Individual variation in predatory behavior, scavenging and seasonal prey availability as potential drivers of coexistence between wolves and bears

Ordiz, A., Milleret, C., Uzal, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6478-1895, Zimmermann, B., Wabakken, P., Wikenros, C., Sand, H., Swenson, J.E. and Kindberg, J., 2020. Individual variation in predatory behavior, scavenging and seasonal prey availability as potential drivers of coexistence between wolves and bears. Diversity and Distributions, 12 (9): 356. ISSN 1366-9516

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Abstract

Several large carnivore populations are recovering former ranges, and it is important to understand interspecific interactions between overlapping species. In Scandinavia, recent research has reported that brown bear presence influences gray wolf habitat selection and kill rates. Here, we characterized the temporal use of a common prey resource by sympatric wolves and bears and described individual and seasonal variation in their direct and/or indirect interactions. Most bear–wolf interactions were indirect, via bear scavenging of wolf kills. Bears used >50% of wolf kills, whereas we did not record any wolf visit at bear kills. Adult and subadult bears visited wolf kills, but female bears with cubs of the year, the most vulnerable age class to conspecifics and other predators, did not. Wolf and bear kill rates peaked in early summer, when both targeted neonate moose calves, which coincided with a reduction in bear scavenging rate. Some bears were highly predatory and some did not kill any calf. Individual and age-class variation (in bear predation and scavenging patterns) and seasonality (in bear scavenging patterns and main prey availability of both wolves and bears) could mediate coexistence of these apex predators. Similar processes likely occur in other ecosystems with varying carnivore assemblages.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Diversity and Distributions
Creators: Ordiz, A., Milleret, C., Uzal, A., Zimmermann, B., Wabakken, P., Wikenros, C., Sand, H., Swenson, J.E. and Kindberg, J.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 15 September 2020
Volume: 12
Number: 9
ISSN: 1366-9516
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3390/d12090356DOI
1367290Other
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Sep 2020 10:56
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2020 14:19
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40749

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