Michael F. Proctor's research while affiliated with Government of British Columbia, Canada and other places

Publications (46)

Article
Under the North American Model of wildlife Conservation, wildlife managers are encouraged to update management approaches when new information arises whose implementation could improve the viability of wildlife populations and the well‐being of animals. Here we detail an observation of several grizzly bears with amputated toes in southeast British...
Article
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Efficient and effective monitoring methods are required to assess population status and gauge efficacy of conservation actions for threatened species. Here we review the spectrum of field methods useful for monitoring distribution, occupancy, abundance, and population trend for the five species of Asian terrestrial bears. Methods reviewed include e...
Article
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Many wildlife species are threatened in Asia, including the five species of terrestrial bears (Asiatic black, Ursus thibetanus; brown, U. arctos; sloth, Melursus ursinus; sun, Helarctos malayanus; giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca): many populations of these bears are thought to be declining or imperiled by small population size. Here our aim is...
Article
Changes in the distribution of a species can be used to as a metric of conservation status and to identify the loss or gain of isolated populations. This mapping process is a primary tool of the IUCN SSC Red List assessment. Most distribution maps are based on expert opinion or species distribution models based on a combination of species detection...
Article
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Information about population demography is crucial for developing and implementing conservation measures. The brown bear in the Gobi desert of southwestern Mongolia (referred to as the Gobi bear) is one of the smallest and most isolated brown bear populations in the world. We conducted genetic sampling (n = 2660 samples collected) using hair corral...
Preprint
Full-text available
Science and adaptive management form crucial components of the North American model of wildlife management. Under this model, wildlife managers are encouraged to update management approaches when new information arises whose implementation could improve the stewardship and viability of wildlife populations and the welfare of animals. Here we detail...
Article
A.E. Morales et al. (2021. Can. J. Zool. 99(5): 415–422) provided no new evidence to alter the conclusions of C.L. Lausen et al. (2019. Can. J. Zool. 97(3): 267–279). We present background information, relevant comparisons, and clarification of analyses to further strengthen our conclusions. The genesis of the original “evotis–keenii” study in Brit...
Chapter
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including t...
Chapter
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including t...
Chapter
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including t...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The persistence of large carnivores in human-dominated landscapes will become increasingly challenging as the human footprint expands. Here, we bring together long-term demographic and behavioral data on one of the worlds’ most conflict-prone species, the brown bear, to quantify the mechanisms facilitating human–carnivore coexistence....
Article
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Population fragmentation is stressing wildlife species worldwide. In populations with minimal genetic structure across potential fractures, detecting fragmentation can be challenging. Here we apply a relatively unused approach, genetic pedigree analysis, to detect fragmentation in the American black bear (Ursus americanus) across 2 highway corridor...
Article
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The growing human footprint has placed unprecedented stressors on ecosystems in recent decades resulting in losses of biodiversity and ecosystem function around the world. Roads are influential through their direct footprint and facilitating human access; however, their influence can be mitigated. Here, we review the scientific literature on the re...
Article
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Climate change is altering the suitable habitat and phenology of plant species around the world, with cascading effects on people and animals reliant upon those plant species as food sources. Huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) is one of these important food-producing plant species that grows in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Here, we mod...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of genetic diversity and population structure is critical for conservation and management planning at the population level within a species' range. Many brown bear populations in Central Asia are small and geographically isolated, yet their phylogeographic relationships, genetic diversity, and contemporary connectivity are poorly understo...
Article
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The Anthropocene is an era of marked human impact on the world. Quantifying these impacts has become central to understanding the dynamics of coupled human‐natural systems, resource‐dependent livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation. Ecologists are facing growing pressure to quantify the size, distribution, and trajectory of wild populations in a...
Article
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Mortality resulting from human-wildlife conflicts affects wildlife populations globally. Since 2004, we have been researching conservation issues and implementing a comprehensive program to reduce human-bear conflicts (Ursus spp.; HBC) for 3 small, fragmented, and threatened grizzly bear (U. arctos) populations in the trans-border region of southwe...
