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Harvest History of Brown Bears in the Oshima Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan

Tsutomu Mano
Ursus
Vol. 10, A Selection of Papers from the Tenth International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Fairbanks, Alaska, July 1995, and Mora, Sweden, September 1995 (1998), pp. 173-180
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3873125
Page Count: 8
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Harvest History of Brown Bears in the Oshima Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan
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Abstract

I investigated the history of the brown bear (Ursus arctos yesoensis) harvest in the Oshima Peninsula, Hokkaido, by analyzing hunting statistics and interviewing hunters. The mean annual harvest between 1909-38 and 1963-93 was 38.8 bears (SD = 21.3) and 76.0 (SD = 29.8) bears, respectively. During 1966-87, when spring prophylactic hunting was allowed, 58% of the harvest (n = 1,849) was taken during March-May and 32% during September-November. After the spring prophylactic harvest was abolished in 1990, harvests during March-May declined to 21% (n = 287) while September-November harvests increased to 61% of the total. Furthermore, proportions of males and adults in the harvest increased and proportion of females with young bears and cubs declined. Between 1983 and 1987, the spring harvests occurred mainly in the principal bear habitat in the interior of the peninsula, whereas summer and autumn harvests occurred in farmlands or residential areas along the coast or in valleys. Total harvest did not always decline after spring harvest was stopped because of increased autumn harvests resulting primarily from control actions. Further measures should be taken to decrease total harvest of brown bears in this region.

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