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Study Examines Salmon Poisoning Disease in Grizzly Bears

Salmon in the northwestern continental US often carry a fluke containing bacteria that can produce a deadly disease in bears called salmon poisoning disease (SPD). 

Thursday, July 5, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"We are hopeful that the bears used in the initial restoration effort will feed exclusively on terrestrial-based foods as there are currently very few salmon returning to the North Cascades; however, any bear that moves into lower elevation areas where they might consume salmon will be closely monitored"

Salmon in the northwestern continental US often carry a fluke containing bacteria that can produce a deadly disease in bears called salmon poisoning disease (SPD). Current recovery plans for grizzly bears in the North Cascades of Washington and the mountains of central Idaho, where infected salmon currently occur, call for using bears from several interior populations; however, a new study reveals that such bears with no history of salmon consumption are likely sensitive to SPD.
The Journal of Wildlife Management findings indicate that identifying a source of bears that would be resistant to SPD may be difficult.

“We are hopeful that the bears used in the initial restoration effort will feed exclusively on terrestrial-based foods as there are currently very few salmon returning to the North Cascades; however, any bear that moves into lower elevation areas where they might consume salmon will be closely monitored,” said lead author Dr. Charles Robbins, of Washington State University. “If they eat salmon containing the bacteria, we suspect they will get sick. We are hopeful that they will be able to recover.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jwmg.21502

About Journal

The Journal of Wildlife Management publishes manuscripts containing information from original research that contributes to basic wildlife science. Suitable topics include investigations into the biology and ecology of wildlife and their habitats that has direct or indirect implications for wildlife management and conservation. This includes basic information on wildlife habitat use, reproduction, genetics, demographics, viability, predator-prey relationships, space-use, movements, behavior, and physiology; but within the context of contemporary management and conservation issues such that the knowledge may ultimately be useful to wildlife practitioners. 

Also considered are theoretical and conceptual aspects of wildlife science, including development of new approaches to quantitative analyses, modeling of wildlife populations and habitats, and other topics that are germane to advancing wildlife science.   Limited reviews or meta analyses will be considered if they provide a meaningful new synthesis or perspective on an appropriate subject.  Direct evaluation of management practices or policies should be sent to the Wildlife Society Bulletin, as should papers reporting new tools or techniques.  However, papers that report new tools or techniques, or effects of management practices, within the context of a broader study investigating basic wildlife biology and ecology will be considered by The Journal of Wildlife Management. Book reviews of relevant topics in basic wildlife research and biology.

About Wiley 

Wiley, a global research and learning company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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