Article
Recognizing delineations of gene flow among groups of animals can be challenging but is necessary for conservation and management. Of particular importance is the identification of species boundaries. Several physical and genetic traits have been used with mixed success to distinguish Myotis keenii (Merriam, 1895) (Keen’s myotis) and Myotis evotis...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Here we reviewed the scientific literature on the relationship between grizzly bears, human motorized access, and the efficacy of motorized access control as a tool to benefit grizzly bear conservation in western Canada. We suggest landscape road targets that will benefit bear conservation.
Article
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Human activities have dramatic effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife. Increased road densities and human presence in wilderness areas have elevated human-caused mortality of grizzly bears and reduced bears' use. Management agencies frequently attempt to reduce human-caused mortality by managing road density and thus human access, bu...
Article
Understanding the spatial structure of populations is fundamental to effective assessment, planning, and management for species conservation. Because of their sensitivity and public interest, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are focused upon in some localized development issues and proactive conservation initiatives. Knowledge regarding the spatial con...
Article
Full-text available
Brown bears (Ursus arctos) inhabit much of the northern hemisphere, including portions of North America, Europe, and Asia. Whereas northern populations generally are healthy, their distribution becomes fragmented and conservation status more tenuous in their southern range. Many fragmented populations across southern Asia are poorly understood, and...
Article
The conservation status of the 2 threatened grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) populations in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem (CYE) of northern Montana and Idaho had remained unchanged since designation in 1975; however, the current demographic status of these populations was uncertain. No rigorous data on population density and distribution or analysis of rec...
Article
Fragmentation is a growing threat to wildlife worldwide and managers need solutions to reverse its impacts on species' populations. Populations of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), often considered an umbrella and focal species for large mammal conservation, are fragmented by human settlement and major highways in the trans-border region of southern Br...
Article
Population fragmentation compromises population viability, reduces a species ability to respond to climate change, and ultimately may reduce biodiversity. We studied the current state and potential causes of fragmentation in grizzly bears over approximately 1,000,000 km2 of western Canada, the northern United States (US), and southeast Alaska. We c...
Article
Large carnivores potentially change their behavior following physical capture, becoming less responsive to the attractants that resulted in their capture, which can bias population estimates where the change in behavior is not appropriately modeled. We applied occupancy models to efficiently estimate and compare detection probabilities of previousl...
Article
Augmentation of large carnivore populations can be a valuable management and recovery tool, but success of many programs has not been well documented. The Cabinet—Yaak grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population was located in northwestern Montana and northern Idaho, USA, and was estimated at 30–40 individuals. The Cabinet Mountains portion of this area...
Article
Full-text available
Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) occur across British Columbia and in Alberta in mostly forested, mountainous, and boreal ecosystems. These dense forests make sighting bears from aircraft uncommon and aerial census impractical. Since 1995, we have used genetic sampling using DNA from bear hair collected with barbed wire hair traps to explore a suite of...
Article
Over a 3-year period, we assessed 2 sampling designs for estimating grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population size using DNA capture–mark–recapture methods on a population of bears that included radiomarked individuals. We compared a large-scale design (with 8 × 8-km grid cells and sites moved for 4 sessions) and a small-scale design (5 × 5-km grid ce...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding factors that influence and predict grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) distribution and abundance is fundamental to their conservation. In southeast British Columbia, Canada, we applied DNA hair-trap sampling (1) to evaluate relationships of grizzly bear detections with landscape variables of habitat and human activity, and (2) to model the s...
Article
Full-text available
Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) populations spanning the U.S.–Canada border in the south Selkirk, Purcell–Yaak, and Cabinet Mountains are small, vulnerable, and at the front lines of any further range contraction in North America. Recent genetics work demonstrated that the south Selkirk grizzlies are an isolated population (no male or female connectivi...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the widespread use of DNA mark–recapture for estimation of grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population size, there have been no designed experiments of DNA sampling strategies. We designed a large-scale study (8,820 km 2) in the foothills of Alberta, Canada, to test sampling strategies associated with the hair snag DNA method. The main sampling...
Article
Ecosystem conservation requires the presence of native carnivores, yet in North America, the distributions of many larger carnivores have contracted. Large carnivores live at low densities and require large areas to thrive at the population level. Therefore, if human-dominated landscapes fragment remaining carnivore populations, small and demograph...
