Evol Ecol Res 11: 1053-1067 (2009)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Play behaviour and multi-year juvenile survival in free-ranging brown bears, Ursus arctos

Robert Fagen and Johanna Fagen

Juneau, Alaska, USA

Correspondence: R. Fagen, 9084 Sheiye Way, Juneau, AK 99801, USA.
e-mail: bobf45@gmail.com


Background: Previous analysis suggests that brown bear play behaviour can enhance first-year survival.

Question: Can play behaviour enhance multi-year survival?

Organisms: Young brown bears (Ursus arctos).

Times and places: 1985–1994, Pack Creek, Admiralty Island, Alaska, USA.

Method of analysis: Regression models and diagnostics; principal components analysis.

Conclusions: Young bears that played more were more likely to survive to independence. This association did not result solely from condition, litter size, salmon availability, or maternal characteristics.

Keywords: Alaska, behavioural adaptability, behavioural flexibility, brown bear, facultative decisions, innovation, inter-subjectivity, life histories, mother–young relationships, plastic behavioural responses, play behaviour, pre-adult survival, Ursus arctos.

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