have been found only in group-living mammals. Thus, social interactions and behavior in solitary carnivores may be more flexible than usually assumed.

  6. Prostorová aktivita medvěda hnědého (Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758) v zoologické zahradě

    OpenAIRE

    Vojáčková, Jana

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation deals with monitoring of European brown bears behavior (Ursus arctos arctos), namely of males Pišta, Miky and Honzík and of female Eliška in zoological garden in Plzen in spring 2012. Behaviour of all European brown bears is for better clarity presented in the form of tables and graphs. The dissertation includes overview of all kinds of ursine (size, environment, food and reproduction). Key words: bear, hibernation, bears activity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurster-Hill, D H; Bush, M

    1980-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    As global warming accelerates the melting of Arctic sea ice, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This process will necessarily alter the species distribution together with population dynamics and structure. Detailed knowledge of these changes is crucial to delineating conservation priorities. Here, we sampled 361 polar bears from across the center of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago spanning the Gulf of Boothia (GB) and M'Clintock Channel (MC). We use DNA ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Ancestral polymorphisms and sex-biased migration shaped the demographic history of brown bears and polar bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeki Nakagome

    Full Text Available Recent studies have reported discordant gene trees in the evolution of brown bears and polar bears. Genealogical histories are different among independent nuclear loci and between biparentally inherited autosomal DNA (aDNA and matrilineal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA. Based on multi-locus genomic sequences from aDNA and mtDNA, we inferred the population demography of brown and polar bears and found that brown bears have 6 times (aDNA or more than 14 times (mtDNA larger population sizes than polar bears and that polar bear lineage is derived from within brown bear diversity. In brown bears, the effective population size ratio of mtDNA to aDNA was at least 0.62, which deviated from the expected value of 0.25, suggesting matriarchal population due to female philopatry and male-biased migration. These results emphasize that ancestral polymorphisms and sex-biased migration may have contributed to conflicting branching patterns in brown and polar bears across aDNA genes and mtDNA.

  15. Frequency and distribution of highway crossings by Kenai Peninsula brown bears

    OpenAIRE

    Tabitha A Graves; Farley, Sean; Servheen, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    Highway construction and expansion through bear habitat can negatively affect brown bear populations. Highway structures can decrease habitat availability through habitat loss and restricted access, roads often displace animals and cause re-direction of natural movements, and highways can act as barriers to decrease gene flow. Lastly, highway traffic can cause direct bear and human mortality through car-animal collisions. We examined the spatial and temporal distribution of brown bear crossin...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Effectiveness of different types of hair traps for brown bear research and monitoring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Berezowska-Cnota

    Full Text Available Non-invasive sampling by hair-trapping is increasingly used worldwide in wildlife research. Despite this rise and the potential of hair samples for ecology and conservation studies, the relative performance of hair collection devices has been rarely tested. Here, we compare the effectiveness of five types of hair traps for brown bears Ursus arctos in the Carpathian Mountains (SE Poland and test the effects of trap type, season, number of days elapsed since trap installation and trap features on the trapping success in order to provide recommendations for optimal sampling in future studies. The trap types were corral, path-trap, "smola"(beechwood tar tree-trap, turpentine tree-trap and natural rub. In 2010, we collected 858 hair samples during 2330 inspections of 175 hair traps and found that the most effective traps were smola tree-traps (mean percentage of successful inspections ± SD: 30.2% ± 26.0 and natural rubs (50.8% ± 16.7. Based on this finding, over the following 2 years we focused on 24 smola tree-traps and eight natural rubs. During this long-term survey (2010-2012, 969 inspections, 1322 samples collected the trapping success increased with time and smola tree-traps achieved similar effectiveness to natural rubs (45.5% ± 29.7 and 45.9 ± 23.4, respectively. We show that when baiting smola tree-traps ten weeks prior to research or monitoring, sampling effectiveness can reach up to 30%. Taking into account the logistical and methodological constraints associated with detecting and using natural rubs for a proper survey design, we recommend using smola tree-traps baited in advance for hair sampling in wildlife studies.

  3. Effectiveness of different types of hair traps for brown bear research and monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezowska-Cnota, Teresa; Luque-Márquez, Ignacio; Elguero-Claramunt, Isabel; Bojarska, Katarzyna; Okarma, Henryk; Selva, Nuria

    2017-01-01

    Non-invasive sampling by hair-trapping is increasingly used worldwide in wildlife research. Despite this rise and the potential of hair samples for ecology and conservation studies, the relative performance of hair collection devices has been rarely tested. Here, we compare the effectiveness of five types of hair traps for brown bears Ursus arctos in the Carpathian Mountains (SE Poland) and test the effects of trap type, season, number of days elapsed since trap installation and trap features on the trapping success in order to provide recommendations for optimal sampling in future studies. The trap types were corral, path-trap, "smola"(beechwood tar) tree-trap, turpentine tree-trap and natural rub. In 2010, we collected 858 hair samples during 2330 inspections of 175 hair traps and found that the most effective traps were smola tree-traps (mean percentage of successful inspections ± SD: 30.2% ± 26.0) and natural rubs (50.8% ± 16.7). Based on this finding, over the following 2 years we focused on 24 smola tree-traps and eight natural rubs. During this long-term survey (2010-2012, 969 inspections, 1322 samples collected) the trapping success increased with time and smola tree-traps achieved similar effectiveness to natural rubs (45.5% ± 29.7 and 45.9 ± 23.4, respectively). We show that when baiting smola tree-traps ten weeks prior to research or monitoring, sampling effectiveness can reach up to 30%. Taking into account the logistical and methodological constraints associated with detecting and using natural rubs for a proper survey design, we recommend using smola tree-traps baited in advance for hair sampling in wildlife studies.

  4. 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 bears excreted higher PdG concentrations (P 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 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide metabolites in the blood of free-ranging brown bears and their potential roles in hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revsbech, Inge G; Shen, Xinggui; Chakravarti, Ritu; Jensen, Frank B; Thiel, Bonnie; Evans, Alina L; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Stuehr, Dennis J; Kevil, Christopher G; Fago, Angela

    2014-08-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) lie in dens for half a year without eating while their basal metabolism is largely suppressed. To understand the underlying mechanisms of metabolic depression in hibernation, we measured type and content of blood metabolites of two ubiquitous inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and nitric oxide (NO), in winter-hibernating and summer-active free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We found that levels of sulfide metabolites were overall similar in summer-active and hibernating bears but their composition in the plasma differed significantly, with a decrease in bound sulfane sulfur in hibernation. High levels of unbound free sulfide correlated with high levels of cysteine (Cys) and with low levels of bound sulfane sulfur, indicating that during hibernation H2S, in addition to being formed enzymatically from the substrate Cys, may also be regenerated from its oxidation products, including thiosulfate and polysulfides. In the absence of any dietary intake, this shift in the mode of H2S synthesis would help preserve free Cys for synthesis of glutathione (GSH), a major antioxidant found at high levels in the red blood cells of hibernating bears. In contrast, circulating nitrite and erythrocytic S-nitrosation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, taken as markers of NO metabolism, did not change appreciably. Our findings reveal that remodeling of H2S metabolism and enhanced intracellular GSH levels are hallmarks of the aerobic metabolic suppression of hibernating bears. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Isolation and characterization of new genetic types of Toxoplasma gondii and prevalence of Trichinella murrelli from black bear (Ursus americanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, J P; Hill, D; Zarlenga, D; Choudhary, S; Ferreira, L R; Oliveira, S; Verma, S K; Kwok, O C H; Driscoll, C P; Spiker, H; Su, C

    2013-09-01

    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 were found in juice from tongues of 17 (25.7%) of 66 wild black bear from Maryland during the hunting season of 2010 and 2011. Antibodies to T. gondii were assessed by the modified agglutination test. Tongues of 17 seropositive bears were bioassayed in mice and viable T. gondii was isolated from three samples. These three T. gondii isolates (TgBbMd1-3) were further propagated in cell culture and DNA isolated from culture-derived tachyzoites was characterized using 11 PCR-RFLP markers (SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico). Results revealed three genotypes. TgBbMd1 is a Type 12 strain (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #4) and TgBbMd2 is ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #216, and TgBbMd3 is a Type II clonal strain (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1). The isolate TgBbMd2 was highly virulent for outbred Swiss Webster mice; all infected mice died of acute toxoplasmosis. Results indicate that mouse virulent strains of T. gondii are circulating in wildlife in the USA. These 66 tongues in addition to tongues collected during hunts in previous years were further investigated for the presence of muscle larvae of Trichinella spp. Tongues from 40 bears in 2005, 41 in 2006, 51 in 2007, 56 in 2008, 68 in 2009, 67 in 2010, and 66 in 2011 were subjected to digestion with pepsin/HCl and microscopic examination. Two bears were infected with Trichinella spp.; one in 2008 and one in 2009. Genotyping of collected muscle larvae revealed that the infecting species in both cases was Trichinella murrelli. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...... 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....

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Andrew David; McDonough, Sean

    2008-12-01

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

  17. Factors affecting date of implantation, parturition, and den entry estimated from activity and body temperature in free-ranging brown bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Friebe

    Full Text Available Knowledge of factors influencing the timing of reproduction is important for animal conservation and management. Brown bears (Ursus arctos are able to vary the birth date of their cubs in response to their fat stores, but little information is available about the timing of implantation and parturition in free-ranging brown bears. Body temperature and activity of pregnant brown bears is higher during the gestation period than during the rest of hibernation and drops at parturition. We compared mean daily body temperature and activity levels of pregnant and nonpregnant females during preimplantation, gestation, and lactation. Additionally we tested whether age, litter size, primiparity, environmental conditions, and the start of hibernation influence the timing of parturition. The mean date of implantation was 1 December (SD = 12, the mean date of parturition was 26 January (SD = 12, and the mean duration of the gestation period was 56 days (SD = 2. The body temperature of pregnant females was higher during the gestation and lactation periods than that of nonpregnant bears. The body temperature of pregnant females decreased during the gestation period. Activity recordings were also used to determine the date of parturition. The parturition dates calculated with activity and body temperature data did not differ significantly and were the same in 50% of the females. Older females started hibernation earlier. The start of hibernation was earlier during years with favorable environmental conditions. Dates of parturition were later during years with good environmental conditions which was unexpected. We suggest that free-ranging pregnant brown bears in areas with high levels of human activities at the beginning of the denning period, as in our study area, might prioritize investing energy in early denning than in early parturition during years with favorable environmental conditions, as a strategy to prevent disturbances caused by human.

  18. Factors affecting date of implantation, parturition, and den entry estimated from activity and body temperature in free-ranging brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friebe, Andrea; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M; Blanc, Stéphane; Brunberg, Sven; Fleissner, Günther; Swenson, Jon E; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of factors influencing the timing of reproduction is important for animal conservation and management. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to vary the birth date of their cubs in response to their fat stores, but little information is available about the timing of implantation and parturition in free-ranging brown bears. Body temperature and activity of pregnant brown bears is higher during the gestation period than during the rest of hibernation and drops at parturition. We compared mean daily body temperature and activity levels of pregnant and nonpregnant females during preimplantation, gestation, and lactation. Additionally we tested whether age, litter size, primiparity, environmental conditions, and the start of hibernation influence the timing of parturition. The mean date of implantation was 1 December (SD = 12), the mean date of parturition was 26 January (SD = 12), and the mean duration of the gestation period was 56 days (SD = 2). The body temperature of pregnant females was higher during the gestation and lactation periods than that of nonpregnant bears. The body temperature of pregnant females decreased during the gestation period. Activity recordings were also used to determine the date of parturition. The parturition dates calculated with activity and body temperature data did not differ significantly and were the same in 50% of the females. Older females started hibernation earlier. The start of hibernation was earlier during years with favorable environmental conditions. Dates of parturition were later during years with good environmental conditions which was unexpected. We suggest that free-ranging pregnant brown bears in areas with high levels of human activities at the beginning of the denning period, as in our study area, might prioritize investing energy in early denning than in early parturition during years with favorable environmental conditions, as a strategy to prevent disturbances caused by human.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    ), 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...

  6. 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

  7. Polar and brown bear genomes reveal ancient admixture and demographic footprints of past climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Webb; Schuster, Stephan C; Welch, Andreanna J; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Zhao, Fangqing; Kim, Hie Lim; Burhans, Richard C; Drautz, Daniela I; Wittekindt, Nicola E; Tomsho, Lynn P; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Peacock, Elizabeth; Farley, Sean; Sage, George K; Rode, Karyn; Obbard, Martyn; Montiel, Rafael; Bachmann, Lutz; Ingólfsson, Olafur; Aars, Jon; Mailund, Thomas; Wiig, Oystein; Talbot, Sandra L; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2012-09-04

    Polar bears (PBs) are superbly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and have become emblematic of the threat to biodiversity from global climate change. Their divergence from the lower-latitude brown bear provides a textbook example of rapid evolution of distinct phenotypes. However, limited mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence conflicts in the timing of PB origin as well as placement of the species within versus sister to the brown bear lineage. We gathered extensive genomic sequence data from contemporary polar, brown, and American black bear samples, in addition to a 130,000- to 110,000-y old PB, to examine this problem from a genome-wide perspective. Nuclear DNA markers reflect a species tree consistent with expectation, showing polar and brown bears to be sister species. However, for the enigmatic brown bears native to Alaska's Alexander Archipelago, we estimate that not only their mitochondrial genome, but also 5-10% of their nuclear genome, is most closely related to PBs, indicating ancient admixture between the two species. Explicit admixture analyses are consistent with ancient splits among PBs, brown bears and black bears that were later followed by occasional admixture. We also provide paleodemographic estimates that suggest bear evolution has tracked key climate events, and that PB in particular experienced a prolonged and dramatic decline in its effective population size during the last ca. 500,000 years. We demonstrate that brown bears and PBs have had sufficiently independent evolutionary histories over the last 4-5 million years to leave imprints in the PB nuclear genome that likely are associated with ecological adaptation to the Arctic environment.

