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Skuban, Michaela; Find'o, Slavomir and Kajba, Matus (2018): Bears napping nearby: daybed selection by brown bears (Ursus arctos) in a human-dominated landscape. In: Canadian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 96, No. 1: pp. 1-11

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Daybeds are essential for the survival of brown bears (Ursus arctos L., 1758) and may represent a population-limiting resource in human-dominated landscapes. In this study, we demonstrate which land-cover types and bear characteristics affect daybed selection in north-central Slovakia. We used the positional and activity data of 21 bears acquired by GPS-GSM telemetry to identify 3864 daybeds. By use of K-select analysis and linear mixed-effects modelling, we explored how bears chose these places for their daytime resting. The most important drivers for daybed selection were the presence of dense regenerating forests and forest-shrubbery belts in farmland. Bears avoided resting in older forests without suitable undergrowth. Females selected daybeds differently depending on the presence of dependent cubs. During spring - early summer, females with cubs of the year avoided other bears by selecting more rugged terrain. These females also selected daybeds significantly closer to human settlements than adult males, possibly to avoid the risk of infanticide. In late summer - autumn, all bears selected daybeds closer to human settlements than in spring, probably because they were attracted by maize (Zea mays) fields and fruit trees. Many daybeds were located outside protected areas in farmland closer to people, which could increase bear-human conflicts.

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