Change in Eating Habits

A team of ecologists, led by William Deacy and Jonathan Armstrong of Oregon State University, investigated whether the early ripening of elderberries, caused by anomalously high spring temperatures, changed what Kodiak bears eat. Aerial surveys, time-lapse cameras, and GPS collars provided location information for the bears over time, while fecal analyses provided information on what bears were eating. Salmon abundance and spawning timing were estimated using time-lapse photos and historic salmon data, and elderberry ripening dates were estimated using time-lapse photos and a model drawing upon decades of historic air temperature data.

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