2008 Volume 33 Issue 3 Pages 99-109
We examined the home range and habitat use of three female brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Urahoro region, eastern Hokkaido, Japan, where crop depredation by bears has increased since 1996. The average annual home range size calculated by the minimum convex polygon method was 43.04 ± 9.52 km2 (mean ± SD, N = 5). Summer (June–September) home ranges were larger than spring (April–May) and fall (October–December) ranges. The home range of brown bears in the region was larger than those in other areas of Hokkaido, such as the Oshima and Shiretoko Peninsulas. This suggests that habitat quality and population density are lower in the Urahoro region than in other areas. One of two bears for which we examined habitat preferences depended on crop fields during the late summer, whereas the other bear remained in the forest throughout the year. Brown bears in this area preferred mixed forest and avoided deciduous broadleaf forest and conifer plantations.
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