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Research article


Bear footprints and their use for monitoring and estimating numbers of brown bears (Ursus arctos L.) in Bulgaria

Nikolai Spassov; Geko Spiridonov; Vasil Ivanov; Lyudmil Asenov

29 December 2016 · volume 23 · pp. 119–126 · PDF [full text]

Abstract: We present an improved table of the footprint dimensions of the Bulgarian/ Eastern European brown bear (Ursus arctos L.). Our results demonstrated congruence between the length of the hind paw footprint and the width of the fore one, as well as correlation between footprint size, age, and sex of the individuals. Six categories of bear fore paw and respectively hind paw footprints were identified according to their dimensions, which are related to their body sizes (influenced also by sex and age). The table could be useful for identification of the individuals by their footprints and could be utilised in the National monitoring of the bear in Bulgaria. Examples are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of using size parameters of footprints for determination of local population numbers and structure.

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