Application of a remote video camera for wildlife study: Implication of Hibernation on Daily Salmon Consumption Rates of Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) Located in Brooks Falls, Alaska
Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in Alaska are known to hibernate annually, with length and quality of hibernation being driven by food availability and energy stores. Salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are a major component of grizzly bears’ diet and therefore, the amount of salmon consumed indicates grizzly bear health and fat storage. The rate of salmon consumption by grizzly bears is known to be high from June to August, but there is less focus on consumption in the months leading up to hibernation (October and November). We tested the hypothesis that when grizzly bears near hibernation, an enhanced salmon consumption rate would be observed in an attempt to accumulate final fat stores. We compared the daily salmon consumption rates in the present study to consumption rates from summer months in previous literature. A remote live camera was utilized to observe grizzly bear feeding activity and obtain an approximation of the daily salmon consumption rate. In comparison to the average consumption rate in the summer from previous literature (30 salmon/day), a significantly lower rate was obtained for the pre-hibernation period. Findings from the present study indicate that impending hibernation drastically reduced the Alaskan grizzly bear’s daily salmon consumption rate.