Brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Scandinavia spend 5–7 winter months in dens. The denning period is a vulnerable time for bears because they are unable to escape from disturbances without losing valuable amounts of energy. Bears normally avoid human infrastructure when denning, but due to an expanding bear population some bears den relatively close to humans. We tested the hypothesis that bears denning closer to infrastructure selected more concealed den sites, as they do when selecting resting sites in the non-denning season. We analyzed horizontal cover and terrain ruggedness relative to distance from human infrastructure for 49 dens from 32 individuals differing in sex, age, and reproductive status. Bears used dens that were more concealed or located in more rugged terrain when closer to roads and settlements that had potential for high human activity. Our results suggest that human activity affects not only where bears den, but also the smaller-scale characteristics of den sites: cover and terrain. Increased knowledge about anthropogenic effects on bear denning behavior can add to a broader understanding of brown bear habitat use.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 22 • No. 2