We investigated reproductive ecology and cub survival of Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) in Ocala National Forest and the adjacent residential area of Lynne, Florida, USA, 1999–2003. We documented production of 81 cubs from 39 litters. Average litter size was 2.08 ± 0.11 (SE) cubs. The mean age of first reproduction was 3.25 ± 0.27 years. Excluding females that reproduced in consecutive years due to litter loss, interlitter interval was 2.11 ± 0.11 years. The mean annual fecundity rate was 0.57 ± 0.06. We used expandable radiocollars to monitor the fate of 41 bear cubs. The probability of cubs surviving to 9 months of age was 0.46 ± 0.09 and did not differ between cohorts or study locations. The most important causes of cub mortality included infanticide and mortality caused directly or indirectly by collisions with vehicles. Our results indicate that reproductive rates of female black bears in the Ocala study area are comparable to those reported for other black bear populations from eastern United States, but cub survival rates are lower than those reported for most black bear populations. Management of Florida black bears should emphasize strategies to reduce the mortality of cubs.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 71 • No. 3