Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hunting: Bear hunting boon for cubs, study indicates

Finally the truth is out about the positive impact of proper wildlife management carried out by hunters.

Bear hunting boon for cubs, study indicates

Edmonton, Canada — Regulated bear hunting may actually improve a newborn cub's chances of survival, suggests new research from the University of Alberta.

The finding contradicts theories that hunting creates higher rates of ursine infanticide as adult male bears, chased from their regular range, kill cubs they have not sired.

The research, being reviewed for publication by the bear biology journal Ursus, found that cubs had a 25 per cent better chance of survival in an Alberta area where black bear hunting is allowed than in a neighbouring region where it is forbidden.

“We compared a hunted population and an unhunted population,” said Sophie Czetwertynski, a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta. “In the hunted population, we had much higher cub survival and higher productivity of females.”

Some biologists argue that hunting forces adult male bears to move from their accustomed ranges. That disrupts the social structure and brings males into contact with females they wouldn't normally meet.

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