In Georgia, there are three distinct populations of black bears (Ursus americanus, including two subspecies americanus and floridanus). The Middle Georgia population has been shown to exhibit high genetic similarities within the population and we wanted to determine if the Ocmulgee River was a barrier to bear movements. One out of 9 collared females and 7 of 17 collared males crossed the Ocmulgee River. River flow (bear = 70.7 cubic m/sec, random = 92.7 cubic m/sec) and river depth (bear = 2.6 m, random = 2.8 m) were significantly lower when bears crossed the river than random samples. The river did appear to be a barrier to females but not males. Females may be less likely than males to cross the river because of behavioral differences (e.g., cub rearing) and smaller home ranges.
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