No flood effect on recruitment of a small Louisiana black bear population

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

A flood event in 2011 had minor impacts on apparent survival and movement probabilities of a small, isolated population of Louisiana black bears (Ursus americanus luteolus) in the Upper Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana, USA. However, the potential effects of the flood on recruitment of juveniles into the population, then listed as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act, were not evaluated. We used hair trapping data collected from 2007 to 2015 and Pradel temporal symmetry models in a robust‐design framework to investigate changes in per capita recruitment that could have resulted from the flood. We detected 91 bears (37 M:54 F) within the flooded area during our study period, ranging from 21 to 44 individuals/year. Models that tested for reduced recruitment resulting from the flood were not supported more than models with constant recruitment, and the population growth rate did not decline. Although we documented marginally lower recruitment following the 2011 flood, lag effects and detectability biases complicated our analysis. We suggest that wildlife managers continue monitoring recruitment and survival in this recently delisted black bear population given the potential for heightened flood frequency and severity in the future.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title No flood effect on recruitment of a small Louisiana black bear population
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21399
Volume 82
Issue 3
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher The Wildlife Society
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 566
Last page 572