Effects of habitat quality and anthropogenic disturbance on grizzly bear (Ursus Arctos Horribilis) home-range fidelity

A. A. Sorensen, G. B. Stenhouse, M. L. Bourbonnais, Trisalyn Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Rocky Mountain eastern slopes of Alberta, Canada, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis Ord, 1815) live in a landscape heavily impacted by industrial development and human disturbance. We characterized the role of changing habitat quality and new disturbance features on patterns of grizzly bear seasonal home-range fidelity and drift by comparing consecutive-year seasonal home ranges. We relied on the geographic technique “spatial–temporal analysis of moving polygons” (STAMP) to examine changes in habitat quality and new development between zones of home-range fidelity, expansion, and contraction. Areas considered to be high-quality habitat were selected at a greater frequency than available and retained in zones of home-range fidelity, but also vacated during home-range contraction. Areas of decreasing habitat quality were equally present in zones of contraction, expansion, and stability. The proportion of new forest harvest areas and roads developed within the past year did not differ between zones of home-range change, but the proportion of new well sites was higher in contraction zones than in stability zones. Our results showed that while considerable drift occurs, changes in habitat quality and recent anthropogenic disturbances cannot account for annual variation in home ranges, suggesting other important factors influencing behaviour and movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-865
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Volume93
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Forestry cutblocks
  • Grizzly bear
  • Home-range drift
  • Home-range fidelity
  • Human disturbance
  • Landscape change
  • Roads
  • Spatial–temporal analysis of moving polygons
  • STAMP
  • Ursus arctos horribilis
  • Well sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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