Scat analysis as a preliminary assessment of moose (Alces alces andersoni) calf consumption by bears (Ursus spp.) in north–central British Columbia

Rea, R. V.  Ajala–Batista, L.  Aitken, D. A.  Child, K. N.  Thompson, N.  Hodder, D. P. 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2019.42.0369

Abstract

Moose (Alces alces andersoni) population numbers have decreased by 50–70 % in some parts of northern British Columbia (BC), Canada. Predation of moose calves by bears may be affecting moose populations in this area, but has gone undocumented. A total of 1,381 bear scats were collected during the spring and summer of 2014 and 2015. Hairs extracted from the scats were identified to species through hair scale imprints made in thermoplastic film, with the specific purpose of identifying the frequency of occurrence of moose calf hairs in scats. Only 27 scats (~2 %) contained moose calf hair. We discuss possible explanations for our findings.

Key words

Alces alces andersoni, Moose neonate, Diet, Feces, Hair analysis, Predation

Reception date: 30 X 18  |   Acceptation date: 25 VI 19  |   Publication date: 16 X 19

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