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Foods and Habitat of Black Bears in Southeastern North Carolina
J. Larry Landers, Robert J. Hamilton, A. Sydney Johnson and R. Larry Marchinton
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jan., 1979), pp. 143-153
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3800645
Page Count: 11
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Foods and habitat use of black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Coastal Plain of southeastern North Carolina were determined from 732 fecal droppings and contents of 28 stomachs, and from radiomonitoring 10 bears. Major habitat components were (1) a variety of habitats producing seasonal foods; (2) extensive, inaccessible areas (Carolina bays, hardwood swamps) for denning; and (3) escape cover for bears hunted with dogs (large swamps). Carolina bays contributed most natural foods (berries and succulent plants), except in spring when bears fed in swamps on arrow-arum (Peltandra virginica) leaves and in fall when they fed in swamps on black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) or on sand ridges on oak (Quercus spp.) mast. Hunters had maintained sites baited with corn for many years, and corn from bait piles or agricultural fields was used by bears throughout the year. Major pre-denning foods were high in nitrogen-free extract and fats, while post-denning foods were high in protein. Summer fruits were high in sugars and other carbohydrates. Bears in this region apparently need large areas with a variety of habitat types to meet annual food and cover requirements.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1979 Wiley