• Managing for interpopulation connectivity of the world’s bear species

      Proctor, Michael F.; Dutta, Trishna; McLellan, Bruce N.; Rangel, Shaenandhoa Garcia; Paetkau, Dave; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zedrosser, Andreas; Melletti, Mario; Penteriani, Vincenzo (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2020)
      … Here the current status of fragmentation, connectivity, methods, consequences, and management of the world’s eight bear species is reviewed. The metapopulation paradigm is also considered, i.e. are bears being forced into some form of functioning metapopulation or are they simply being fragmented into a series of isolated populations that, without conservation action, will likely be slowly extirpated, population by population?
    • Mating strategies

      Steyaert, Sam M.J.G.; Zedrosser, Andreas; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Filipczykova, Eva; Crudge, Brian; Dutta, Trishna; Sharma, Sandeep; Ratnayeke, Shyamala; Koike, Shinsuke; Leclerc, Martin; et al. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2020)
      The mating system and mating strategies of a species refer to the behavioral strategies used to obtain reproductive partners and ensure reproductive success. Common determining factors of mating systems and strategies are: the manner of mate acquisition, the number of mates obtained by an individual, as well as the absence or presence and duration of parental care….
    • Scent-marking behavior by female sloth bears during estrus

      Khadpekar, Yaduraj; Whiteman, John P.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Owen, Megan A.; Prakash, Sant (2021)
      … Important aspects of sloth bear biology and ecology, such as reproductive physiology and behavior, are largely unknown. Increased scent-marking by anogenital rubbing during breeding season has been recorded in other bear species. We studied the genital rubbing behavior of 37 captive female sloth bears (2–18 yr of age) at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, India, for 4 breeding seasons over a period of 3.5 years (1 Jun 2015 to 31 Dec 2018)….
    • The nominative technique: a simple tool for assessing illegal wildlife consumption

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Crudge, Brian; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      The aim of our study was to test the efficacy of the nominative technique for estimating the prevalence of wildlife part use within a small sample. We used the domestic consumption of bear Ursus thibetanus and Helarctos malayanus parts in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) as a case study and performed 179 semi-structured interviews in Luang Prabang, northern Laos, in August 2017 and April 2019. We also assessed whether the specialized questioning of the nominative technique could be used for qualitative data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews. The technique theoretically ensures more accurate statements of illegal wildlife consumption by maintaining the anonymity of an individual's sensitive behaviour through asking about the behaviour of peers. We also directly asked about participants’ use of bear parts. The nominative technique suggested that c. 11% of the participants’ peers used bear parts, whereas respondents’ direct admittance of using bear parts was approximately double, at 23%. Use of bear parts appears not to be sensitive in northern Laos. In addition, we found a strong association between responses to questioning using the nominative technique and direct questioning, indicating that users of bear parts have social networks with higher levels of use. This lends supports to theories that use of wildlife products is directly influenced by social group. The underreporting resulting from use of the nominative technique indicates the high variability of response that can occur within small samples. However, our results show that the nominative technique may be a simple, useful tool for triangulating data, assessing users’ integration into social networks of use, and assessing changes in behaviour prevalence.