Brown Bear Habitat Study

Bill and Heidi Collaring

The Refuge began a multi-year study in 2010 to collect data about Kodiak brown bear habitat use and movements in the Karluk Lake watershed area. A team of biologists and research interns captured and fitted GPS collars on 23 female bears. The collars log information every hour, 24 hours a day, for two years. During the summer research seasons of 2010 and 2011, the research team used telemetry to download the collar data and GPS locations, and then hiked to selected areas utilized by the collared bears to conduct vegetation plot surveys and gather fecal and hair samples.

Results from the study will help biologists and managers better understand the relationship between resource availability and productivity, and may also assist habitat conservation efforts in the face of impacts such as climate change.