Study examines salmon poisoning disease in grizzly bears

July 5, 2018, Wiley

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 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."

Explore further: Kodiak bears found to switch to eating elderberries instead of salmon as climate changes

More information: Charles T. Robbins et al, Salmon poisoning disease in grizzly bears with population recovery implications, The Journal of Wildlife Management (2018). DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21502

Related Stories

Kodiak bears track salmon runs in Alaska

June 1, 2016

A University of Montana graduate student's research on Alaskan brown bears and red salmon is the May cover story of the high-profile journal Ecology.

The bear necessities of aging

December 12, 2007

According to George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” but how fast does that aging occur once started" In the case of populations of salmon in Alaska studied ...

A single hair shows researchers what a bear has been eating

July 28, 2015

U.S. and Canadian researchers have found they can get a good idea of a grizzly bear's diet over several months by looking at a single hair. The technique, which measures residues of trace metals, can be a major tool in determining ...

Recommended for you

After a reset, Сuriosity is operating normally

February 23, 2019

NASA's Curiosity rover is busy making new discoveries on Mars. The rover has been climbing Mount Sharp since 2014 and recently reached a clay region that may offer new clues about the ancient Martian environment's potential ...

Study: With Twitter, race of the messenger matters

February 23, 2019

When NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice, the ensuing debate took traditional and social media by storm. University of Kansas researchers have ...

Solving the jet/cocoon riddle of a gravitational wave event

February 22, 2019

An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.