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Physiological evidence for a human-induced landscape of fear in brown bears (Ursus arctos)
Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway; Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway; Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Riddarhyttan, Sweden.
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Hedmark University College, Campus Evenstad, Elverum, Norway.
Medtronic Inc., Mounds View MN, USA; Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN, USA.
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2015 (English)In: Physiology and Behavior, ISSN 0031-9384, E-ISSN 1873-507X, Vol. 152, no A, p. 244-248Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

Human persecution is a major cause of mortality for large carnivores. Consequently, large carnivores avoid humans, but may use human-dominated landscapes by being nocturnal and elusive. Behavioral studies indicate that certain ecological systems are "landscapes of fear", driven by antipredator behavior. Because behavior and physiology are closely interrelated, physiological assessments may provide insight into the behavioral response of large carnivores to human activity. To elucidate changes in brown bears' (Ursus arctos) behavior associated with human activity, we evaluated stress as changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in 12 GPS-collared, free-ranging bears, 7 males and 5 females, 3-11 years old, using cardiac-monitoring devices. We applied generalized linear regression models with HR and HRV as response variables and chest activity, time of day, season, distance traveled, and distance to human settlements from GPS positions recorded every 30 mm as potential explanatory variables. Bears exhibited lower HRV, an indication of stress, when they were close to human settlements and especially during the berry season, when humans were more often in the forest, picking berries and hunting. Our findings provide evidence of a human-induced landscape of fear in this hunted population of brown bears. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 152, no A, p. 244-248
Keywords [en]
Brown bear, Ursus arctos, Heart rate, Heart rate variability, Human disturbance, Wildlife
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-47694DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.09.030ISI: 000366953600032PubMedID: 26476156Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84944220840OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-47694DiVA, id: diva2:896022
Note

Funding Agencies:

Norwegian Environment Agency

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Research Council of Norway

Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management

Center for Advanced Study in Oslo, Norway

Polish-Norwegian Research Program POL-NOR/198352/85/2013

Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project 195

Available from: 2016-01-20 Created: 2016-01-20 Last updated: 2018-07-02Bibliographically approved

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Fröbert, Ole

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