Author Topic: Bears as ungulate preditors  (Read 1307 times)

deerman

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Bears as ungulate preditors
« on: February 15, 2013, 04:00:02 PM »

I was reading a magazine article at noon and it was talking about bears being a big preditor on fawns.  I remember the same kind of article I read some years ago on bears killing moose calves.

Wolves have been getting the finger pointed at them a lot lately but we should be reducing bears a little too if we want to help out our moose and elk populations.

walleyes

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 04:14:27 PM »
I have read a few articles on Bears and their impact on ungulates, surely can't recall any numbers but we all know it happens. I think the big differance is especialy with black bears is they also survive on vegatation. Later in the summers I think the majority of their diet is vegatation. In comparison to wolves or coyotes who's diets are mainly meat.

deerman

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 05:33:59 PM »

The article I just read was about bears and white-tail deer fawns in the eastern states.

In one study they put radio collars on 108 fawns in a forested area and 110 fawns in an agricultural area.  Within 34 weeks half of those fawns were dead.predation accounted for 46% of the deaths.

In the forested region 37% were killed by bears and 32% by coyotes.

It said that bears take a lot of fawns in the first 20 days of their lives, then the bears didn't get any but coyotes and wolves continued to.

I reckon moose calves take a beating from bears.

Moose generally have twins but when flying surveys in the winter very few moose cows have twins with them in the western forested area.  In the east part of Alberta most cow moose have twins with them in the winter.

Tuc

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 07:20:45 AM »
Bears are opportunists, I believe the mortality rate among fawns is caused mainly by yotes and wolves. 37% seems a little high but I'm not about to argue with Science. Just wondering if something else plays into the equation, maybe a high population of bears and a lesser population of yotes and wolves, or few wolves in the area of the study?   

TheCReW

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 07:53:11 AM »
Lots of bears where we are and they are big time fawn predators.  We have seen/heard bears kill fawns 3 times while shed hunting.
Couple more studies - http://wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/resources/mech_pdfs/201wolfandbearpredation.pdf.  In this one wolves and bears kill roughly equal numbers of WT fawns.
And another where 2-5% of the bears diet in the spring was fawns.
I think there are alot of factors, but for sure they are significant predators.  This was the main reason we started hunting bears as there are just too many where we are.

deerman

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 09:50:00 AM »

An interesting side note.  I read of a study of Pike diet from Manitoba.  During a certain time of the year ducklings make up a significant part of their diet.

I worked in a camp along the Athabasca river one summer and we would often see a female goldeneye with a bunch of young in tow.  Seemed each day there was one less.  There were mink in the area and some other predators but we always wondered how many turned into pike shyt.

unclebuck

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 04:57:32 AM »
When I lived in Nipawin, Sask. in the early '80's, Fish & Wildlife biologists were puzzled at the low calf moose survival in the Cumberland Delta northeast of Nipawin.  A two year study revealed that the local black bear population was in the habit of following a pregnant moose cow, and while the cow was giving birth, the bears would be helping themselves to the calf being born.  Needless to say, bear season was opened with a vengeance.  I do not recall what the limit was, but I do recalee it being more than 3!!!  A few years later while reading an outdoor magazine, information indicated that the moose population had come back to quite a degree, however, still not to the point of where the population had been prior to the discovery.

sheepguide

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 08:03:31 AM »
Was always told that bears are the hardest predator on new born moose and elk calves. Wasn't scientific just the old timers that opened the west country talking but from their perspective and experience they had, it was the case.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 08:51:59 AM by sheepguide »
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Tuc

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2013, 08:16:08 AM »
Black bears are omnivores so they will eat just about anything. I never heard of them following pregnant moose around but anything is possible. I think alot of their diet depends on season and location.

SnapShot

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 08:33:33 AM »
Was always told that bears are the hardest predator on new born moose and elk calves. Wasn't scientific just the old times that opened the west country talking but from their perspective from the experience they had it was the case.

This is the same thing i have always been told. I watched a documentary on black bears killing moose fawns in newfoundland sometime ago was a good watch. Actually quiet staggering to me just how many calves black bears where killing in the spring.

AxeMan

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Re: Bears as ungulate preditors
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2013, 11:31:20 AM »
I have always felt that bears are more scavengers than predators.  Perhaps, they get some fawns and calves, maybe more  than I think in some areas.  If we compare them to wolves though, I don't think they are in the same league.  Nature is what it is though, it will balance itself.  I am not a big fan of human intervention, but we are in it so deep now.
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