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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2001

The diet of the brown bear Ursus arctos in the Pasvik Valley, northeastern Norway

Persson IL, Wikan S, Swenson JE, Mysterud I


The seasonal composition of and the annual variation in the diet of the brown bear Ursus arctos in the Pasvik Valley, northeastern Norway, were estimated based on the analysis of 137 bear seats. The importance of moose Alces alces and reindeer Rangifer tarandus in the diet was given special attention, because results from Russia suggest that brown bears are generally more carnivorous in the north. Ungulates, especially adult moose, comprised the most important food item for bears in the Pasvik Valley during spring and summer, contributing 85 and 70% of the Estimated Dietary Energy Content (EDEC), respectively. During autumn, when the bears have to build up fat reserves and increase lean body mass for hibernation, berries were the mast important food item, contributing 49% of the EDEC, but ungulates were still important, contributing 30% of the EDEC. Insects and vegetation were of low importance in all seasons. The proportion of ungulates in the diet of brown bears in the Pasvik Valley was considerably higher than farther south in Scandinavia, and this regional difference is important concerning bear and moose management in northern areas

Published in

Wildlife Biology
2001, volume: 7, number: 1, pages: 27-37

Authors' information

Persson, Inga-Lill
University of Oslo (UiO)
Wikan, Steinar
Swenson, Jon E
Mysterud, I

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

URI (permanent link to this page)