Brown bear habitat selection in relation to anthropogenic structures in the Bieszczady Mountains, Poland

Witold Frąckowiak 1 , Jörn Theuerkauf 2 , Bartosz Pirga 3 ,  and Roman Gula 2
  • 1 Department of Ecology, Wildlife Research and Ecotourism, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Podbrzezie 3, PL-31054, Cracow, Poland
  • 2 Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, PL-00679, Warsaw, Poland
  • 3 Bieszczady National Park, Lutowiska 2, PL-38713, Poland

Abstract

In Europe, brown bear Ursus arctos habitats frequently overlap with human settlements and infrastructure. We tested whether anthropogenic structures played an important role in habitat selection by brown bears in the Bieszczady Mountains, Poland. We analysed 668 signs of brown bear presence recorded during 6 counts along 246 km of transects (total 1,476 km) in spring, summer and autumn of 1993 and 1994. Habitat selection of bears was more related to habitat and altitude than to human factors. Avoidance of roads, settlements and forest clearings influenced habitat selection by brown bears in spring but less in summer and autumn.

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