Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears

S.M.J.G. Steyaert, O.G. Stoen, M. Elfström, J. Karlsson, R.J.A. van Lammeren, J. Bokdam, A. Zedrosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Livestock depredation is an important factor that contributes to low public acceptance of large carnivores, and is often used as an incentive to reduce large carnivore populations. In central Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) coexist with a traditional cattle husbandry system that allows daytime free-ranging of dairy cattle. Despite a growing brown bear population, depredation on cattle remained stable during the last decade, and among the lowest rates reported worldwide. Nevertheless, major stakeholders argue for a substantial reduction in brown bear numbers, among other reasons, to safeguard this traditional husbandry system. Based on satellite tracking data, we assessed and correlated the resource selection of nine brown bears that were sympatric with six daytime free-ranging cattle herds during the free-ranging season (June-August) in 2008. We found a significant and negative relationship between resource selection of brown bears and free ranging cattle during the study period, mainly because of inverse relationships between the species towards vegetation density and human-related infrastructure, such as forest roads, buildings, and settlements. We predict that the probability of an encounter between these species, given that there is no directed predation, is highest in dense vegetation patches close to these human habitation-related variables. Because of the low reported depredation rates and the apparent habitat segregation between the species, our results provide no support for the argument to reduce brown bear numbers to safeguard this traditional cattle herding system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-401
JournalWildlife Biology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

resource selection
Ursus arctos
dairy cattle
cattle
carnivore
carnivores
vegetation
herding
forest roads
livestock
incentive
infrastructure
stakeholder
stakeholders
predation
remote sensing
Sweden
road
herds
habitat

Keywords

  • estimating population-size
  • livestock conflicts
  • habitat selection
  • large carnivores
  • conservation
  • predation
  • behavior
  • ecology
  • sweden
  • wolves

Cite this

Steyaert, S. M. J. G., Stoen, O. G., Elfström, M., Karlsson, J., van Lammeren, R. J. A., Bokdam, J., & Zedrosser, A. (2011). Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears. Wildlife Biology, 17(4), 389-401. https://doi.org/10.2981/11-004
Steyaert, S.M.J.G. ; Stoen, O.G. ; Elfström, M. ; Karlsson, J. ; van Lammeren, R.J.A. ; Bokdam, J. ; Zedrosser, A. / Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears. In: Wildlife Biology. 2011 ; Vol. 17, No. 4. pp. 389-401.
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Steyaert, SMJG, Stoen, OG, Elfström, M, Karlsson, J, van Lammeren, RJA, Bokdam, J & Zedrosser, A 2011, 'Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears', Wildlife Biology, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 389-401. https://doi.org/10.2981/11-004

Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears. / Steyaert, S.M.J.G.; Stoen, O.G.; Elfström, M.; Karlsson, J.; van Lammeren, R.J.A.; Bokdam, J.; Zedrosser, A.

In: Wildlife Biology, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2011, p. 389-401.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears

AU - Steyaert, S.M.J.G.

AU - Stoen, O.G.

AU - Elfström, M.

AU - Karlsson, J.

AU - van Lammeren, R.J.A.

AU - Bokdam, J.

AU - Zedrosser, A.

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AB - Livestock depredation is an important factor that contributes to low public acceptance of large carnivores, and is often used as an incentive to reduce large carnivore populations. In central Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) coexist with a traditional cattle husbandry system that allows daytime free-ranging of dairy cattle. Despite a growing brown bear population, depredation on cattle remained stable during the last decade, and among the lowest rates reported worldwide. Nevertheless, major stakeholders argue for a substantial reduction in brown bear numbers, among other reasons, to safeguard this traditional husbandry system. Based on satellite tracking data, we assessed and correlated the resource selection of nine brown bears that were sympatric with six daytime free-ranging cattle herds during the free-ranging season (June-August) in 2008. We found a significant and negative relationship between resource selection of brown bears and free ranging cattle during the study period, mainly because of inverse relationships between the species towards vegetation density and human-related infrastructure, such as forest roads, buildings, and settlements. We predict that the probability of an encounter between these species, given that there is no directed predation, is highest in dense vegetation patches close to these human habitation-related variables. Because of the low reported depredation rates and the apparent habitat segregation between the species, our results provide no support for the argument to reduce brown bear numbers to safeguard this traditional cattle herding system.

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KW - livestock conflicts

KW - habitat selection

KW - large carnivores

KW - conservation

KW - predation

KW - behavior

KW - ecology

KW - sweden

KW - wolves

U2 - 10.2981/11-004

DO - 10.2981/11-004

M3 - Article

VL - 17

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EP - 401

JO - Wildlife Biology

JF - Wildlife Biology

SN - 0909-6396

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ER -