In North America, brown bears (Ursus arctos) can be a significant predator on moose (Alces alces) calves. Our study in Sweden is the first in which brown bears are the only predator on moose calves. Bears and moose occurred at densities of about 30/1,000 km2 and 920/1,000 km2, respectively, and bears killed about 26% of the calves. Ninety-two percent of the predation took place when calves were <1 month old. Bear predation was probably additive to other natural mortality, which was about 10% in areas both with and without bears. Females that lost their calves in spring produced more calves the following year (1.54 calves/F) than females that kept their calves (1.11 calves/F), which reduced the net loss of calves due to predation to about 22%.
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Vol. 71 • No. 6