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16 November 2015 Abundance and density estimation of the American black bear population in central Georgia
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Abstract

The Central Georgia Population (CGP) is the least abundant and most geographically isolated American black bear (Ursus americanus) population in Georgia, USA. We used DNA-based spatially explicit capture–recapture techniques to estimate density and abundance of bears in the CGP. We sampled bear hair over 2 8-week periods during the summers of 2012 and 2013 and recorded capture histories of individual bears identified via microsatellite genotyping. Population density for females was 0.123 bears/km2 (SE = 0.018) and 0.152 bears/km2 (SE = 0.024) in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Male bear density was 0.109 bears/km2 (SE = 0.015) to 0.088 bears/km2 (SE = 0.013) during the same years. Derived estimates of abundance of female bears was 125.4 (SE = 18.3) in 2012 and 154.9 (SE = 24.3) in 2013. Male bear abundance was 111.3 (SE = 15.2) and 89.8 (SE = 12.9) for 2012 and 2013, respectively. Based on these estimates and the isolated nature of the CGP, we recommend continued monitoring of demographic parameters and a conservative approach to determining annual harvest rates.

© 2015 International Association for Bear Research and Management
Michael J. Hooker, Jared S. Laufenberg, Annaliese K. Ashley, Joshua T. Sylvest, and Michael J. Chamberlain "Abundance and density estimation of the American black bear population in central Georgia," Ursus 26(2), 107-115, (16 November 2015). https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-14-00025
Received: 18 June 2014; Accepted: 1 September 2015; Published: 16 November 2015
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