Use of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) by Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) in an Arctic, interior, montane environment
Keywords:Alaska, Brown Bear, diet, fishing, mountains, Oncorhynchus spp., salmon, Ursus arctos, Brooks Range
Salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) is a key dietary item for temperate coastal Brown Bears (Ursus arctos) across much of their circumpolar range. Brown Bears living in Arctic, interior, and montane environments without large annual runs of salmon tend to be smaller bodied and occur at much lower densities than coastal populations. We conducted ground and aerial surveys to assess whether Brown Bears fished for salmon above the Arctic Circle, in and around Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Here, we document the use of salmon by interior Brown Bears in the Arctic mountains of the central Brooks Range of Alaska. We believe our findings could be important for understanding the breadth of the species’ diet across major biomes, as well as visitor safety in the park and Brown Bear conservation in the region.
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