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1 April 2007 Using sign at power poles to document presence of bears in Greece
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The endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) population in Greece is in urgent need of effective protection and management; that management should be based on information that is both reliable and quickly attained. After observing bears marking and rubbing on power poles, we initiated a study to collect information on this behavior and develop an effective method for documenting bear presence in Greece. Thirty-nine power poles in the main study area were fitted with barbed wire and inspected monthly for a year. The information and experience gained in the main study area was used to survey 3 additional areas, covering a representative sample of the species distribution in the country. Power pole-related behaviors were associated with mud smears, hair deposits, and bite and claw marks (hereafter referred to as marks). Tracks and scats also have been used to document the presence of brown bears in Greece, but fewer of these were found in all areas surveyed. Deterioration rate of marks was slower than that of tracks and scats. Our results suggest that power pole-related behavior is not a localized phenomenon. A monitoring scheme in Greece documenting the presence of the species that would include the regular inspection of power poles could take advantage of the higher abundance and slower deterioration rate of power pole-related signs and be time efficient and easily staffed by volunteers. The ability to identify individual bears through genetic analysis of hair collected from power poles is an additional advantage of this approach.

Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Dionisios Youlatos, Stefanos Sgardelis, and Zacharias Scouras "Using sign at power poles to document presence of bears in Greece," Ursus 18(1), 54-61, (1 April 2007).[54:USAPPT]2.0.CO;2
Received: 6 July 2006; Accepted: 1 November 2006; Published: 1 April 2007

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