Moose use roads to protect young from bears
Research article by Joel Berger about Yellowstone moose behavior
October 15, 2007
In a research paper that was just published in Biology Letters, wildlife biologist Joel Berger says his research studies show that moose in Yellowstone National Park are shifting birth sites closer to paved roads. His interpretation of this activity is that the moose are doing this purposely to use humans and the traffic on the roads to shield their young against carnivores because brown bear predators tend to stay a greater distance from these roads. He calls this a three-way interaction between people, predators and prey.
“These findings offer rigorous support that mammals use humans to shield against carnivores and raise the possibility that redistribution has occurred in other mammalian taxa due to human presence in ways we have yet to anticipate.”
The Biology Letters are a journal published by The Royal Society of London, England. It is a primarily online, peer-reviewed journal that publishes short, high-quality letters from across the biological sciences.
Joel Berger has spent the last ten years working for the Wildlife Conservation Society doing research focused primarily on studying moose in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. His has also done research in the Upper Green River Valley studying impacts of oil and gas development on big game movement from Yellowstone south.