Effects of food distribution on the habitat usage of a female brown bear Ursus arctos yesoensis in a beech-forest zone of northernmost Japan
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The habitat usage of a female brown bear, Ursus arctos yesoensis L., was studied in relation to the distribution of food plants in a beech-forest zone of Hokkaido, Japan. The bear’s habitat usage was correlated with the distribution of the plant Angelica ursina (Rupt.) Maxim. in summer. In spring the bear preferred Petasites japonicus (Sieb. et Zucc.) Maxim. and Heracleum dulce Fisch., whose abundance did not differ significantly between Sasa–beech forests and coniferous forests. However, the bear spent more time in coniferous forests where its den site was located. In autumn, this bear preferred the plant Actinidia arguta (Sieb. et Zucc.) Planch. ex Mig., which was abundant in maple–linden forests, however, the bear’s habitat usage was not correlated with the distribution of A. arguta because it frequently returned to an overlapping area where A. arguta was scarce. Thus, the bear’s habitat usage depended on food distribution as well as on the location of the den site and the behavioral core area.
Key wordsbeech forest brown bear food habits habitat usage home range Ursus arctos yesoensis.
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