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Grizzly Bear Habitat

This web page provides a central location for grizzly bear habitat information provided by the Research Branch. Objectives of the research program are to evaluate the effects of human disturbance on grizzly populations, provide decision support tools for landscape level management of wildlife habitat; and make management recommendations for maintenance of wildlife habitat.

  • Movement and Habited Use: Elko/Crowsnest Study. Grizzly bears are continuously distributed from Northern Canada to near Missoula, Montana. Along this distribution, there are only two fractures where movements appear significantly reduced. These areas include the Trans-Canada transportation corridor between Calgary, Alberta and Revelstoke, B.C. and the Highway 3 transportation corridor between Pincher Creek, Alberta, and Salmo, B.C. In addition to the highways and railways, along these corridors, there are areas of intensive human use including rural and urban development, agriculture, ranching, forestry, coal mining, and 4-season recreation complexes. Because grizzly bears disperse gradually, successful dispersal across the corridors is reduced forming near Island populations.

    Understanding how grizzly bears use habitats, move, and survive in such highly developed landscapes is important to guide ongoing developments to ensure grizzly bear connectivity across these fractures is not further reduced. Using GPS radio-collars, this project has monitored 12 grizzly bears between Elko, B.C. and Crowsnest Pass.

  • Coastal-Interior Transition Study. This research project has been designed to evaluate existing grizzly bear/forestry best management practices in the coast-interior transition of southern BC (Lillooet Timber Supply Area). By conducting a scientific investigation of the ecology of grizzly bears, the project will examine hypotheses related to the impacts of forest practices such as forest road access, timber harvesting and post harvesting silviculture practices on landscape level forage supply, stand-level critical habitats, and denning habitat. Research results will be translated into explicit habitat and population objectives and targets, revised guidelines for forest planners and forestry practitioners, as well as peer reviewed publications. Objectives will be met through a combination of DNA/hair collection in a mark-recapture inventory, capture, radio-collaring and monitoring of a representative sample of resident bears, and the creation of a predictive model of habitat value based on spatially-explicit resource selection functions. Five grizzly bears have been collared with GPS/ARGOS up-link collars. These collars send location data every 4 days and thus enable field crews to examine sites used by the bears shortly after the bears leave.

  • Habitat Supply Modelling - Development of analytic and decision models for assessing grizzly bear needs from forest management objectives" is a BC Forest Science Program research project to provide generalized, analytic, and decision-making models to assess spatial-temporal habitat supply and mortality risk to grizzly bears from scenarios involving forest management plans. The project's web site is located at

  • An Analysis of the Policy of Variant Level Old Forest Representation - This project makes references to the impact of harvesting and grizzly bear habitat.
  • Estimating grizzly bear distribution and abundance relative to habitat and human influence.
  • Gender-specific dispersal distances of grizzly bears estimated by genetic analysis.
  • Sampling design and bias in DNA-based mark-recapture population and density estimates of grizzly bears.
  • Reproductive maturation and senescence in the female brown bear.
  • Population fragmentation of grizzly bears in southeastern British Columbia, Canada.
  • Reproductive senescence in the brown/grizzly bear.
  • Managing for grizzly bear security areas in Banff National Park and the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains.
  • A meta analysis of grizzly bear DNA mark-recapture projects in British Columbia.
  • Natal dispersal of grizzly bears.
  • Habitats selected by grizzly bears in a multiple-use landscape.
  • Closure Violation in DNA-based mark-recapture estimation of grizzly bear populations.
  • Rates and causes of grizzly bear mortality in the interior mountains of western North America.
  • Using stable-carbon (d13C) and nitrogen (d15N) isotopes to infer trophic relationships among black (Ursus americanus) and grizzly (Ursus arctos) bears inhabiting in Upper Columbia River Basin, British Columbia.
  • Rates and causes of grizzly bear mortality in the interior mountains of British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
  • Genetic tagging free-ranging black and brown bears.
  • Status and management of the brown bear in Canada.
  • Maintaining viability of brown bears along the southern fringe of their distribution.
  • Wolves, bears, and their prey in Alaska: biological and social challenges in wildlife management.
  • Estimating population growth of grizzly bears from the Flathead River drainage using computer simulations of reproductive and survival rates.
  • The diet of grizzly bears in the Flathead Drainage of southeastern British Columbia.
  • Density dependent population regulation of brown bears.
  • A review of bear evolution.
  • A summary of the discussion on the natural regulation of black bears.
  • Competition between black and grizzly bears as a natural population regulating factor.
  • Development and preliminary results of partial-cut timber harvesting in a riparian area to maintain grizzly bear spring habitat values.
  • Relationships between resource extraction industries and grizzly bears in the Flathead Drainage.
  • Current status and long term threats to grizzly bears in British Columbia.
  • Managing forest access roads to meet wildlife and fisheries objectives.
  • Relationship between timber management and grizzly bears.
  • Relationships between industrial activity and grizzly bears.
  • Grizzly bears and resource extraction industries: habitat displacement in response to seismic exploration, timber harvesting and road maintenance.
  • Immediate reactions of grizzly bears to human activities.
  • Population dynamics of grizzly bears during a period of resource extraction development. I. Density and age/sex structure.
  • Population dynamics of grizzly bears during a period of resource extraction development. II. Mortality rates and causes.
  • Population dynamics of grizzly bears during a period of resource extraction development. III. Natality and rate of change.
  • A comparison of grizzly bear harvest data from Montana and southeastern British Columbia.
  • Grizzly bears and resource extraction industries: effects of roads on behaviour, habitat use and demography.
  • Use-availability analysis and timber selection by grizzly bears.
  • Other Links
    • Fred Hovey - Wildlife Habitat Analyst, Ecology and Earth Sciences section
    • Bruce McLellan - Wildlife Habitat Ecologist, Ecology and Earth Sciences section

    Last Modified: 2008 January 08. Ministry contact: Bruce McLellan.
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