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      Estimating Grizzly and Black Bear Population Abundance and Trend in Banff National Park Using Noninvasive Genetic Sampling

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          Abstract

          We evaluated the potential of two noninvasive genetic sampling methods, hair traps and bear rub surveys, to estimate population abundance and trend of grizzly ( Ursus arctos) and black bear ( U. americanus) populations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Using Huggins closed population mark-recapture models, we obtained the first precise abundance estimates for grizzly bears (  = 73.5, 95% CI = 64–94 in 2006;  = 50.4, 95% CI = 49–59 in 2008) and black bears (  = 62.6, 95% CI = 51–89 in 2006;  = 81.8, 95% CI = 72–102 in 2008) in the Bow Valley. Hair traps had high detection rates for female grizzlies, and male and female black bears, but extremely low detection rates for male grizzlies. Conversely, bear rubs had high detection rates for male and female grizzlies, but low rates for black bears. We estimated realized population growth rates, lambda, for grizzly bear males (  = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.74–1.17) and females (  = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.67–1.20) using Pradel open population models with three years of bear rub data. Lambda estimates are supported by abundance estimates from combined hair trap/bear rub closed population models and are consistent with a system that is likely driven by high levels of human-caused mortality. Our results suggest that bear rub surveys would provide an efficient and powerful means to inventory and monitor grizzly bear populations in the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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          Most cited references 110

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          Utilization of Capture-Mark-Recapture for the Study of Recruitment and Population Growth Rate

           R Pradel (1996)
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            Some Practical Aspects of a Conditional Likelihood Approach to Capture Experiments

             R Huggins (1991)
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              Modelling the spatial distribution of human-caused grizzly bear mortalities in the Central Rockies ecosystem of Canada

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                2 May 2012
                : 7
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America
                [3 ]Sinopah Wildlife Research Associates, Missoula, Montana, United States of America
                [4 ]Mountain National Parks, Parks Canada, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
                University of Manitoba, Canada
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MS JS AC MG SK. Performed the experiments: MS AC MG SK. Analyzed the data: MS JS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MS JS AC MG SK. Wrote the paper: MS JS AC MG SK. Provided funding for data collection and genetic analysis: AC MG.

                Article
                PONE-D-11-22406
                10.1371/journal.pone.0034777
                3342321
                22567089
                Sawaya et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Ecology
                Ecological Environments
                Terrestrial Environments
                Ecological Metrics
                Population Growth
                Population Size
                Biodiversity
                Bioindicators
                Conservation Science
                Population Ecology
                Population Biology
                Population Dynamics
                Zoology
                Mammalogy

                Uncategorized

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