University of Oulu

Olejarz, A., Aspi, J., Kojola, I., Nivala, V., Niskanen, A. K., & Harmoinen, J. (2022). Ain’t Nothing like Family—Female Brown Bears Share Their Home Range with Relatives. Diversity, 14(1), 41.

Ain’t nothing like family : female brown bears share their home range with relatives

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Author: Olejarz, Astrid1,2; Aspi, Jouni1; Kojola, Ilpo3;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamýcká 129, Praha 6-Suchdol, CZ-165 21 Prague, Czech Republic
3Natural Resources Institute Finland, Ounasjoentie 6, 96200 Rovaniemi, Finland
4Natural Resources Institute Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-13


Sociality in animal populations is a continuum, and interactions between conspecifics are meaningful for all vertebrates. Ignorance of social structures can lead to misunderstanding their ecology and, consequently, to unsuccessful species management. Here, we combined genetic and spatial data on radio-collared brown bears (Ursus arctos) to investigate kin-related home range overlap and kin-related centroid distance within central and eastern Finland. We found that the extent of home range overlap was positively correlated with relatedness among adult females. In addition, home range centroid distance decreased as relatedness increased. Moreover, there were significant differences between the two studied regions: female brown bears in central Finland were more closely related to each other, and the sizes of their home ranges were larger than those in eastern Finland. The smaller home ranges and lower degree of relatedness among bears in eastern Finland might be a result of the substantially higher hunting pressure in the area, combined with immigration of new unrelated individuals from Russia.

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Series: Diversity
ISSN: 1424-2818
ISSN-E: 1424-2818
ISSN-L: 1424-2818
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Article number: 41
DOI: 10.3390/d14010041
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: A.O. was funded by Riistasäätiö and the Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (