Environmental Science and Pollution Research
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Activity patterns of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in the moist temperate forests of Machiara National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Publication Date Sep 1, 2022

Abstract

The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is an environmental indicator species whose activity patterns may be highly impacted by habitat changes. We monitored the monthly and daily activity patterns of black bears in the moist temperate forests of Machiara National Park. We used infrared camera traps and local ecological knowledge for data collection from April 2019 to April 2021. Camera traps recorded 109 [inside forest = 107, outside forest (near crop fields and human settlements) = 2] independent registrations (IR) in 5541 (692.63 ± 36.72, mean ± SD) camera days. We found (i) spring and autumn to be the lowest activity seasons for black bears inside the forest. (ii) The highest activity was recorded in summer, with a peak in August followed closely by July. (iii) The activity level sharply declined after August and halted from December to March, indicative of the bears' hibernation period. Local knowledge revealed that (i) bears remained active from May to November and hibernated the rest of the period. (ii) Bear activity was at its peak inside the forest in summer and outside the forest in autumn when bears sought to raid the widely cultivated maize crop (Zea mays) planted along forest edges. This increased activity outside of the forest is likely driven by decreased food availability inside the forest area and maize crop being a preferred anthropogenic food type for bears. Based on the daily activity pattern, bears exhibited cathemeral behavior (i.e., active throughout the day) with maximum overlap between camera trap ...

Concepts

Ursus Thibetanus Hibernation Period Inside Forest Camera Traps Environmental Indicator Species Local Ecological Knowledge Forest In Summer Peak In August Daily Activity Patterns Azad Jammu

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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