Feeding Patterns of Barren-ground Grizzly Bears in the Central Canadian Arctic
Keywords:central Arctic, diet, fecal analysis, feeding patterns, grizzly bear, predation, Ursus arctos
We collected 169 grizzly bear scats between 1994 and 1997 to determine the dietary habits of barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) inhabiting Canada's central Arctic. From personal observations and fecal analysis, we concluded that barren-ground grizzly bears lead a predominantly carnivorous lifestyle and are effective predators of caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Caribou was a predominant diet item during spring, mid-summer, and fall. During early summer, grizzly bears foraged primarily on green vegetation. Berries increased in dietary importance in late summer. Declines in the caribou population of our study area or long-term absences of caribou may threaten the local grizzly bear population.