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1 April 2007 Influence of mast production on black bear non-hunting mortalities in West Virginia
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Abstract

Food availability influences movements, population dynamics, and harvest of black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Appalachian Mountains. We compared combinations of hard and soft mast indices to black bear non-hunting mortalities in West Virginia, USA, 1980–2004. Mast conditions were inversely related to non-hunting black bear mortalities. We constructed regression equations to predict non-hunting bear mortalities and used Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) to compare fit of each model to the data. Oak (Quercus spp.; ΔAICc  =  0.000), oak hickory (Carya spp.; ΔAICc  =  0.251), all hard mast (ΔAICc  =  6.41), and hard mast black cherry (Prunus serotina; ΔAICc  =  7.06) were considered the best competing models for explaining non-hunting black bear mortalities. Managers may use this data to help explain and predict the importance of hard mast conditions on non-hunting black bear mortalities.

Christopher W. Ryan, James C. Pack, William K. Igo, and Anthony Billings "Influence of mast production on black bear non-hunting mortalities in West Virginia," Ursus 18(1), (1 April 2007). https://doi.org/10.2192/1537-6176(2007)18[46:IOMPOB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 7 February 2004; Accepted: 1 September 2006; Published: 1 April 2007
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