Responses of Plants and Arthropods to Burning and Disking of Riparian Habitats

This is the first study to report kill and predation rates on
moose calves by brown bears outside North America and in an area without other moose predators. We found a predation rate that lies within the range reported in North America. This relatively high kill rate is supported by the results from scat analysis in our study area, which showed that moose calves are an important food resource for bears during late May-June (Opseth 1998). The timing of predation was also similar to that reported in North America (Ballard et al. 1981, Larsen et al. 1989). Brown bears have been reported to prey disproportionately
on smaller ungulate calves in caribou (Rangifer tarandus; Whitten et al. 1992) and elk (Cervus elaphus; Singer et al. 1997). Except for Keech et al. (2000), who reported that calf moose survival was positively related to birth mass where predation by bears and wolves was the major cause of mortality, most studies on calf moose mortality have not reported mass of calves, which is necessary to determine whether lighter calves are killed disproportionately more often than heavier ones. On our study area, birth weight did
not differ statistically between calves that were killed by bears and calves that survived, suggesting that bears did not selectively prey on weaker calves. Also, mortality among control calves and calves marked with only an ear tag in 3 study areas in Sweden without brown bears averaged 10% (N 320) and did not vary among areas (Swenson et al. 1999b).

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