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Home range size is a basic ecological index related to individual's realized niche. Its size can be influenced by body size, sex, maternal status, population density, habitat productivity, spatiotemporal variation of resources, climate, predation risk, and disturbance. Home range estimation can also be greatly affected by methodology and sampling regime. We used Global Positioning System collar data to assess what factors influenced the size of annual home ranges (space use during a single active season) of 28 female and 8 male brown bears (Ursus arctos) that denned in the Brooks Range of northcentral Alaska, USA, from 2014 to 2017. We used 2 methods to estimate annual home ranges, the Kernel Density Estimate (KDE) and the dynamic Brownian Bridge Movement Model (dBBMM). Contrary to expectations, we did not find that larger bodied bears of the same sex had larger annual home ranges. Annual home ranges of male bears (mean [standard deviation]; 504  km2 and 3,886 [4,279] km2, using dBBMM and KDE, respectively) were 3.7–9.4 times larger than that of females (135  km2 and 411  km2, respectively). We found that greater chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) consumption was associated with larger annual home ranges for both sexes. In contrast, coastal brown bear populations that consume high levels of salmon often have small annual home ranges. We suggest that the relatively long distance (up to 100 km) between salmon streams and another key resource, denning habitat, is a reason for the positive association between salmon consumption and annual home range size. Although age was not in our top model for annual home range size, younger bears tended to have larger annual home ranges. We documented the fact that individuals of both sexes had the largest annual home ranges of any we could find for brown bears worldwide, using a traditional measure of space use (KDE). However, very large annual home ranges were associated with nonlocalized movements and the alternative method (dBBMM) to delineate these ranges provided more realistic range estimates. We discuss options and limitations of estimating space use and recommend caution when comparing space use between studies. With large-scale industrial infrastructure approved for development in this previously undeveloped region, the size and drivers of bear annual home ranges have numerous management implications. Brown bears with large annual home ranges in northcentral Alaska, where primary productivity is relatively low and denning habitat often far from salmon-bearing streams, are likely to move outside conservation units and encounter more risks as they interact with human infrastructure.
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