Food habits and hunting patterns of Tibetan brown bear during warm seasons in Kekexili region on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau|
Ai-Chun, Xu; Zhi-Gang, Jiang; Chun Wang, Li & Ping, Cai
Tibetan brown bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus) is an endemic subspecies of brown bear on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. We once reported a preliminary study on the summer food habit of Tibetan brown bear from July to August, 2005 in the Kekexili (Hoh Xil).. However, the hunting modes of the Tibetan brawn bear have not been reported. From July to August, 2009, we collected additional data on food habits and hunting patterns of Tibetan brown bear in the Kekexili region. We found Tibetan brown bears are more raptatorial than vegetarian, and their basal food was plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), relative frequency occurrence of pika in the fecal residual of brawn bear was 37.3%, dry weight of pika residuals was 44.7%, respectively, followed by wild yak (Bos grunniens) , 18.7% and 30.2%, and Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni) 15.0% and 16.2%. Both prey actively mode and scavenge mode were used by Tibetan brown bears in Kekexili. Tibetan brawn bears actively dug and hunted for pika and scavenged bodies of wild yak, Tibetan antelope and Tibetan gazelle. We observed that Tibetan brawn bears spent about 10% of their time to dig and to hunt for pika but we had never seen Tibetan brawn bears actively hunted large mammals such as wild yak, Tibetan antelope and Tibetan gazelle. The total amount of Tibetan antelope, Tibetan gazelle and wild yak ingested by Tibetan brown bear through scavenge was about the same amount of Plateau pika and Himalayan marmot (Marmota himalayana) eaten by the bear.
Food habits; Hunting patterns; Kekexili; Tibetan brown bear