  8. Polar and brown bear genomes reveal ancient admixture and demographic footprints of past climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Webb; Schuster, Stephan C.; Welch, Andreanna J.; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Zhao, Fangqing; Kim, Hie Lim; Burhans, Richard C.; Drautz, Daniela I.; Wittekindt, Nicola E.; Tomsho, Lynn P.; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Peacock, Elizabeth; Farley, Sean; Sage, George K.; Rode, Karyn; Obbard, Martyn E.; Montiel, Rafael; Bachmann, Lutz; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Aars, Jon; Mailund, Thomas; Wiig, Øystein; Talbot, Sandra L.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (PBs) are superbly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and have become emblematic of the threat to biodiversity from global climate change. Their divergence from the lower-latitude brown bear provides a textbook example of rapid evolution of distinct phenotypes. However, limited mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence conflicts in the timing of PB origin as well as placement of the species within versus sister to the brown bear lineage. We gathered extensive genomic sequence data from contemporary polar, brown, and American black bear samples, in addition to a 130,000- to 110,000-y old PB, to examine this problem from a genome-wide perspective. Nuclear DNA markers reflect a species tree consistent with expectation, showing polar and brown bears to be sister species. However, for the enigmatic brown bears native to Alaska's Alexander Archipelago, we estimate that not only their mitochondrial genome, but also 5–10% of their nuclear genome, is most closely related to PBs, indicating ancient admixture between the two species. Explicit admixture analyses are consistent with ancient splits among PBs, brown bears and black bears that were later followed by occasional admixture. We also provide paleodemographic estimates that suggest bear evolution has tracked key climate events, and that PB in particular experienced a prolonged and dramatic decline in its effective population size during the last ca. 500,000 years. We demonstrate that brown bears and PBs have had sufficiently independent evolutionary histories over the last 4–5 million years to leave imprints in the PB nuclear genome that likely are associated with ecological adaptation to the Arctic environment.

  9. Brown bear density on the Alaska Peninsula at Black Lake, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A final report on completion of the density estimation objective and progress report on other objectives of cooperative interagency brown bear studies on the Alaska...

  10. A statistical evaluation of factors influencing aerial survey results on brown bears

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is a statistical evaluation of factors influencing aerial survey results on Brown Bears. The purpose of this study was to provide a statistical...

  11. 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.

  12. Fluctuating asymmetry in skulls of Svalbard and East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to time, geography and organohalogen pollution

    OpenAIRE

    Bechshøft, Thea Østergaard

    2006-01-01

    Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as a measure of environmental stress was studied in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) skulls from East Greenland (n = 300, collected during the period 1892-2004) and Svalbard (n = 391, collected during the period 1950-2004). Nine bilateral metric traits in skull and lower jaw were measured twice. The measured levels of FA for each trait were compared between sex/age groups (subadult, adult females, adult males), time periods (¡Ü1960 and >1960), and localities (East Green...

  13. 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 polar bears, a similar baculum pattern was found for East Greenland vs. Canadian polar bears. It is speculated whether this could be a result of the general high variation in polar bear body size, temporal distribution patterns of anthropogenic long-range transported persistent organic pollutants or climate change (decreasing food availability). The present investigation represents conservation and background data for future spatial and temporal assessments of hunting, pollution and climate change scenarios.

  14. New records on the Abruzzo brown bear range, particularly on Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains / Osservazioni sull'areale dell'orso marsicano, con particolare riferimento al Gran Sasso e ai Monti della Laga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Bologna

    1992-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract New records of Abruzzo brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus in some mountain massifs of Central Apennines (Laga, Gran Sasso, Velino, Sirente and Northern Molise are reported. These records are discussed in relation to the recent dispersion of the relictual population, and the probable recolonization of some areas where the brown bear went out in the last two centuries. Riassunto Viene brevemente discusso il fenomeno di dispersione e ricolonizzazione di aree montane centro-appenniniche da parte dell'orso bruno marsicano. Tra i nuovi reperti, particolarmente significativi sono quelli più settentrionali, relativi ai Monti della Laga ed al Gran Sasso, dove la specie era estinta da circa duecento anni.

  15. 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

  16. A plan for the management of the Kodiak brown bear

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Management districts will be used as a tool to manage the population of bear on Kodiak Island. Theoretically, 204 bear may be taken off the refuge annually without...

  17. Reproductive parameters and cub survival of brown bears in the Rusha area of the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimozuru, Michito; Yamanaka, Masami; Nakanishi, Masanao; Moriwaki, Jun; Mori, Fumihiko; Tsujino, Masakatsu; Shirane, Yuri; Ishinazaka, Tsuyoshi; Kasai, Shinsuke; Nose, Takane; Masuda, Yasushi; Tsubota, Toshio

    2017-01-01

    Knowing the reproductive characteristics of a species is essential for the appropriate conservation and management of wildlife. In this study, we investigated the demographic parameters, including age of primiparity, litter size, inter-birth interval, reproductive rate, and cub survival rate, of Hokkaido brown bears (Ursus arctos yesoensis) in the Rusha area on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan, based on a long-term, individual-based monitoring survey. A total of 15 philopatric females were observed nearly every year from 2006 to 2016, and these observations were used to estimate reproductive parameters. The mean age of primiparity was 5.3 ± 0.2 (SE) years (n = 7, 95% CI = 5.0-5.6). We observed 81 cubs in 46 litters from 15 bears. Litter size ranged from one to three cubs, and averaged 1.76 ± 0.08 (SE) cubs/litter (95% CI = 1.61-1.91). Inter-birth intervals ranged from 1 to 4 years, and the mean value was estimated as 2.43 (95% CI = 2.16-2.76) and 2.53 (95% CI = 2.26-2.85) years in all litters and in litters that survived at least their first year, respectively. The reproductive rate was estimated from 0.70 to 0.76 young born/year/reproductive adult female, depending on the method of calculation. The cub survival rate between 0.5 and 1.5 years ranged from 60 to 73%. Most cub disappearances occurred in July and August, suggesting that cub mortality is mainly due to poor nutrition in the summer. All reproductive parameters observed in the Rusha area on the Shiretoko Peninsula fell within the range reported in Europe and North America, and were among the lowest or shortest age of primiparity, litter size, and inter-birth intervals, and ranked at a high level for reproductive rate.

  18. 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

    2017-12-26

    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 non-significant trend 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 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 polar bears. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Sea ice-associated decline in body condition leads to increased concentrations of lipophilic pollutants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartu, Sabrina; Bourgeon, Sophie; Aars, Jon; Andersen, Magnus; Polder, Anuschka; Thiemann, Gregory W; Welker, Jeffrey M; Routti, Heli

    2017-01-15

    Global climate changes are magnified in the Arctic and are having an especially dramatic effect on the spatial and temporal distribution and the thickness traits of sea ice. Decline of Arctic sea ice may lead to qualitative and/or quantitative changes in diet and reduced body condition (i.e. adipose tissue stores) of ice-associated apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). This may further affect their tissue concentrations of lipophilic pollutants. We determined how variations in adipose tissue stores associated to both breeding status and spatial changes in sea ice conditions and diet influence concentrations and biotransformation of lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs). We collected 112 blood and fat samples from female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of different breeding status (alone, with cubs of the year, or with yearlings) during two seasons (April and September) in 2012 and 2013 at three locations of Svalbard, Norway, with contrasted sea ice conditions. We inferred diet from nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios in red blood cells and fatty acid composition in adipose tissue. Relative to diet, body condition, which was negatively related to sea ice extent at both temporal and spatial scales, was the most important predictor for concentrations of POPs in plasma and fat, whereas diet showed a minor influence. Additionally, fatter females were more efficient at biotransforming PCBs than were leaner ones. Breeding status influenced the concentrations of less lipophilic compounds such as β-hexachlorocyclohexane, which were lower in females with yearlings, probably due to excretion into milk and subsequent offloading to young. In conclusion, our results indicate that declining sea ice indirectly leads to increased concentrations of lipophilic pollutants in polar bears mediated through reduced feeding opportunities and declining body condition rather than changes in diet composition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Use of commercial extenders and alternatives to prevent sperm agglutination for cryopreservation of brown bear semen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes-Alves, S; Alvarez, M; Nicolas, M; Lopez-Urueña, E; Martínez-Rodríguez, C; Borragan, S; de Paz, P; Anel, L

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate different bovine and canine commercial semen extenders for cryopreservation of brown bear ejaculates and the effect of semen collection directly into extender on sperm agglutination. Semen samples were obtained by electroejaculation from 13 adult males. In experiment 1, eleven ejaculates from eight bears were used to evaluate Bioxcell and Andromed as extenders, whereas in experiment 2, nine ejaculates from six bears were used to evaluate Triladyl canine, CaniPro, and Extender 2 as extenders. An extender specifically developed for brown bears (Test-Tris-fructose-egg yolk-glycerol, TTF-ULE/bear) served as a control extender in both experiments. After thawing, total and progressive sperm motility and sperm viability were greater (P agglutination in fresh samples (score 0.5 ± 0.2 vs. 1.8 ± 0.4 in diluted and control samples, respectively) with no effect on pre-freeze and post-thawing semen quality. In conclusion, TTF-ULE/bear is the most suitable extender for brown bear semen cryopreservation, but comparable results can be obtained with the commercial extender Andromed. In addition, collection of ejaculates directly in TTF-H extender decreases sperm agglutination in fresh samples. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Characteristics of captive Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) semen collected by electroejaculation with different voltages for stimulation and frozen-thawed under different conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okano, T; Murase, T; Yayota, C; Komatsu, T; Miyazawa, K; Asano, M; Tsubota, T

    2006-09-01

    The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is an endangered species in some areas of Japan, and semen collection and cryopreservation are important means to preserve genetic resources and prevent extinction. The aim of the present study was to improve the methods for electroejaculation and cryopreservation in these bears. We collected the semen from captive mature Japanese black bears during the mating season by the electroejaculation method using maximum stimulus voltages of 10 V (n=9) and 7 V (n=15), and compared the characteristics of fresh semen after collection. None of the variables examined (i.e. total sperm count, motility, viability, morphology, and rate of urine contamination) were statistically different between the two electro-stimulus voltages. After the semen obtained was cryopreserved, the effects of three different diluents (egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-glucose, egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-fructose, and egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-fructose-lactose-raffinose; n=10) and two different incubation times (1-1 and 3-0 h of cooling-glycerol equilibration times; n=12) on frozen-thawed spermatozoa. None of the variables examined (i.e. motility, viability and morphology) were statistically different among the three diluents and between the two incubation times. The results indicate that, in the collection and cryopreservation of Japanese black bear semen: (1) a maximum voltage of 7 V may be enough to obtain ejaculates; (2) the three diluents examined were useful; and (3) glycerol equilibration time may be omitted with prior cooling for 3h.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Brown and polar bear Y chromosomes reveal extensive male-biased gene flow within brother lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidon, Tobias; Janke, Axel; Fain, Steven R; Eiken, Hans Geir; Hagen, Snorre B; Saarma, Urmas; Hallström, Björn M; Lecomte, Nicolas; Hailer, Frank

    2014-06-01

    Brown and polar bears have become prominent examples in phylogeography, but previous phylogeographic studies relied largely on maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or were geographically restricted. The male-specific Y chromosome, a natural counterpart to mtDNA, has remained underexplored. Although this paternally inherited chromosome is indispensable for comprehensive analyses of phylogeographic patterns, technical difficulties and low variability have hampered its application in most mammals. We developed 13 novel Y-chromosomal sequence and microsatellite markers from the polar bear genome and screened these in a broad geographic sample of 130 brown and polar bears. We also analyzed a 390-kb-long Y-chromosomal scaffold using sequencing data from published male ursine genomes. Y chromosome evidence support the emerging understanding that brown and polar bears started to diverge no later than the Middle Pleistocene. Contrary to mtDNA patterns, we found 1) brown and polar bears to be reciprocally monophyletic sister (or rather brother) lineages, without signals of introgression, 2) male-biased gene flow across continents and on phylogeographic time scales, and 3) male dispersal that links the Alaskan ABC islands population to mainland brown bears. Due to female philopatry, mtDNA provides a highly structured estimate of population differentiation, while male-biased gene flow is a homogenizing force for nuclear genetic variation. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing both maternally and paternally inherited loci for a comprehensive view of phylogeographic history, and that mtDNA-based phylogeographic studies of many mammals should be reevaluated. Recent advances in sequencing technology render the analysis of Y-chromosomal variation feasible, even in nonmodel organisms. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e

  12. Connecting endangered brown bear subpopulations in the Cantabrian Range (north-western Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. C. Mateo-Sanchez; Samuel Cushman; S. Saura

    2014-01-01

    The viability of many species depends on functional connectivity of their populations through dispersal across broad landscapes. This is particularly the case for the endangered brown bear in north-western Spain, with a total population of about 200 individuals in two subpopulations that are separated by a wide gap with low permeability. Our goal in this paper...

  13. Seasonal and individual variation in the use of rail-associated food attractants by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in a national park.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maureen H Murray

    Full Text Available 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 (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 < 0.001. Lastly, scats collected near the rail were more likely to contain ungulate hair and ant remains

  14. Brown bear/human encounters in remote field camps on the Alaska Peninsula, 1989-1992, with notes on hazing effectiveness

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this study were to examine and quantify brown bear/human encounters created by remote field camps in areas of high brown bear densities; compare...

  15. Hypocholesterolemic action of pre-germinated brown rice in hepatoma-bearing rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Daiki; Ito, Yukihiko; Mizukuchi, Aya; Kise, Mitsuo; Aoto, Hiromichi; Yagasaki, Kazumi

    2006-06-13

    The effect of pre-germinated brown rice (PGBR) on cholesterol metabolism was studied in Donryu rats subcutaneously implanted with the ascites hepatoma cell line AH109A and compared with that of white rice (WR). The effect of brown rice (BR), the source of PGBR, was also studied. Hepatoma-bearing rats fed a WR diet exhibited hypercholesterolemia compared with normal rats fed the same diet. Feeding hepatoma-bearing rats a PGBR or BR diet suppressed hepatoma-induced hypercholesterolemia, and enhanced fecal bile acid excretion and the activity of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid biosynthesis, in the microsomal fraction of the liver without affecting cholesterol synthesis in the host liver of hepatoma-bearing rats. These results suggest that PGBR as well as BR suppresses hypercholesterolemia induced by hepatoma growth by up-regulating cholesterol catabolism.

  16. Kodiak brown bears surf the salmon red wave: direct evidence from GPS collared individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deacy, William; Leacock, William; Armstrong, Jonathan B; Stanford, Jack A

    2016-05-01

    A key constraint faced by consumers is achieving a positive energy balance in the face of temporal variation in foraging opportunities. Recent work has shown that spatial heterogeneity in resource phenology can buffer mobile consumers from this constraint by allowing them to track changes in resource availability across space. For example, salmon populations spawn asynchronously across watersheds, causing high-quality foraging opportunities to propagate across the landscape, prolonging the availability of salmon at the regional scale. However, we know little about how individual consumers integrate across phenological variation or the benefits they receive by doing so. Here, we present direct evidence that individual brown bears track spatial variation in salmon phenology. Data from 40 GPS collared brown bears show that bears visited multiple spawning sites in synchrony with the order of spawning phenology. The number of sites used was correlated with the number of days a bear exploited salmon, suggesting the phenological variation in the study area influenced bear access to salmon, a resource which strongly influences bear fitness. Fisheries managers attempting to maximize harvest while maintaining ecosystem function should strive to protect the population diversity that underlies the phenological variation used by wildlife consumers.

  17. 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

  18. The selection by the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) of spring plant food items according to their nutritional values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furusaka, Shino; Kozakai, Chinatsu; Nemoto, Yui; Umemura, Yoshihiro; Naganuma, Tomoko; Yamazaki, Koji; Koike, Shinsuke

    2017-01-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Genetic status of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) reintroduced into South Korea based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite loci analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yung-Kun; Hong, Yoon-Jee; Min, Mi-Sook; Kim, Kyung Seok; Kim, Young-Jun; Voloshina, Inna; Myslenkov, Alexander; Smith, Gavin J D; Cuong, Nguyen Dinh; Tho, Huynh Huu; Han, Sang-Hoon; Yang, Doo-Ha; Kim, Chang-Bae; Lee, Hang

    2011-01-01

    The Asiatic black bear is one of the most endangered mammals in South Korea owing to population declines resulting from human exploitation and habitat fragmentation. To restore the black bear population in South Korea, 27 bear cubs from North Korea and Russian Far East (Primorsky Krai) were imported and released into Jirisan National Park, a reservoir of the largest wild population in South Korea, in 2004. To monitor the success of this reintroduction, the genetic diversity and population structure of the reintroduced black bears were measured using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. Mitochondrial D-loop region DNA sequences (615 bp) of 43 Japanese black bears from previous study and 14 Southeast Asian black bears in this study were employed to obtain phylogenetic inference of the reintroduced black bears. The mitochondrial phylogeny indicated Asiatic black bear populations from Russian Far East and North Korea form a single evolutionary unit distinct from populations from Japan and Southeast Asia. Mean expected heterozygosity (H(E)) across 16 microsatellite loci was 0.648 for Russian and 0.676 for North Korean populations. There was a moderate but significant level of microsatellite differentiation (F(ST) = 0.063) between black bears from the 2 source areas. In addition, genetic evidences revealed that 2 populations are represented as diverging groups, with lingering genetic admixture among individuals of 2 source populations. Relatedness analysis based on genetic markers indicated several discrepancies with the pedigree records. Implication of the phylogenetic and genetic evidences on long-term management of Asiatic black bears in South Korea is discussed.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. Tolerance of brown bear spermatozoa to conditions of pre-freezing cooling rate and equilibration time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Urueña, E; Alvarez, M; Gomes-Alves, S; Martínez-Rodríguez, C; Borragan, S; Anel-López, L; de Paz, P; Anel, L

    2014-06-01

    Specific protocols for the cryopreservation of endangered Cantabrian brown bear spermatozoa are critical to create a genetic resource bank. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cooling rates and equilibration time before freezing on post-thawed brown bear spermatozoa quality. Electroejaculates from 11 mature bears were extended to 100 × 10(6) spermatozoa/mL in a TES-Tris-Fructose-based extender, cryopreserved following performance of the respective cooling/equilibration protocol each sample was assigned to, and stored at -196 °C for further assessment. Before freezing, after thawing, and after 1 hour's incubation post-thawing at 37 °C (thermal stress test), the quality of the samples was assessed for motility by computer-assisted semen analysis, and for viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide), acrosomal status (peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate /propidium iodide), and sperm chromatin stability (SCSA) by flow cytometry. In experiment 1, three cooling rates (0.25 °C/min, 1 °C/min, and 4 °C/min) to 5 °C were assessed. After thawing, total motility (%TM) was higher and percentage of damaged acrosomes (%dACR) was lower (P bear sperm. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. 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 (LODpolar 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Life in the fat lane: seasonal regulation of insulin sensitivity, food intake, and adipose biology in brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) have evolved remarkable metabolic adaptations including enormous fat accumulation during the active season followed by fasting during hibernation. However, these fluctuations in body mass do not cause the same harmful effects associated with obesity in humans. To better understand these seasonal transitions, we performed insulin and glucose tolerance tests in captive grizzly bears, characterized the annual profiles of circulating adipokines, and tested the anorectic effects of centrally administered leptin at different times of the year. We also used bear gluteal adipocyte cultures to test insulin and beta-adrenergic sensitivity in vitro. Bears were insulin resistant during hibernation but were sensitive during the spring and fall active periods. Hibernating bears remained euglycemic, possibly due to hyperinsulinemia and hyperglucagonemia. Adipokine concentrations were relatively low throughout the active season but peaked in mid-October prior to hibernation when fat content was greatest. Serum glycerol was highest during hibernation, indicating ongoing lipolysis. Centrally administered leptin reduced food intake in October, but not in August, revealing seasonal variation in the brain's sensitivity to its anorectic effects. This was supported by strong phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 labeling within the hypothalamus of hibernating bears; labeling virtually disappeared in active bears. Adipocytes collected during hibernation were insulin resistant when cultured with hibernation serum but became sensitive when cultured with active season serum. Heat treatment of active serum blocked much of this action. Clarifying the cellular mechanisms responsible for the physiology of hibernating bears may inform new treatments for metabolic disorders.

  16. 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.

    , 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  18. Optimization of conditions for long-term prefreezing storage of brown bear sperm before cryopreservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Urueña, E; Alvarez, M; Gomes-Alves, S; Anel-López, L; Martínez-Rodríguez, C; Manrique, P; Borragan, S; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2015-10-15

    Brown bear ejaculates are usually collected in field conditions and may need to be shipped to a laboratory for the application of reproductive biotechnologies before cryopreservation. The aim of this study was to extend the prefreezing step to 48 hours (1 hour vs. long-term storage [LS] to 24 and 48 hours) to enable the sample to be transported. The effects of storage temperature (experiment 1), glycerol concentration (experiment 2), and dilution rate (experiment 3) on sperm were evaluated. Electroejaculates from brown bears were stored under different experimental conditions and cryopreserved. The sperm motility and viability, apoptotic status, and acrosomal status of sperm were assessed before freezing (prefreezing), after thawing, and after 2-hour incubation at 37 °C (thermal stress test). In all experiments, one control sample was frozen using a standard protocol (control). In experiment 1, three temperatures during LS with 6% glycerol were tested: 5 °C (T5), 15 °C (T15), and room temperature (RT). The LS-T5 sample yielded the highest postthawing results for viability (42.4%), progressive motility (15.6%), and intact acrosome (83.1%) after 24 hours in comparison with the other temperatures (P bear electroejaculates are at 5 °C, at a concentration of 100 × 10(6) sperm/mL, and with 6% glycerol. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Background Satellite 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–...

  2. Networks for LIFE; an ecological network analysis for the brown bear (Ursus arctor) - and indicator species in Regione Abruzzo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sluis, van der T.; Baveco, H.; Corridore, G.; Kuipers, H.; Knauer, F.; Pedroli, B.; Jochems, R.; Dirksen, J.

    2003-01-01

    This report gives the result of an analysis of the ecological network of Regione Abruzzo. Seven species were analysed, which can be related to four ecosystem types: woodland, wetland, grassland and steppe, and shrubland. The LARCH model was used to assess whether these ecosystems still function as

  3. Scale dependence in habitat selection: The case of the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura

    2013-01-01

    Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...

  4. Seismic bearing capacity of strip footings on rock masses using the Hoek–Brown failure criterion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Keshavarz

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the bearing capacity of strip footings on rock masses has been studied in the seismic case. The stress characteristics or slip line method was used for analysis. The problem was analyzed in the plane strain condition using the Hoek–Brown failure criterion. First, the equilibrium equations along the stress characteristics were obtained and the rock failure criterion was applied. Then, the equations were solved using the finite difference method. A computer code has been provided for analysis. Given the footing and rock parameters, the code can calculate the stress characteristics network and obtain the stress distribution under the footing. The seismic effects have been applied as the horizontal and vertical pseudo-static coefficients. The results of this paper are very close to those of the other studies. The seismic bearing capacity of weightless rock masses can be obtained using the proposed equations and graphs without calculating the whole stress characteristics network.

  5. No evidence for the effect of MHC on male mating success in the brown bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuduk, Katarzyna; Babik, Wieslaw; Bellemain, Eva; Valentini, Alice; Zedrosser, Andreas; Taberlet, Pierre; Kindberg, Jonas; Swenson, Jon E; Radwan, Jacek

    2014-01-01

    Mate choice is thought to contribute to the maintenance of the spectacularly high polymorphism of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes, along with balancing selection from parasites, but the relative contribution of the former mechanism is debated. Here, we investigated the association between male MHC genotype and mating success in the brown bear. We analysed fragments of sequences coding for the peptide-binding region of the highly polymorphic MHC class I and class II DRB genes, while controlling for genome-wide effects using a panel of 18 microsatellite markers. Male mating success did not depend on the number of alleles shared with the female or amino-acid distance between potential mates at either locus. Furthermore, we found no indication of female mating preferences for MHC similarity being contingent on the number of alleles the females carried. Finally, we found no significant association between the number of MHC alleles a male carried and his mating success. Thus, our results provided no support for the role of mate choice in shaping MHC polymorphism in the brown bear.

  6. New Results on the Palaeobiology of Bears on the Swabian Alb (Chronology, Isotopic Geochemistry and Palaeogenetics)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenzel, Susanne

    2010-05-01

    Paleogenetic investigations at three geographically close caves in the Ach Valley near Blaubeuren have revealed two different cave bear haplogroups. These two haplogroups correspond to Ursus spelaeus (haplogroup 1) and Ursus ingressus (haplogroup 4) (Rabeder & Hofreiter 2004, Die Höhle 55, 58-77). This genetic variability was first attested for Geißenklösterle and Sirgenstein cave, but the new genetic data attest them also for Hohle Fels. In all three caves Ursus ingressus replaced Ursus spelaeus around 28 000 B.P. The carbon and nitrogen isotopes of the two genetic types do not vary significantly, meaning that there is no dietary difference between them and Ursus spelaeus were in dietary competition with Ursus ingressus in the Ach valley. The radiocarbon dates suggested a sudden replacement (Hofreiter et al. 2007, Current Biology 17(4): R1-R3), which must have been accompanied by local extinction of the older cave bear, according to the dietary competition with the younger bear. The possible reasons for this replacement are not clear yet. Climatic changes are unlikely, since the faunal composition remains the same and the environmental data do not differ significantly. But we cannot exclude human impact on the cave bear population, since a cave bear vertebra with an embedded fragment of a flint projectile was recovered in the Gravettian layer AH IIcf dated to 27 830+150-140 B.P. and gives indisputable proof of the hunting of cave bears. Numerous cut marks proof an ongoing exploitation of this species. In this context, new radiocarbon dates and isotopic results on cave bears and coeval brown bears will help us to refine the possible scenarios of this complex evolutionary and ecological process. These results will be used to test hypotheses of competitive exclusion between the different bear species. This study will exemplify how combining evidence from different approaches can provide invaluable clues about palaeobiology of late Pleistocene large mammals such as

  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

    2013-02-07

    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.

  8. Fellatio in captive brown bears: evidence of long-term effects of suckling deprivation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergiel, Agnieszka; Maślak, Robert; Zedrosser, Andreas; Paśko, Łukasz; Garshelis, David L; Reljić, Slaven; Huber, Djuro

    2014-01-01

    Sexually stimulating behaviors that are not linked to reproduction are rare among non-human (especially non-primate) mammals. Such behaviors may have a function in the hierarchy of social species. In solitary species, such behaviors are more enigmatic, and possibly indicative of something abnormal. Here, we report on a case of two male brown bears, raised in captivity since being orphaned as cubs, which engaged in recurrent fellatio multiple times per day until at least 10 years old. The roles of provider and receiver in the act remained unchanged, and the behavior itself became highly ritualized. The provider always initiated the contact involving vigorous penile sucking that appeared to result in ejaculation. We suggest that the behavior began as a result of early deprivation of maternal suckling, and persisted through life, possibly because it remained satisfying for both individuals. This constitutes the first descriptive report of fellatio in bears, and suggests that some bears may suffer lifelong behavioral consequences from being orphaned at an early age. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Capture and radio-transmitter collaring of brown bears on Becharof Lake, Becharof National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 28 July-3 August 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Specific study objectives stated in the study proposal are determine the extent and characteristics of island denning brown bear on the refuge, determine the...

  13. Genetic structure in large, continuous mammal populations: the example of brown bears in northwestern Eurasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tammeleht, E; Remm, J; Korsten, M; Davison, J; Tumanov, I; Saveljev, A; Männil, P; Kojola, I; Saarma, U

    2010-12-01

    Knowledge of population structure and genetic diversity and the spatio-temporal demographic processes affecting populations is crucial for effective wildlife preservation, yet these factors are still poorly understood for organisms with large continuous ranges. Available population genetic data reveal that widespread mammals have for the most part only been carefully studied at the local population scale, which is insufficient for understanding population processes at larger scales. Here, we provide data on population structure, genetic diversity and gene flow in a brown bear population inhabiting the large territory of northwestern Eurasia. Analysis of 17 microsatellite loci indicated significant population substructure, consisting of four genetic groups. While three genetic clusters were confined to small geographical areas-located in Estonia, southern Finland and Leningrad oblast, Russia-the fourth cluster spanned a very large area broadly falling between northern Finland and the Arkhangelsk and Kirov oblasts of Russia. Thus, the data indicate a complex pattern where a fraction of the population exhibits large-scale gene flow that is unparalleled by other wild mammals studied to date, while the remainder of the population appears to have been structured by a combination of demographic history and landscape barriers. These results based on nuclear data are generally in good agreement with evidence previously derived using mitochondrial markers, and taken together, these markers provide complementary information about female-specific and population-level processes. Moreover, this study conveys information about spatial processes occurring over multiple generations that cannot be readily gained using other approaches, e.g. telemetry. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Sudden expansion of a single brown bear maternal lineage across northern continental Eurasia after the last ice age: a general demographic model for mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korsten, Marju; Ho, Simon Y W; Davison, John; Pähn, Berit; Vulla, Egle; Roht, Maris; Tumanov, Igor L; Kojola, Ilpo; Andersone-Lilley, Zanete; Ozolins, Janis; Pilot, Malgorzata; Mertzanis, Yorgos; Giannakopoulos, Alexios; Vorobiev, Alex A; Markov, Nikolai I; Saveljev, Alexander P; Lyapunova, Elena A; Abramov, Alexei V; Männil, Peep; Valdmann, Harri; Pazetnov, Sergei V; Pazetnov, Valentin S; Rõkov, Alexander M; Saarma, Urmas

    2009-05-01

    The brown bear has proved a useful model for studying Late Quaternary mammalian phylogeography. However, information is lacking from northern continental Eurasia, which constitutes a large part of the species' current distribution. We analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences (totalling 1943 bp) from 205 bears from northeast Europe and Russia in order to characterize the maternal phylogeography of bears in this region. We also estimated the formation times of the sampled brown bear lineages and those of its extinct relative, the cave bear. Four closely related haplogroups belonging to a single mitochondrial subclade were identified in northern continental Eurasia. Several haplotypes were found throughout the whole study area, while one haplogroup was restricted to Kamchatka. The haplotype network, estimated divergence times and various statistical tests indicated that bears in northern continental Eurasia recently underwent a sudden expansion, preceded by a severe bottleneck. This brown bear population was therefore most likely founded by a small number of bears that were restricted to a single refuge area during the last glacial maximum. This pattern has been described previously for other mammal species and as such may represent one general model for the phylogeography of Eurasian mammals. Bayesian divergence time estimates are presented for different brown and cave bear clades. Moreover, our results demonstrate the extent of substitution rate variation occurring throughout the phylogenetic tree, highlighting the need for appropriate calibration when estimating divergence times.

  15. 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

    2011-08-09

    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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. The power of genetic monitoring for studying demography, ecology and genetics of a reintroduced brown bear population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Barba, M; Waits, L P; Garton, E O; Genovesi, P; Randi, E; Mustoni, A; Groff, C

    2010-09-01

    Genetic monitoring has rarely been used for wildlife translocations despite the potential benefits this approach offers, compared to traditional field-based methods. We applied genetic monitoring to the reintroduced brown bear population in northern Italy. From 2002 to 2008, 2781 hair and faecal samples collected noninvasively plus 12 samples obtained from captured or dead bears were used to follow the demographic and geographical expansion and changes in genetic composition. Individual genotypes were used to reconstruct the wild pedigree and revealed that the population increased rapidly, from nine founders to >27 individuals in 2008 (lambda=1.17-1.19). Spatial mapping of bear samples indicated that most bears were distributed in the region surrounding the translocation site; however, individual bears were found up to 163 km away. Genetic diversity in the population was high, with expected heterozygosity of 0.74-0.79 and allelic richness of 4.55-5.41. However, multi-year genetic monitoring data showed that mortality rates were elevated, immigration did not occur, one dominant male sired all cubs born from 2002 to 2005, genetic diversity declined, relatedness increased, inbreeding occurred, and the effective population size was extremely small (Ne=3.03, ecological method). The comprehensive information collected through genetic monitoring is critical for implementing future conservation plans for the brown bear population in the Italian Alps. This study provides a model for other reintroduction programmes by demonstrating how genetic monitoring can be implemented to uncover aspects of the demography, ecology and genetics of small and reintroduced populations that will advance our understanding of the processes influencing their viability, evolution, and successful restoration. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  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. Consequences of a demographic bottleneck on genetic structure and variation in the Scandinavian brown bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xenikoudakis, G; Ersmark, E; Tison, J-L; Waits, L; Kindberg, J; Swenson, J E; Dalén, L

    2015-07-01

    The Scandinavian brown bear went through a major decline in population size approximately 100 years ago, due to intense hunting. After being protected, the population subsequently recovered and today numbers in the thousands. The genetic diversity in the contemporary population has been investigated in considerable detail, and it has been shown that the population consists of several subpopulations that display relatively high levels of genetic variation. However, previous studies have been unable to resolve the degree to which the demographic bottleneck impacted the contemporary genetic structure and diversity. In this study, we used mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers from pre- and postbottleneck Scandinavian brown bear samples to investigate the effect of the bottleneck. Simulation and multivariate analysis suggested the same genetic structure for the historical and modern samples, which are clustered into three subpopulations in southern, central and northern Scandinavia. However, the southern subpopulation appears to have gone through a marked change in allele frequencies. When comparing the mitochondrial DNA diversity in the whole population, we found a major decline in haplotype numbers across the bottleneck. However, the loss of autosomal genetic diversity was less pronounced, although a significant decline in allelic richness was observed in the southern subpopulation. Approximate Bayesian computations provided clear support for a decline in effective population size during the bottleneck, in both the southern and northern subpopulations. These results have implications for the future management of the Scandinavian brown bear because they indicate a recent loss in genetic diversity and also that the current genetic structure may have been caused by historical ecological processes rather than recent anthropogenic persecution. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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. ...

  6. 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.

  7. Testing landscape modeling approaches for environmental impact assessment of mining land use on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the foothills region of west central Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Symbaluk, M.D. [Elk Valley Coal Corp., Hinton, AB (Canada). Cardinal River Operations

    2008-07-01

    The Cheviot open pit coal mine is located on the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements for the mining project included an assessment of the cumulative effects of past, existing, and immanent activities on a 3040 km{sup 2} study area radiating approximately 25 km around the proposed project area. The grizzly bear was identified as a flagship valued ecosystem component (VEC) for assessing the regional cumulative effects of the proposed Cheviot project. In this portion of the study, a grizzly bear habitat effectiveness model was used to monitor grizzly bear response to mining land use in the study area. An investigation of grizzly bear movement paths prior to and during mine disturbances demonstrated that mining land use does not present significant barriers to grizzly bear activities. The study demonstrated the importance of using inductive modelling tools at appropriate scales, as well as the use of site-specific empirical data. It was concluded that continued monitoring of mining sites is needed to ensure that adaptive management processes are improved. A review of the Cheviot cumulative environmental effects (CEA) process was also provided. 17 refs., 1 fig.

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

    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.

  9. 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

    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...... 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...... 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 greater-or-equal, slanted 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...

  10. Surveys of brown bear predation on spawning sockeye salmon in three tributaries to Karluk Lake, Alaska.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Surveys of live salmon and carcasses were made in three lateral tributaries to Karluk Lake. The objectives were to assess the impacts of bear predation on spawning...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Brown bear surveys of Becharof National Wildlife Monument, summer of 1980

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A total of 347 bears were classified (Table I). The composition of the population surveyed was 90 cubs (25.9 %), 155 yearlings (15.9 %), 178 sows with young (22.5...

  16. 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

    2017-01-01

    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...... a continuous decrease in BMD from 1892 to 2015 (linear regression: p pollution period had the highest BMD. A similar decrease in BMD over time was not found for the East Greenland adult females. However, there was a non-significant trend...

  17. 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 J.

    2015-01-01

    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...

  18. 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.

  19. Prediction of arterial blood gas values from venous blood gas values in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) anesthetized with intramuscular medetomidine and zolazepam-tiletamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Yang, Jeong-Jin; Lee, Lyon; Yeon, Seong-Chan

    2017-10-20

    The objective of this study was to measure differences between arterial and venous blood gas parameters and to evaluate whether arterial blood gas values can be estimated from venous blood in Asiatic black bears (ABBs). Twelve healthy captive ABBs (8 males and 4 females; 8-16 years; 76.8-220 kg) were included in this study. The bears were immobilized with medetomidine and zolazepam-tiletamine using a dart gun. Arterial and venous samples were collected simultaneously at 5 and 35 min after recumbency (5- and 35-min points). Partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), pH, bicarbonate (HCO3(-)), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (SO2) and base excess (BEecf) were analyzed using a portable blood gas analyzer. There was no marked difference in measured and calculated variables over time in both venous and arterial blood except for PO2. However, arterial PO2, SO2 and pH were significantly higher and arterial PCO2, TCO2 and HCO3(-) were lower than those of venous samples at both 5- and 35-min points. In the regression analysis to estimate arterial values from venous values, PCO2, TCO2, HCO3(-), BEecf and pH significantly showed over 0.45 in coefficient of determination value (R(2)), and there were little differences between actual and predicted arterial values. Although there were limits in venous gas values replaced those of arterial blood, if we could not get the arterial samples, the regression formulas for arterial values from venous blood in this study would be useful clinically, except for PO2 and SO2.

  20. Foraging ecology of black bears in urban environments: guidance for human-bear conflict mitigation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lewis, D. L; Baruch-Mordo, S; Wilson, K. R; Breck, S. W; Mao, J. S; Broderick, J

    2015-01-01

    .... We studied black bears ( Ursus americanus ) in the urban area of Aspen, Colorado, USA from 2007 to 2010 to quantify bear foraging on natural and anthropogenic resources and to model factors associated with anthropogenic feeding events...

  1. 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.

  2. ANWR progress report number FY84-11: Ecology of brown bears inhabiting the coastal plain and adjacent foothills and mountains of the northeastern portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The report covers the ecology of brown bears inhabiting the coastal plain and adjacent foothills and mountains of the northeastern portion of the Arctic National...

  3. ANWR progress report number FY83-8: Ecology of brown bears inhabiting the coastal plain and adjacent foothills and mountains of the northeastern portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Fifty brown bears were captured between 23 June and 3 July 1982 in the coastal plain and adjacent foothills and mountains of the northeastern portion of ANWR....

  4. Mitochondrial genomes reveal an explosive radiation of extinct and extant bears near the Miocene-Pliocene boundary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabeder Gernot

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite being one of the most studied families within the Carnivora, the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the bear family (Ursidae have long remained unclear. Widely divergent topologies have been suggested based on various data sets and methods. Results We present a fully resolved phylogeny for ursids based on ten complete mitochondrial genome sequences from all eight living and two recently extinct bear species, the European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus and the American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus. The mitogenomic data yield a well-resolved topology for ursids, with the sloth bear at the basal position within the genus Ursus. The sun bear is the sister taxon to both the American and Asian black bears, and this clade is the sister clade of cave bear, brown bear and polar bear confirming a recent study on bear mitochondrial genomes. Conclusion Sequences from extinct bears represent the third and fourth Pleistocene species for which complete mitochondrial genomes have been sequenced. Moreover, the cave bear specimen demonstrates that mitogenomic studies can be applied to Pleistocene fossils that have not been preserved in permafrost, and therefore have a broad application within ancient DNA research. Molecular dating of the mtDNA divergence times suggests a rapid radiation of bears in both the Old and New Worlds around 5 million years ago, at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. This coincides with major global changes, such as the Messinian crisis and the first opening of the Bering Strait, and suggests a global influence of such events on species radiations.

  5. Alternative procedures for the cryopreservation of brown bear ejaculates depending on the flexibility of the "in cooling" period (5°C).

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Urueña, E; Alvarez, M; Gomes-Alves, S; Manrique, P; Anel-López, L; Chamorro, C A; Borragan, S; de Paz, P; Anel, L

    2014-12-01

    The adaptability of cryopreservation protocols for brown bear spermatozoa collected under field conditions and frozen in a nearby laboratory (transported for a few hours) or shipped to a reference laboratory for sex sorting (transported for a few days) was evaluated. Forty-nine electroejaculates from 15 mature brown bears were extended to 100×10(6) sperm/mL in a TES-Tris-Fructose based extender and cryopreserved (-20°C/min to -100°C and stored at -196°C). After thawing, the quality of the seminal samples was assessed for total (TM), progressive (PM) motility and kinetic parameters - by CASA -, and viability (VIAB), viable and non-apoptotic status (YOPRO-), high membrane mitochondrial potential (MIT) and intact acrosomes (iACR) - by flow cytometry -. In Experiment 1, we assessed different storage times (0, 0.5, 1 - control -, 4-5, 7-8 and 11-12 h) at 5°C from final dilution to freezing. After thawing, non-equilibrated samples (0 h) showed lower values of iACR, TM and PM. No significant differences were found for the different periods of equilibration tested. In Experiment 2, we evaluated three long-term storage times (24, 48 and 72 h) at 5°C before freezing using storage for 1h as control. The post-thawing quality of brown bear spermatozoa declined markedly after 48-72 h of pre-freezing. In conclusion, our findings suggest the possibility of extending the pre-freezing cooling period up to 24h post-collection without freezing. This knowledge should enable the adaptation of the freezing protocols for when a special handling conditions are required such as the shipment of seminal samples to technological centers for the pre-freezing application of enhancer spermatic biotechnologies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    .... 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...

  7. Evaluating Population Structure of Black Bears on the Kenai Peninsula using Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA Analyses

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stacie J. Robinson; Lisette P. Waits; Ian D. Martin

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Increasing human impacts on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, have raised questions about potential implications for genetic diversity and population structure of local taxa. Black bears (Ursus americanus...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Hibernating brown bears (Ursus arctos) and black bears (Ursus americanus) spend half of the year in a physically inactive state inside their winter dens without food intake and defecating and no or little urination. Under similar extreme conditions, humans would suffer from loss of lean body mass, heart failure, thrombosis, azotemia, osteoporosis, and more. However, bears exit the den in the spring strong without organ injuries. Translational animal models are used in human medicine but traditional experimental animals have several shortcomings; thus, we believe that it is time to systematically explore new models. In this review paper, we describe physiological adaptations of hibernating bears and how similar adaptations in humans could theoretically alleviate medical conditions. The bear has solved most of the health challenges faced by humans, including heart and kidney disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Understanding and applying this library of information could lead to a number of major discoveries that could have implications for the understanding and treatment of human disease. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Grizzly bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C.C.; Miller, S.D.; Haroldson, M.A.; Feldhamer, G.; Thompson, B.; Chapman, J.

    2003-01-01

    The grizzly bear inspires fear, awe, and respect in humans to a degree unmatched by any other North American wild mammal. Like other bear species, it can inflict serious injury and death on humans and sometimes does. Unlike the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) of the sparsely inhabited northern arctic, however, grizzly bears still live in areas visited by crowds of people, where presence of the grizzly remains physically real and emotionally dominant. A hike in the wilderness that includes grizzly bears is different from a stroll in a forest from which grizzly bears have been purged; nighttime conversations around the campfire and dreams in the tent reflect the presence of the great bear. Contributing to the aura of the grizzly bear is the mixture of myth and reality about its ferocity. unpredictable disposition, large size, strength, huge canines, long claws, keen senses, swiftness, and playfulness. They share characteristics with humans such as generalist life history strategies. extended periods of maternal care, and omnivorous diets. These factors capture the human imagination in ways distinct from other North American mammals. Precontact Native American legends reflected the same fascination with the grizzly bear as modern stories and legends (Rockwell 1991).

  10. Deciphering the complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of the extinct cave bear in the Paleolithic painted cave of Chauvet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bon, Céline; Caudy, Nicolas; de Dieuleveult, Maud; Fosse, Philippe; Philippe, Michel; Maksud, Frédéric; Beraud-Colomb, Éliane; Bouzaid, Eric; Kefi, Rym; Laugier, Christelle; Rousseau, Bernard; Casane, Didier; van der Plicht, Johannes; Elalouf, Jean-Marc

    2008-01-01

    Retrieving a large amount of genetic information from extinct species was demonstrated feasible, but complete mitochondrial genome sequences have only been deciphered for the moa, a bird that became extinct a few hundred years ago, and for Pleistocene species, such as the woolly mammoth and the mastodon, both of which could be studied from animals embedded in permafrost. To enlarge the diversity of mitochondrial genomes available for Pleistocene species, we turned to the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), whose only remains consist of skeletal elements. We collected bone samples from the Paleolithic painted cave of Chauvet-Pont d'Arc (France), which displays the earliest known human drawings, and contains thousands of bear remains. We selected a cave bear sternebra, radiocarbon dated to 32,000 years before present, from which we generated overlapping DNA fragments assembling into a 16,810-base pair mitochondrial genome. Together with the first mitochondrial genome for the brown bear western lineage, this study provides a statistically secured molecular phylogeny assessing the cave bear as a sister taxon to the brown bear and polar bear clade, with a divergence inferred to 1.6 million years ago. With the first mitochondrial genome for a Pleistocene carnivore to be delivered, our study establishes the Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave as a new reservoir for Paleogenetic studies. These molecular data enable establishing the chronology of bear speciation, and provide a helpful resource to rescue for genetic analysis archeological samples initially diagnosed as devoid of amplifiable DNA. PMID:18955696

  11. Yellowstone grizzly bear investigations: Annual report of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Haroldson, Mark A.

    2001-01-01

    The contents of this Annual Report summarize results of monitoring and research from the 2001 field season. The report also contains a summary of nuisance grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) management actions.

  12. Yellowstone grizzly bear investigations: Annual report of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Haroldson, Mark A.; West, Karrie K.

    2005-01-01

    The contents of this Annual Report summarize results of monitoring and research from the 2004 field season. The report also contains a summary of nuisance grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) management actions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Habitat use and behavior of grizzly bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers habitat use and behavior of grizzly bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Habitat use and behavior of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) wer2...

  17. Brown bear sperm double freezing: Effect of elapsed time and use of PureSperm(®) gradient between freeze-thaw cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Rodríguez, Manuel; Alvarez, Mercedes; López-Urueña, Elena; Martínez-Rodriguez, Carmen; Borragan, Santiago; Anel-López, Luis; de Paz, Paulino; Anel, Luis

    2013-12-01

    The use of sexed spermatozoa has great potential to captive population management in endangered wildlife. The problem is that the sex-sorting facility is a long distance from the semen collection place and to overcome this difficulty two freeze-thaw cycles may be necessary. In this study, effects of refreezing on brown bear electroejaculated spermatozoa were analyzed. We carried out two experiments: (1) to assess the effects of the two freezing-thawing cycles on sperm quality and to analyze three different elapsed times between freezing-thawing cycles (30, 90 and 180 min), and (2) to analyze the use of PureSperm between freezing-thawing cycles to select a more motile and viable sperm subpopulation which better survived first freezing. The motility, viability and undamaged acrosomes were significantly reduced after the second thawing respect to first thawing into each elapsed time group, but the elapsed times did not significantly affect the viability and acrosome status although motility was damaged. Our results with the PureSperm gradient showed higher values of viability in freezability of select sample (pellet) respect to the rest of the groups and it also showed a significant decrease in the number of acrosome damaged. In summary, the double freezing of bear semen selected by gradient centrifugation is qualitatively efficient, and thus could be useful to carry out a sex-sorting of frozen-thawed bear spermatozoa before to send the cryopreserved sample to a biobank. Given the low recovery of spermatozoa after applying a selection gradient, further studies will be needed to increase the recovery rate without damaging of the cell quality. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. No need to replace an “anomalous” primate (Primates with an “anomalous” bear (Carnivora, Ursidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliécer Gutiérrez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available By means of mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequencing of putative “yeti”, “bigfoot”, and other “anomalous primate” hair samples, a recent study concluded that two samples, presented as from the Himalayas, do not belong to an “anomalous primate”, but to an unknown, anomalous type of ursid. That is, that they match 12S rRNA sequences of a fossil Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus, but neither of modern Polar Bears, nor of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos, the closest relative of Polar Bears, and one that occurs today in the Himalayas. We have undertaken direct comparison of sequences; replication of the original comparative study; inference of phylogenetic relationships of the two samples with respect to those from all extant species of Ursidae (except for the Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca and two extinct Pleistocene species; and application of a non-tree-based population aggregation approach for species diagnosis and identification. Our results demonstrate that the very short fragment of the 12S rRNA gene sequenced by Sykes et al. is not sufficiently informative to support the hypotheses provided by these authors with respect to the taxonomic identity of the individuals from which these sequences were obtained. We have concluded that there is no reason to believe that the two samples came from anything other than Brown Bears. These analyses afforded an opportunity to test the monophyly of morphologically defined species and to comment on both their phylogenetic relationships and future efforts necessary to advance our understanding of ursid systematics.

  20. No need to replace an “anomalous” primate (Primates) with an “anomalous” bear (Carnivora, Ursidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Eliécer E.; Pine, Ronald H.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract By means of mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequencing of putative “yeti”, “bigfoot”, and other “anomalous primate” hair samples, a recent study concluded that two samples, presented as from the Himalayas, do not belong to an “anomalous primate”, but to an unknown, anomalous type of ursid. That is, that they match 12S rRNA sequences of a fossil Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), but neither of modern Polar Bears, nor of Brown Bears (Ursus arctos), the closest relative of Polar Bears, and one that occurs today in the Himalayas. We have undertaken direct comparison of sequences; replication of the original comparative study; inference of phylogenetic relationships of the two samples with respect to those from all extant species of Ursidae (except for the Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and two extinct Pleistocene species; and application of a non-tree-based population aggregation approach for species diagnosis and identification. Our results demonstrate that the very short fragment of the 12S rRNA gene sequenced by Sykes et al. is not sufficiently informative to support the hypotheses provided by these authors with respect to the taxonomic identity of the individuals from which these sequences were obtained. We have concluded that there is no reason to believe that the two samples came from anything other than Brown Bears. These analyses afforded an opportunity to test the monophyly of morphologically defined species and to comment on both their phylogenetic relationships and future efforts necessary to advance our understanding of ursid systematics. PMID:25829853

  1. 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.

  2. Temporal effects of hunting on foraging behavior of an apex predator: Do bears forego foraging when risk is high?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertel, Anne G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Mysterud, Atle; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E

    2016-12-01

    Avoiding predators most often entails a food cost. For the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos), the hunting season coincides with the period of hyperphagia. Hunting mortality risk is not uniformly distributed throughout the day, but peaks in the early morning hours. As bears must increase mass for winter survival, they should be sensitive to temporal allocation of antipredator responses to periods of highest risk. We expected bears to reduce foraging activity at the expense of food intake in the morning hours when risk was high, but not in the afternoon, when risk was low. We used fine-scale GPS-derived activity patterns during the 2 weeks before and after the onset of the annual bear hunting season. At locations of probable foraging, we assessed abundance and sugar content, of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), the most important autumn food resource for bears in this area. Bears decreased their foraging activity in the morning hours of the hunting season. Likewise, they foraged less efficiently and on poorer quality berries in the morning. Neither of our foraging measures were affected by hunting in the afternoon foraging bout, indicating that bears did not allocate antipredator behavior to times of comparably lower risk. Bears effectively responded to variation in risk on the scale of hours. This entailed a measurable foraging cost. The additive effect of reduced foraging activity, reduced forage intake, and lower quality food may result in poorer body condition upon den entry and may ultimately reduce reproductive success.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2004-01-01

    ... (Ursus arctos horribilis Ord, 1815) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We developed a method to estimate the amount of cutthroat trout ingested by grizzly bears living in the Yellowstone Lake area...

