Influence of Campsites on Black Bear Habitat Use and Potential Impact on Caribou Restoration

Authors

  • William C. Pitt,

    1. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.
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    • 2

      Current address: Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5210, U.S.A.

  • Peter A. Jordan

    1. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Ursus americanus(black bear) predation could limit the success of the proposed restoration of Rangifer tarandus (woodland caribou) to Minnesota. The problem was recently identified as a major factor in the failure of a similar restoration effort in Maine. During the summer of 1991 we conducted a survey in the region of the proposed restoration, using bait stations to identify bear presence. Four settings were sampled: islands with campsites, islands without campsites, mainland areas with campsites, and mainland areas without campsites. Results from the survey suggest that black bears use areas with campsites more than those without. Whereas caribou may use islands preferentially for calving to escape predation, islands with campsites may be unfavorable for caribou calf survival due to frequent bear visitation.

Ancillary