1 Tahrcountry Musings: Why bears rub trees? – British Ecologist Get To The Bottom Of The Conundrum

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why bears rub trees? – British Ecologist Get To The Bottom Of The Conundrum

Many theories have been advanced as to why bears rub trees. One school of thought was: female bears might rub trees as they came into oestrous. Others were of the view that bears might be giving their backs a scratch to get rid of parasites. Dr Owen Nevin of the University of Cumbria has finally solved the riddle. Adult male grizzly bears use so-called “rub trees” as a way to communicate with each other while looking for breeding females. This behaviour also helps to reduce battles between the bears. Big male bears can seriously injure and even kill each other when they get into a fight. Over the past two years, Dr Nevin used four digital cameras with infra-red trips set up opposite rub trees to collect data on which bears used the trees and when. Satellite telemetry equipment were used to track individual bears' movements. The research findings will also help improve bear conservation by affording an insight into the behaviour of secretive male bears.
If you are keen about more information contact Dr Owen Nevin, University of Cumbria, tel: 0176 889 3551, email: Owen.Nevin@Cumbria.ac.uk.


Prasanth Kodai said...

That is pretty interesting

Camera Trap Codger said...

Cool! Always love to see camera traps used for this sort of thing. I believe there was strong anecdotal evidnce for this way way back when Heini Hediger was observing European brown bears in zoos, but this is from the real (natural) world rather than a zoo.

Mohan Alembath said...

Thanks for that info about anecdotal evidnce from Heini Hediger