  4. Demography and genetic structure of a recovering grizzly bear population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, K.C.; Stetz, J.B.; Boulanger, J.; Macleod, A.C.; Paetkau, David; White, Gary C.

    2009-01-01

    Grizzly bears (brown bears; Ursus arctos) are imperiled in the southern extent of their range worldwide. The threatened population in northwestern Montana, USA, has been managed for recovery since 1975; yet, no rigorous data were available to monitor program success. We used data from a large noninvasive genetic sampling effort conducted in 2004 and 33 years of physical captures to assess abundance, distribution, and genetic health of this population. We combined data from our 3 sampling methods (hair trap, bear rub, and physical capture) to construct individual bear encounter histories for use in Huggins-Pledger closed mark-recapture models. Our population estimate, N?? = 765 (95% CI = 715-831) was more than double the existing estimate derived from sightings of females with young. Based on our results, the estimated known, human-caused mortality rate in 2004 was 4.6% (95% CI = 4.2-4.9%), slightly above the 4% considered sustainable; however, the high proportion of female mortalities raises concern. We used location data from telemetry, confirmed sightings, and genetic sampling to estimate occupied habitat. We found that grizzly bears occupied 33,480 km2 in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) during 1994-2007, including 10,340 km beyond the Recovery Zone. We used factorial correspondence analysis to identify potential barriers to gene flow within this population. Our results suggested that genetic interchange recently increased in areas with low gene flow in the past; however, we also detected evidence of incipient fragmentation across the major transportation corridor in this ecosystem. Our results suggest that the NCDE population is faring better than previously thought, and they highlight the need for a more rigorous monitoring program.

  5. Commentary: Curbing the Nuisance Bear's Garbage Appetite

    OpenAIRE

    Barce, George W.

    2017-01-01

    Since the early 1900S, the human population in the United States has more than tripled. Likewise, human interactions with wildlife have also increased exponentially (Conover 1995). Within the range of the American black bear (Ursus americanus), wildlife officials and land managers are often called upon to deal with nuisance bears. The Fall 2008 issue of Human–Wildlife Conflicts (now Human– Wildlife Interactions, ) contained several insightful manuscripts regarding the management of nuisance b...

  6. 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.

  7. 77 FR 23432 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-19

    ...; Special Rule for the Polar Bear AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... that are necessary 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...

  8. 78 FR 17708 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Supplement to the Grizzly Bear...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-22

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

  9. Limitations of GIS and remote sensing for considering spatial and temporal change in studies of habitat use by polar bears

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To investigate the feasibility of using satellite-based remote sensing to study habitat use of polar bears {Ursus aritimus), we compared distributions of satellite...

  10. Improving inference for aerial surveys of bears: The importance of assumptions and the cost of unnecessary complexity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schmidt, Joshua H; Wilson, Tammy L; Thompson, William L; Reynolds, Joel H

    2017-01-01

    ... is critical to appropriate inference. When the underlying assumptions of sampling approaches are violated, both increased bias and reduced precision of the population estimator may result. Bear ( Ursus spp...

  11. An Interglacial Polar Bear and an Early Weichselian Glaciation at Poolepynten, Western Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingolfsson, O.; Alexanderson, H.

    2012-12-01

    Recent discovery of a subfossil polar bear (Ursus maritimus) jawbone in the Poolepynten coastal cliff sequence, western Svalbard (Ingolfsson & Wiig, 2009), and its implications for the natural history of the polar bear (Lindqvist et al. 2010; Miller et al. 2012), motivated an effort to better constrain the environmental history and age envelope of the Poolepynten sediment sequence, particularly the lithostratigraphy of the coastal cliffs with emphasis on re-dating the sequence using the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating technique. We report a revised lithostratigraphy and nine new OSL ages. It is concluded that the Poolepynten sequence holds evidence of four regional glaciation events, recorded in the strata as erosional unconformities and/or glacial deposits followed by shallow-marine deposition signifying transgressions and subsequent glacio-isostatic rebound and regression. Our OSL ages refine previous age determinations (14C and IRSL) and support the interpretation that the subfossil polar bear jawbone is of last interglacial (Eemian) age (Alexanderson et al. in press). References: Alexanderson, H., Ingolfsson, O., Murray, A.S. & Dudek, J. in press. An Interglacial Polar Bear and an Early Weichselian Glaciation at Poolepynten, Western Svalbard. Boreas 00, 000-000. Ingolfsson, O. & Wiig, O. 2009. Late Pleistocene fossil find in Svalbard: the oldest remains of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1744) ever discovered. Polar Research 28, 455-466. Lindqvist, C., Schuster, S. C., Sun, Y., Talbot, S. L., Qi, J., Ratan, A., Tomsho, L. P., Kasson, L., Zeyl, E., Aars, J., Miller, W., Ingólfsson, Ó., Bachmann, L. & Wiig, Ø. 2010. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 5053-5057. Miller, W., Schuster, S. C., Welch, A. J., Ratan, A., Bedoya-Reina, O. C., Zhao, F., Kim, H. L., Burhans, R.C., Drautz, D.I., Wittekindt, N.E., Tomsho, L.P., Ibarra-Laclette, E

  12. Brown Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... extraction) have also been linked to acquired Brown syndrome. Inflammation of the tendon-trochlea complex (from adult and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and sinusitis) can be ... syndrome hereditary? Hereditary cases of Brown syndrome are rare. ...

  13. Short-term fate of rehabilitated orphan black bears released in New Hampshire

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Wesley E.; Pekins, Peter J.; Timmins, Andrew A.; Kilham, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated the release of rehabilitated, orphan black bears (Ursus americanus) in northern New Hampshire. Eleven bears (9 males, 2 females; 40–45 kg) were outfitted with GPS radio-collars and released during May and June of 2011 and 2012. Bears released in 2011 had higher apparent survival and were not observed or reported in any nuisance behavior, whereas no bears released in 2012 survived, and all were involved in minor nuisance behavior. Analysis of GPS locations indicated that bears in ...

  14. It's a bear market: evolutionary and ecological effects of predation on two wild sockeye salmon populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, J E; Hard, J J; Naish, K A; Peterson, D; Hilborn, R; Hauser, L

    2016-05-01

    Predation can affect both phenotypic variation and population productivity in the wild, but quantifying evolutionary and demographic effects of predation in natural environments is challenging. The aim of this study was to estimate selection differentials and coefficients associated with brown bear (Ursus arctos) predation in wild sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations spawning in pristine habitat that is often subject to intense predation pressure. Using reconstructed genetic pedigrees, individual reproductive success (RS) was estimated in two sockeye salmon populations for two consecutive brood years with very different predation intensities across brood years. Phenotypic data on individual adult body length, body depth, stream entry timing and reproductive lifespan were used to calculate selection coefficients based on RS, and genetic variance components were estimated using animal models. Bears consistently killed larger and more recently arrived adults, although selection differentials were small. In both populations, mean RS was higher in the brood year experiencing lower predation intensity. Selection coefficients were similar across brood years with different levels of predation, often indicating stabilizing selection on reproductive lifespan as well as directional selection for longer reproductive lifespan. Despite these selection pressures, genetic covariation of morphology, phenology and lifespan appears to have maintained variation in spawner body size and stream entry timing in both populations. Our results therefore suggest considerable demographic but limited evolutionary effects of bear predation in the two study populations.

  15. Population substructure and space use of Foxe Basin polar bears

    OpenAIRE

    Sahanatien, Vicki; Peacock, Elizabeth; Derocher, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has been identified as a major driver of habitat change, particularly for sea ice-dependent species such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Population structure and space use of polar bears have been challenging to quantify because of their circumpolar distribution and tendency to range over large areas. Knowledge of movement patterns, home range, and habitat is needed for conservation and management. This is the first study to examine the spatial ecology of polar bears in th...

  16. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Peacock

    Full Text Available We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation

  17. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A; Obbard, Martyn E; Boltunov, Andrei; Regehr, Eric V; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N; Sage, George K; Hope, Andrew G; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T; Amstrup, Steven C; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L

    2015-01-01

    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will allow

  18. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2015-01-01

    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1–3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will

  19. Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailer, Frank; Kutschera, Verena E; Hallström, Björn M; Klassert, Denise; Fain, Steven R; Leonard, Jennifer A; Arnason, Ulfur; Janke, Axel

    2012-04-20

    Recent studies have shown that the polar bear matriline (mitochondrial DNA) evolved from a brown bear lineage since the late Pleistocene, potentially indicating rapid speciation and adaption to arctic conditions. Here, we present a high-resolution data set from multiple independent loci across the nuclear genomes of a broad sample of polar, brown, and black bears. Bayesian coalescent analyses place polar bears outside the brown bear clade and date the divergence much earlier, in the middle Pleistocene, about 600 (338 to 934) thousand years ago. This provides more time for polar bear evolution and confirms previous suggestions that polar bears carry introgressed brown bear mitochondrial DNA due to past hybridization. Our results highlight that multilocus genomic analyses are crucial for an accurate understanding of evolutionary history.

  20. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    OpenAIRE

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon b...

  1. Tree size, growth, and anatomical factors associated with bear damage in young coast redwood

    Science.gov (United States)

    John-Pascal Berrill; David W. Perry; Larry W. Breshears; Garrett E. Gradillas

    2017-01-01

    Precommercial thinning is an important tool for coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D Don) Endl.) forest management but is often followed by black bear (Ursus americanus) damage in northern parts of redwood’s natural range (Fritz 1951; Giusti 1988, 1990; Hosack and Fulgham 1998). The bears scrape off bark and feed on the sugar...

  2. 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...

  3. DNA-based population density estimation of black bear at northern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) microsatellites from hair samples obtained by the non-invasive method of traps was used to estimate the population density of black bears (Ursus americanus eremicus) in a mountain located at the county of Lampazos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The genotyping of bears was ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picton, Harold D.; Kendall, Katherine C.

    1994-01-01

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

  5. Validity of the bear tapeworm Diphyllobothrium ursi (Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidae) based on morphological and molecular markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Muto, Maki; Yamada, Minoru; Arizono, Naoki; Rausch, Robert L

    2012-12-01

    The bear tapeworm Diphyllobothrium ursi is described based upon the morphology of adult tapeworms recovered from the brown bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi) and larval plerocercoids found in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from Kodiak Island in Alaska in 1952. However, in 1987 D. ursi was synonymized with Diphyllobothrium dendriticum, and the taxonomic relationship between both species has not subsequently been revised. In this study mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) sequences of holotype and paratype D. ursi specimens that had been preserved in a formalin-acetic acid-alcohol solution since the time the species was initially described approximately 60 yr ago were analyzed. Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of the cox1 sequences revealed that D. ursi is more closely related to D. dendriticum than it is to Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense and Diphyllobothrium latum. In addition to molecular evidence, differences in the life cycle and ecology of the larval plerocercoids between D. ursi and D. dendriticum also suggest that D. ursi is a distinct species, separate from D. dendriticum and D. nihonkaiense, and also possibly from D. latum .

  6. The use of gelatine in long-term storage (up to 48 hr) at 5°C preserves the pre-freezing and post-thawing quality of brown bear sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Urueña, E; Anel-López, L; Borragan, S; Ortega Ferrusola, C; Manrique, P; de Paz, P; Anel, L; Alvarez, M

    2016-10-01

    Sedimentation of spermatozoa occurs during long-term liquid storage and this may produce deleterious changes. Our aim was to apply gelatine supplementation during long-term pre-freezing storage of bear sperm, applying final dilution and 6% glycerol at room temperature and cool in straws. We tested four models of sperm storage using a 1:1 dilution in TTF-ULE-Bear extender (TesT-fructose-egg yolk-glycerol 6%): (i) second 1:1 dilution at room temperature (RT), cooling at 5°C in a tube and final dilution (100 × 10(6)  sperm ml(-1) ) (Standard); (ii) final dilution at RT and cooling in a tube (FD-Tube); (iii) final dilution at RT and cooling in 0.25 ml plastic straw (FD-Straw); and (iv) final dilution at RT in extender supplemented with 1.5% gelatine (Gelatine) and cooling in a 0.25 ml plastic straw. A Standard sample was stored at 5°C for 1 hr (Control); the rest of the samples (Standard, FD-Tube, FD-Straw, Gelatine) were stored for 24 or 48 hrs before freezing (100 × 10(6)  sperm ml(-1) , glycerol 6%). The quality of the samples was assessed for motility by CASA, and viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide-PI-; VIAB), acrosomal status (PNA-FITC/PI; iACR) and apoptotic status (YO-PRO-1/PI; YOPRO-) by flow cytometry. At pre-freezing, after 48 hr, Gelatine showed significantly higher viability (for VIAB and YOPRO-) and progressiveness (PM, LIN and STR). At 48 hr, Gelatine showed similar YOPRO-, iACR, LIN, STR and ALH respect to Control. At both 24 and 48 h post-thawing, Gelatine sample had similar scores for YOPRO-, iACR, LIN, STR, WOB and VIAB (only 24 hr) when compared with Control, and lower for TM, PM, rapidPM, VAP and ALH. No differences were found among others experimental groups with respect to Control. In conclusion, gelatine could be a suitable alternative to preserve the viability and progressive motility of brown bear ejaculates during long-term pre-freezing storage at 5°C. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Combined use of mark-recapture and genetic analyses reveals response of a black bear population to changes in food productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara S. McCall; Michael S. Mitchell; Michael K. Schwartz; Jim Hayden; Samuel A. Cushman; Pete Zager; Wayne F. Kasworm

    2013-01-01

    We used mark-recapture analysis to investigate the dynamics of a black bear (Ursus americanus) population in northern Idaho where food availability varies seasonally and annually. We conducted noninvasive genetic sampling (NGS) during 2003-2006 in the Purcell Mountains of Idaho to collect black bear DNA samples for individual identification of bears. We used a...

