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

Authors

  • Lexynn Kwan
  • Rebecka Lee

Abstract

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.

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Published

2021-07-22

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Articles