Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Habitat Selection by Brown Bears with Varying Levels of Predation Rates on Ungulate Neonates

Twynham, Kate; Ordiz, Andres; Stoen, Ole-Gunnar; Rauset, Geir-Rune; Kindberg, Jonas; Segerstrom, Peter; Frank, Jens; Uzal, Antonio


In northern Eurasia, large carnivores overlap with semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). In Scandinavia, previous studies have quantified brown bear (Ursus arctos) spring predation on neonates of reindeer (mostly in May) and moose (mostly in June). We explored if habitat selection by brown bears changed following resource pulses and whether these changes are more pronounced on those individuals characterised by higher predatory behaviour. Fifteen brown bears in northern Sweden (2010-2012) were fitted with GPS proximity collars, and 2585 female reindeers were collared with UHF transmitters. Clusters of bear positions were visited to investigate moose and reindeer predation. Bear kill rates and home ranges were calculated to examine bear movements and predatory behaviour. Bear habitat selection was modelled using resource selection functions over four periods (pre-calving, reindeer calving, moose calving, and post-calving). Coefficients of selection for areas closer to different land cover classes across periods were compared, examining the interactions between different degrees of predatory behaviour (i.e., high and low). Bear habitat selection differed throughout the periods and between low and high predatory bears. Differences among individuals' predatory behaviour are reflected in the selection of habitat types, providing empirical evidence that different levels of specialization in foraging behaviour helps to explain individual variation in bear habitat selection.


Ursus arctos; Rangifer tarandus; Alces alces; predation rates; habitat selection; individual heterogeneity

Published in

2021, volume: 13, number: 12, article number: 678
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Twynham, Kate
Nottingham Trent University
Ordiz, Andres
Universidad de Leon
Ordiz, Andres
Nottingham Trent University
Stoen, Ole-Gunnar
Norwegian Institute Nature Research
Stoen, Ole-Gunnar
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Rauset, Geir-Rune
Norwegian Institute Nature Research
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Segerstrom, Peter
Norwegian Institute Nature Research
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Uzal, Antonio
Nottingham Trent University

UKÄ Subject classification

Behavioral Sciences Biology

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)