  8. Stable isotopes to detect food-conditioned bears and to evaluate human-bear management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B.; Koch, Paul L.; Schwartz, Charles C.; Ferguson, Jake M.; Greenleaf, Schuyler S.; Kalinowski, Steven T.

    2012-01-01

    We used genetic and stable isotope analysis of hair from free-ranging black bears (Ursus americanus) in Yosemite National Park, California, USA to: 1) identify bears that consume human food, 2) estimate the diets of these bears, and 3) evaluate the Yosemite human–bear management program. Specifically, we analyzed the isotopic composition of hair from bears known a priori to be food-conditioned or non-food-conditioned and used these data to predict whether bears with an unknown management status were food-conditioned (FC) or non-food-conditioned (NFC). We used a stable isotope mixing model to estimate the proportional contribution of natural foods (plants and animals) versus human food in the diets of FC bears. We then used results from both analyses to evaluate proactive (population-level) and reactive (individual-level) human–bear management, and discussed new metrics to evaluate the overall human–bear management program in Yosemite. Our results indicated that 19 out of 145 (13%) unknown bears sampled from 2005 to 2007 were food-conditioned. The proportion of human food in the diets of known FC bears likely declined from 2001–2003 to 2005–2007, suggesting proactive management was successful in reducing the amount of human food available to bears. In contrast, reactive management was not successful in changing the management status of known FC bears to NFC bears, or in reducing the contribution of human food to the diets of FC bears. Nine known FC bears were recaptured on 14 occasions from 2001 to 2007; all bears were classified as FC during subsequent recaptures, and human–bear management did not reduce the amount of human food in the diets of FC bears. Based on our results, we suggest Yosemite continue implementing proactive human–bear management, reevaluate reactive management, and consider removing problem bears (those involved in repeated bear incidents) from the population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  10. The primary structure of the hemoglobin of spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus, Carnivora).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, O; Braunitzer, G

    1987-08-01

    The complete primary structure of the alpha- and beta-chains of the hemoglobin of Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is presented. Following cleavage of the heme-protein link and chain separation by RP-HPLC, their amino-acid sequences were determined by Edman degradation in liquid- and gas-phase sequenators. The hemoglobin of Spectacled Bear displays only five amino-acid exchanges to that of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus, Ursinae) and Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus tibetanus, Ursinae) whereas 8 and 12 replacements, respectively, to Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and Lesser Panda (Ailurus fulgens) can be found. This clearly demonstrates that the Spectacled Bear, the most aberrant bear of the Ursidae, is somewhat intermediate between Pandas and Ursinae.

  11. Polar bear adipose tissue-derived stem cells as an in vitro model for effects of environmental contaminants on adipogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Øygarden, Lene Eidsvik

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is currently listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN red list, mainly due to the predicted decline in sea ice caused by global warming. Polar bears are dependent on sea ice for hunting their main prey, the ringed seal (Phoca hispida). Shrinkage of sea ice can result in energetic challenges and increased mortality rates in polar bear populations, as their access to prey declines and the seasonal fasting period gets prolonged. Also affecting polar bears is th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Craniometric characteristics of polar bear skulls from two periods with contrasting levels of industrial pollution and sea ice extent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pertoldi, C.; Sonne, C.; Dietz, R.

    2009-01-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on six skull traits and seven teeth traits of 282 polar bear Ursus maritimus skulls sampled in East Greenland from 1892 to 2002, the polar bear material originated from two distinct periods: one period covering 1892-1939 and the other from 1961-2002. The first p...

  14. The first record of "spelaeoid" bears in Arctic Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Andrei V.; Weinstock, Jacobo; Baryshnikov, Gennady F.; Davydov, Sergey P.; Boeskorov, Gennady G.; Zazhigin, Vladimir S.; Nikolskiy, Pavel A.

    2011-08-01

    For a long time, "spelaeoid" (cave-bear-like) bears, Ursus ( Spelearctos) spp., were believed to be almost purely European animals. Their geographic range has recently been extended to the east, in southern Siberia, Transbaikalia, Kirghizia, Mongolia and Korea. Two unexpected new findings, presented here in detail, significantly change existing views on the distribution of cave bears; both were found in North-Eastern Siberia, far beyond the Arctic Circle, more than 1500 km to the north-east of the previously accepted range. One of the fossils is a mandible, found near the town of Cherskiy at 68.73°N, 161.38°E. The analysis of local geology and accompanying mammal fossils suggests that it comes from the Olyorian Fauna (Early to early Middle Pleistocene). Morphologically, the Cherskiy mandible is closest to Ursus savini, a small middle Pleistocene cave bear from the British Cromer Forest-bed Formation, but differs in having a slightly more advanced dentition, and thus it is described as a new subspecies Ursus savini nordostensis. Another newly recognized fossil of the "spelaeoid" bear is an astragalus found at the Oskhordokh site at 67.54°N, 135.67°E, on a large gravel bar on the right bank of the Adycha River. This specimen is attributed to Ursus cf . deningeri. The paper also presents an interesting example of the interaction between classical and "molecular" palaeontology. The new finds significantly change existing ideas on the ecology and evolution of cave bears, some of the most remarkable members of the extinct Pleistocene megafauna.

  15. Unmaking Brown

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockette, Tim

    2010-01-01

    America's schools are more segregated now than they were in the late 1960s. More than 50 years after "Brown v. Board of Education," educators need to radically rethink the meaning of "school choice." For decades at Wake County, buses would pick up public school students in largely minority communities along the Raleigh…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-07-01

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

  17. Multiple estimates of effective population size for monitoring a long-lived vertebrate: An application to Yellowstone grizzly bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamath, Pauline L.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Luikart, Gordon; Paetkau, David; Whitman, Craig L.; van Manen, Frank T.

    2015-01-01

    Effective population size (Ne) is a key parameter for monitoring the genetic health of threatened populations because it reflects a population's evolutionary potential and risk of extinction due to genetic stochasticity. However, its application to wildlife monitoring has been limited because it is difficult to measure in natural populations. The isolated and well-studied population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem provides a rare opportunity to examine the usefulness of different Ne estimators for monitoring. We genotyped 729 Yellowstone grizzly bears using 20 microsatellites and applied three single-sample estimators to examine contemporary trends in generation interval (GI), effective number of breeders (Nb) and Ne during 1982–2007. We also used multisample methods to estimate variance (NeV) and inbreeding Ne (NeI). Single-sample estimates revealed positive trajectories, with over a fourfold increase in Ne (≈100 to 450) and near doubling of the GI (≈8 to 14) from the 1980s to 2000s. NeV (240–319) and NeI (256) were comparable with the harmonic mean single-sample Ne (213) over the time period. Reanalysing historical data, we found NeV increased from ≈80 in the 1910s–1960s to ≈280 in the contemporary population. The estimated ratio of effective to total census size (Ne/Nc) was stable and high (0.42–0.66) compared to previous brown bear studies. These results support independent demographic evidence for Yellowstone grizzly bear population growth since the 1980s. They further demonstrate how genetic monitoring of Ne can complement demographic-based monitoring of Nc and vital rates, providing a valuable tool for wildlife managers.

  18. Multiple estimates of effective population size for monitoring a long-lived vertebrate: an application to Yellowstone grizzly bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamath, Pauline L; Haroldson, Mark A; Luikart, Gordon; Paetkau, David; Whitman, Craig; van Manen, Frank T

    2015-11-01

    Effective population size (N(e)) is a key parameter for monitoring the genetic health of threatened populations because it reflects a population's evolutionary potential and risk of extinction due to genetic stochasticity. However, its application to wildlife monitoring has been limited because it is difficult to measure in natural populations. The isolated and well-studied population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem provides a rare opportunity to examine the usefulness of different N(e) estimators for monitoring. We genotyped 729 Yellowstone grizzly bears using 20 microsatellites and applied three single-sample estimators to examine contemporary trends in generation interval (GI), effective number of breeders (N(b)) and N(e) during 1982-2007. We also used multisample methods to estimate variance (N(eV)) and inbreeding N(e) (N(eI)). Single-sample estimates revealed positive trajectories, with over a fourfold increase in N(e) (≈100 to 450) and near doubling of the GI (≈8 to 14) from the 1980s to 2000s. N(eV) (240-319) and N(eI) (256) were comparable with the harmonic mean single-sample N(e) (213) over the time period. Reanalysing historical data, we found N(eV) increased from ≈80 in the 1910s-1960s to ≈280 in the contemporary population. The estimated ratio of effective to total census size (N(e) /N(c)) was stable and high (0.42-0.66) compared to previous brown bear studies. These results support independent demographic evidence for Yellowstone grizzly bear population growth since the 1980s. They further demonstrate how genetic monitoring of N(e) can complement demographic-based monitoring of N(c) and vital rates, providing a valuable tool for wildlife managers. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. DNA-based population density estimation of black bear at northern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    UANL

    del Carmen, Coahuila. Informe final del proyecto Q006. Fac. de. Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. Onorato DP, Hellgren EC, Van D, Busshie RA, Doan-Crider DL (2004). Phylogeographic patterns within a metapopulation of black bears. (Ursus americanus) in the American southwest. J. Mammal.

  20. Black bear population and connectivity in the Sky Islands of Mexico and the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    N. E. Lara-Diaz; C. A. Lopez-Gonzalez; H. Coronel-Arellano; A. Gonzalez-Bernal

    2013-01-01

    The Sky Island region is a mountainous region surrounded by grasslands, deserts and intermountain valleys, located between Mexico and the United States. However, different land management and human impact can have an effect on its wildlife populations. Currently, the border wall poses an immediate threat to the survival of black bears (Ursus americanus), considered an...

  1. 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...

  2. Low regional diversity of late cave bears mitochondrial DNA at the time of Chauvet Aurignacian paintings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bon, Celine; Berthonaud, Veronique; Fosse, Philippe; Gely, Bernard; Maksud, Frederic; Vitalis, Renaud; Philippe, Michel; van der Plicht, Johannes; Elalouf, Jean-Marc

    The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc and Deux-Ouvertures caves, located along the Ardeche River (France), contain abundant remains of the extinct cave bear (Ursus spelaeus). Because they also display a variety of Palaeolithic anthropogenic evidences, such as the earliest charcoal drawings recorded to date

  3. Estimating Baseline Population Parameters of Urban and Wildland Black Bear Populations Using a DNA-Based Capture -Mark-Recapture Approach in Mono County, California

    OpenAIRE

    Fusaro, Jonathan L.

    2014-01-01

    Prior to European settlement, black bear (Ursus americanus) were far less abundant in the state of California. Estimates from statewide harvest data indicate the California black bear population has tripled in the last 3 decades. Bears inhabit areas they formally never occurred (e.g., urban environments) and populations that were at historically low densities are now at high densities. Though harvest data are useful and widely used as an index for black bear population size and population dem...

  4. Perspectives on grizzly bear management in Banff National Park and the Bow River Watershed, Alberta: A Q methodology study

    OpenAIRE

    Chamberlain, Emily Carter

    2006-01-01

    Conserving populations of large carnivores such as grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) requires not only biophysical research, but also an understanding of the values and beliefs of the people involved with and affected by carnivore management. I used Q methodology to examine views of stakeholders concerning grizzly bear management in the Banff-Bow Valley region of Alberta, Canada. In recent years, decision-making about bears in this region has been characterized by acrimonious disputes over scienti...

  5. Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management

    OpenAIRE

    Kyle A. Artelle; Anderson, Sean C.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; John D Reynolds; Darimont, Chris T.

    2013-01-01

    Scientific management of wildlife requires confronting the complexities of natural and social systems. Uncertainty poses a central problem. Whereas the importance of considering uncertainty has been widely discussed, studies of the effects of unaddressed uncertainty on real management systems have been rare. We examined the effects of outcome uncertainty and components of biological uncertainty on hunt management performance, illustrated with grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in British...

  6. Hibernating bears as a model for preventing disuse osteoporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Seth W; McGee, Meghan E; Harvey, Kristin B; Vaughan, Michael R; Robbins, Charles T

    2006-01-01

    The hibernating bear is an excellent model for disuse osteoporosis in humans because it is a naturally occurring large animal model. Furthermore, bears and humans have similar lower limb skeletal morphology, and bears walk plantigrade like humans. Black bears (Ursus americanus) may not develop disuse osteoporosis during long periods of disuse (i.e. hibernation) because they maintain osteoblastic bone formation during hibernation. As a consequence, bone volume, mineral content, porosity, and strength are not adversely affected by annual periods of disuse. In fact, cortical bone bending strength has been shown to increase with age in hibernating black bears without a significant change in porosity. Other animals require remobilization periods 2-3 times longer than the immobilization period to recover the bone lost during disuse. Our findings support the hypothesis that black bears, which hibernate for as long as 5-7 months annually, have evolved biological mechanisms to mitigate the adverse effects of disuse on bone porosity and strength.

  7. Analysis of complete mitochondrial genome sequences increases phylogenetic resolution of bears (Ursidae, a mammalian family that experienced rapid speciation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryder Oliver A

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the small number of ursid species, bear phylogeny has long been a focus of study due to their conservation value, as all bear genera have been classified as endangered at either the species or subspecies level. The Ursidae family represents a typical example of rapid evolutionary radiation. Previous analyses with a single mitochondrial (mt gene or a small number of mt genes either provide weak support or a large unresolved polytomy for ursids. We revisit the contentious relationships within Ursidae by analyzing complete mt genome sequences and evaluating the performance of both entire mt genomes and constituent mtDNA genes in recovering a phylogeny of extremely recent speciation events. Results This mitochondrial genome-based phylogeny provides strong evidence that the spectacled bear diverged first, while within the genus Ursus, the sloth bear is the sister taxon of all the other five ursines. The latter group is divided into the brown bear/polar bear and the two black bears/sun bear assemblages. These findings resolve the previous conflicts between trees using partial mt genes. The ability of different categories of mt protein coding genes to recover the correct phylogeny is concordant with previous analyses for taxa with deep divergence times. This study provides a robust Ursidae phylogenetic framework for future validation by additional independent evidence, and also has significant implications for assisting in the resolution of other similarly difficult phylogenetic investigations. Conclusion Identification of base composition bias and utilization of the combined data of whole mitochondrial genome sequences has allowed recovery of a strongly supported phylogeny that is upheld when using multiple alternative outgroups for the Ursidae, a mammalian family that underwent a rapid radiation since the mid- to late Pliocene. It remains to be seen if the reliability of mt genome analysis will hold up in studies of other

  8. Brown recluse spider (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The brown recluse is a venomous spider most commonly found in midwestern and southern states of the United States. It ... inch overall and has long skinny legs. The brown recluse is brown with a characteristic dark violin-shaped ...

  9. The effect of body size evolution and ecology on encephalization in cave bears and extant relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veitschegger, Kristof

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of larger brain volumes relative to body size in Mammalia is the subject of an extensive amount of research. Early on palaeontologists were interested in the brain of cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, and described its morphology and size. However, until now, it was not possible to compare the absolute or relative brain size in a phylogenetic context due to the lack of an established phylogeny, comparative material, and phylogenetic comparative methods. In recent years, many tools for comparing traits within phylogenies were developed and the phylogenetic position of cave bears was resolved based on nuclear as well as mtDNA. Cave bears exhibit significantly lower encephalization compared to their contemporary relatives and intraspecific brain mass variation remained rather small. Encephalization was correlated with the combined dormancy-diet score. Body size evolution was a main driver in the degree of encephalization in cave bears as it increased in a much higher pace than brain size. In Ursus spelaeus, brain and body size increase over time albeit differently paced. This rate pattern is different in the highest encephalized bear species within the dataset, Ursus malayanus. The brain size in this species increased while body size heavily decreased compared to its ancestral stage. Early on in the evolution of cave bears encephalization decreased making it one of the least encephalized bear species compared to extant and extinct members of Ursidae. The results give reason to suspect that as herbivorous animals, cave bears might have exhibited a physiological buffer strategy to survive the strong seasonality of their environment. Thus, brain size was probably affected by the negative trade-off with adipose tissue as well as diet. The decrease of relative brain size in the herbivorous Ursus spelaeus is the result of a considerable increase in body size possibly in combination with environmental conditions forcing them to rest during winters.

  10. Movements of Yellowstone grizzly bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, Bonnie M.; Knight, Richard R.

    1991-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. An examination of the genetic control of Douglas-fir vascular tissue phytochemicals: implications for black bear foraging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Kimball; G.R. Johnson; Dale L. Nolte; Doreen L. Griffin

    1999-01-01

    Silvicultural practices can influence black bear (Ursus americanus) foraging preferences for Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) cambial-zone vascular tissues, but little is known about the role of genetics. To study the impact of genetic selection, vascular tissue samples were collected from Douglas-fir trees in six half-sib families from five...

  14. Determining causes of genetic isolation in a large carnivore (Ursus americanus population to direct contemporary conservation measures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Pelletier

    Full Text Available The processes leading to genetic isolation influence a population's local extinction risk, and should thus be identified before conservation actions are implemented. Natural or human-induced circumstances can result in historical or contemporary barriers to gene flow and/or demographic bottlenecks. Distinguishing between these hypotheses can be achieved by comparing genetic diversity and differentiation in isolated vs. continuous neighboring populations. In Ontario, American black bears (Ursus americanus are continuously distributed, genetically diverse, and exhibit an isolation-by-distance structuring pattern, except on the Bruce Peninsula (BP. To identify the processes that led to the genetic isolation of BP black bears, we modelled various levels of historical and contemporary migration and population size reductions using forward simulations. We compared simulation results with empirical genetic indices from Ontario black bear populations under different levels of geographic isolation, and conducted additional simulations to determine if translocations could help achieve genetic restoration. From a genetic standpoint, conservation concerns for BP black bears are warranted because our results show that: i a recent demographic bottleneck associated with recently reduced migration best explains the low genetic diversity on the BP; and ii under sustained isolation, BP black bears could lose between 70% and 80% of their rare alleles within 100 years. Although restoring migration corridors would be the most effective method to enhance long-term genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding, it is unrealistic to expect connectivity to be re-established. Current levels of genetic diversity could be maintained by successfully translocating 10 bears onto the peninsula every 5 years. Such regular translocations may be more practical than landscape restoration, because areas connecting the peninsula to nearby mainland black bear populations have been

  15. Comment on "Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagome, Shigeki; Mano, Shuhei; Hasegawa, Masami

    2013-03-29

    Based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, Hailer et al. (Reports, 20 April 2012, p. 344) suggested early divergence of polar bears from a common ancestor with brown bears and subsequent introgression. Our population genetic analysis that traces each of the genealogies in the independent nuclear loci does not support the evolutionary model proposed by the authors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Journal bearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, John R.; Boeker, Gilbert F.

    1976-05-11

    1. An improved journal bearing comprising in combination a non-rotatable cylindrical bearing member having a first bearing surface, a rotatable cylindrical bearing member having a confronting second bearing surface having a plurality of bearing elements, a source of lubricant adjacent said bearing elements for supplying lubricant thereto, each bearing element consisting of a pair of elongated relatively shallowly depressed surfaces lying in a cylindrical surface co-axial with the non-depressed surface and diverging from one another in the direction of rotation and obliquely arranged with respect to the axis of rotation of said rotatable member to cause a flow of lubricant longitudinally along said depressed surfaces from their distal ends toward their proximal ends as said bearing members are rotated relative to one another, each depressed surface subtending a radial angle of less than 360.degree., and means for rotating said rotatable bearing member to cause the lubricant to flow across and along said depressed surfaces, the flow of lubricant being impeded by the non-depressed portions of said second bearing surface to cause an increase in the lubricant pressure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  20. What to eat now? Shifts in polar bear diet during the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay

    OpenAIRE

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-01-01

    Under current climate trends, spring ice breakup in Hudson Bay is advancing rapidly, leaving polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less time to hunt seals during the spring when they accumulate the majority of their annual fat reserves. For this reason, foods that polar bears consume during the ice-free season may become increasingly important in alleviating nutritional stress from lost seal hunting opportunities. Defining how the terrestrial diet might have changed since the onset of rapid climate c...

  1. Brown Recluse Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 6.4-19.1mm) • Color: Golden brown • A dark violin/fiddle shape (see top photo) is located ... Habitat The Brown Recluse Spider builds small retreat webs behind objects of any type. Symptoms • The severity ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Validation of mercury tip-switch and accelerometer activity sensors for identifying resting and active behavior in bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasmine Ware,; Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey; Charles T Robbins,; Joy Erlenbach,; Shannon Jensen,; Amy Cutting,; Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey,; Amy Hash,; Owen, Megan A.; Heiko Jansen,

    2015-01-01

    Activity sensors are often included in wildlife transmitters and can provide information on the behavior and activity patterns of animals remotely. However, interpreting activity-sensor data relative to animal behavior can be difficult if animals cannot be continuously observed. In this study, we examined the performance of a mercury tip-switch and a tri-axial accelerometer housed in collars to determine whether sensor data can be accurately classified as resting and active behaviors and whether data are comparable for the 2 sensor types. Five captive bears (3 polar [Ursus maritimus] and 2 brown [U. arctos horribilis]) were fitted with a collar specially designed to internally house the sensors. The bears’ behaviors were recorded, classified, and then compared with sensor readings. A separate tri-axial accelerometer that sampled continuously at a higher frequency and provided raw acceleration values from 3 axes was also mounted on the collar to compare with the lower resolution sensors. Both accelerometers more accurately identified resting and active behaviors at time intervals ranging from 1 minute to 1 hour (≥91.1% accuracy) compared with the mercury tip-switch (range = 75.5–86.3%). However, mercury tip-switch accuracy improved when sampled at longer intervals (e.g., 30–60 min). Data from the lower resolution accelerometer, but not the mercury tip-switch, accurately predicted the percentage of time spent resting during an hour. Although the number of bears available for this study was small, our results suggest that these activity sensors can remotely identify resting versus active behaviors across most time intervals. We recommend that investigators consider both study objectives and the variation in accuracy of classifying resting and active behaviors reported here when determining sampling interval.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Climate change and the increasing impact of polar bears on bird populations

    OpenAIRE

    Jouke eProp; Jon eAars; Bård-Jørgen eBårdsen; Sveinn Are eHanssen; Claus eBech; Sophie eBourgeon; Jimmy ede Fouw; Geir Wing eGabrielsen; Johannes eLang; Johannes eLang; Elin eNoreen; Thomas eOudman; Benoit eSittler; Benoit eSittler; Lech eStempniewicz

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is becoming warmer at a high rate, and contractions in the extent of sea ice are currently changing the habitats of marine top-predators dependent on ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice for hunting seals. For these top-predators, longer ice-free seasons are hypothesized to force the bears to hunt for alternative terrestrial food, such as eggs from colonial breeding birds. We analyzed time-series of polar bear observations at four locations on Spitsbergen (Svalbard)...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecily M Costello

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. [Human brown adipose tissue].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virtanen, Kirsi A; Nuutila, Pirjo

    2015-01-01

    Adult humans have heat-producing and energy-consuming brown adipose tissue in the clavicular region of the neck. There are two types of brown adipose cells, the so-called classic and beige adipose cells. Brown adipose cells produce heat by means of uncoupler protein 1 (UCP1) from fatty acids and sugar. By applying positron emission tomography (PET) measuring the utilization of sugar, the metabolism of brown fat has been shown to multiply in the cold, presumably influencing energy consumption. Active brown fat is most likely present in young adults, persons of normal weight and women, least likely in obese persons.

  10. Grizzly bear density in Glacier National Park, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. 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

    ), 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.......04) and SigmaCHL (p DDT (p

  12. PCBs and chlorinated pesticides in adult male Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Persistent organochlorines (OC) contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) congeners, Dichlorophenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites including...

  13. 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...

  14. Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears

    OpenAIRE

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.; Stern, Harry L.

    2017-01-01

    Summary The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans. We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes density‐dependent relationships linking vital rates to environmental carrying capacity (K). Using this model, we develop a state‐dependent management ...

  15. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroldson, Mark A.; Gunther, Kerry

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Implications of rapid environmental change for polar bear behavior and sociality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.

    2017-01-01

    Historically, the Arctic sea ice has functioned as a structural barrier that has limited the nature and extent of interactions between humans and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). However, declining sea ice extent, brought about by global climate change, is increasing the potential for human-polar bear interactions. Loss of sea ice habitat is driving changes to both human and polar bear behavior—it is facilitating increases in human activities (e.g., offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction, trans-Arctic shipping, recreation), while also causing the displacement of bears from preferred foraging habitat (i.e., sea ice over biologically productive shallow) to land in some portions of their range. The end result of these changes is that polar bears are spending greater amounts of time in close proximity to people. Coexistence between humans and polar bears will require imposing mechanisms to manage further development, as well as mitigation strategies that reduce the burden to local communities.

  19. 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.

  20. Brown recluse spider envenomation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furbee, R Brent; Kao, Louise W; Ibrahim, Danyal

    2006-03-01

    Brown recluse spider bite is a common diagnosis in almost every