Food availability affects the scent marking frequencies of wild brown bears

Clapham, Melanie, Nevin, Owen ORCID logo ORCID: , Ramsey, Andrew D. ORCID logo ORCID: and Rosell, Frank (2013) Food availability affects the scent marking frequencies of wild brown bears. In: 22nd International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) Conference, 15-20 September 2013, Provo, Utah, USA. (Unpublished)

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For many species, chemical signalling is used to signal the competitive ability of individuals and therefore plays an important role in the breeding system. As breeding generally promotes intrasexual competition, the potential fitness costs associated with competitive behaviour may be mitigated if individuals are able to assess their own ability, and the competitive ability of others, prior to agonistic encounters. Due to their hierarchical social structure and large home-range size, bears (Ursidae) are thought to rely highly on olfactory methods of communication. Through camera traps orientated towards bear ‘rub trees’ over a three-year period, we have begun to establish the function of strategic tree selectivity and the social function of marking behaviour for brown bears Ursus arctos in the Glendale drainage, British Columbia. We hypothesised that marking trees function to signal competitive ability between individuals, with dominant individuals signalling their high competitive ability and receivers detecting these cues and modifying their behaviour accordingly. Here, we provide evidence to further these hypotheses by demonstrating how scent marking frequencies vary in relation to food availability.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Research Centres > Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2018 15:13
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 11:47


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