Article
Natal dispersal is difficult to quantify, and long-distance events are often undetected, leading to biased estimates. Here we measure average sex-specific dispersal distances in grizzly bears using individual-based genetic analysis. We genetically sampled and generated 15-locus microsatellite genotypes for 711 grizzly bears over 100 000 km2 in sout...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates 7 mark-recapture projects using grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) DNA from bait stations with hair snags in British Columbia, 1996-98. The emphasis of these projects was to estimate population size. We evaluate how well this objective was met in terms of mark-recapture assumptions and ultimate precision and bias of estimates. We used...
Article
The distribution of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) at the southern edge of their North American range includes 5 mountain peninsulas extending from the contiguous northern distribution. In several cases, these peninsulas cross into the conterminous United States. The long-term survival of these populations may depend on the retention of demographic l...
Article
Identification of individuals in a free-ranging animal population is potentially hampered by a lack of distinguishing features (e.g., scars, unique color patterns), poor visibility (e.g., densely forested environments), cost and invasiveness of physical capture, and mark loss. Advances in DNA-analysis technology offer alternative methods of individ...

Citations

... On the most basic level, assessment involves documenting presence. Across Asia, there remain many places where investigators are seeking to ascertain the presence of bears, using methods similar to ours [104,105]. ...
... Estimating the abundance of unmarked animals from camera trap data has always been challenging for ecologists. For the past two decades, very few studies have actually assessed the population abundance of Asian bears employing statistically rigorous methods; instead, many of the studies have heavily relied upon sign index or interview-based distributions due to the relatively less expensive nature and ease of application in the field Proctor et al., 2022). Information on sloth bear abundance and its governing factors is lacking throughout the species' range (Dharaiya, Bargali & Sharp, 2016). ...
... The results provide a reference for the current distribution and a basis for the protection of suitable habitats in Jilin Province. We suggest that similar surveys should be conducted on a five-year basis and attention should be continuously paid to the changes of the distribution of ABBs, especially in areas presently not covered by our survey (McShea et al., 2022). ...
... Ecologists often prefer to estimate density (D = N / area) rather than abundance to assess change in brown bear numbers in any area over time. For reliable density estimation the population be geographically isolated with no entry and exit of brown bears (Tumendemberel et al., 2021). Though N or D are preferred methods, but both require intensive sampling. ...
... Large carnivores have long fascinated human societies, yet their persistence has emerged as one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time [5,6]. These species can pose threats to people living near them, sometimes resulting in human injury and death, especially in multiuse landscapes where human activities and large carnivore ranges overlap [7][8][9]. ...
... If one is making the case that two groups represent different species, then the use of LOCPRIOR as by Morales et al. (2021) to amplify weak structure, is inappropriate. Moreover, use of LOCPRIOR required Morales et al. (2021) to assign a priori group membership to samples, Proctor et al. (2005Proctor et al. ( , 2020 (Canada) showing what separate species look like, mostly a clear division with some expected low level of imprecision (Paetkau et al. 1997) ...
... The shape of individuals' home ranges depends on the distribution of resources in the landscape as well as constraints on their movements, like the presence of roads (Dahle and Swenson, 2003;Proctor et al., 2019). Home ranges can be irregular, asymmetric, and non-stationary (i. ...
... Global warming can drive plant distribution to higher elevations and latitudes [65,66]. In the Pacific Northwest of North America, it has been predicted that Huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) will expand into higher altitudes (>3050 m) by the end of the 21st century [67]. In Egypt, the suitable habitat of Rosa arabica may shift upward to the 1500-2000 m zone [68]. ...
... At the same time, proper genetic methods will deliver useful biological information, such as that regarding genetic diversity, demography, population bottlenecks, inbreeding, gene flow, or isolated populations [27,[53][54][55]. Moreover, a well-established noninvasive genetic monitoring programme will improve data and information about the bear population's evolutionary history, connectivity, and genetic health [56]. ...
... These same databases of individual genotypes could also be used to estimate genetic diversity. Because costs of DNA analysis have dropped considerably in recent decades, practitioners may find "genetic tagging" more cost-effective than capture and handling methods (Lamb et al., 2019). ...