Studying how animals interact with their environment is fundamental to informing conservation and management efforts, especially when examining large, wide-ranging carnivores in human-dominated landscapes. We hypothesized that the home ranges of bears are configured to exploit supplemental food (corn) and avoid people. In 2004–2016, we tracked 10 brown bears from the Dinaric-Pindos population using GPS telemetry, then used Brownian bridge movement models to estimate their home ranges. We related seasonal home range size to circadian period and density of supplemental feeding sites using generalized linear mixed-effect models. We also used ecological-niche factor analysis to study habitat composition within home range core areas in study areas characterized by different levels of human encroachment. We found that home range size was inversely related to density of supplemental feeding sites, and bears had larger home ranges at night (x̄ = 103.3 ± 72.8 km2) than during the day (x̄ = 62.3 ± 16.6 km2). Our results also revealed that bears living in more human-influenced areas concentrated their use far from human settlements and agricultural lands but stayed close to supplemental feeding sites. Our data suggest that bears alter their space-use patterns at the home range level in response to anthropogenic land use and food availability.
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Vol. 102 • No. 2