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Male-Biased Harvesting of Polar Bears in Western Hudson Bay
Andrew E. Derocher, Ian Stirling and Wendy Calvert
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 61, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 1075-1082
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802104
Page Count: 8
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We examined the number, sex, and age composition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) killed by harvest, destroyed as problem bears, relocated to zoos, and killed during handling from western Hudson Bay between 1966 and 1992. Harvest and removal of problem bears were biased towards males (66.7-70.1%) with most bears (71.7%) taken under a managed quota, but destruction of problem bears (13.6%) was also an important component of removal. An average of 42 bears per year were removed from the population with a mean age of 5.3 years for females and 6.1 years for males. Females were most vulnerable to harvest at 1-4 years of age and males at 2-4 years. Number of bears removed each year averaged 6% of the population and adult females removed represented 1% of the population. The harvest appeared sustainable due to the male bias and young age of harvested bears. Male-biased harvest was the most likely explanation for the preponderance of females in the population.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1997 Wiley