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Spatially explicit genetic capture-recapture data from black bears in Ontario, Canada, 2017-2019

Citation

Howe, Eric (2021), Spatially explicit genetic capture-recapture data from black bears in Ontario, Canada, 2017-2019, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7wm37pvtz

Abstract

The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry sampled black bear (Ursus americanus) DNA at baited barbed wire hair corrals on 77 independent study areas in Ontario Canada, 2017-2019. Spatially explicit capture-recapture data from these surveys (>12 000 independent, spatially referenced detections of nearly 4000 individual bears) are archived here. This data set will be cited in manuscripts presenting different analyses of the entire data set or subsets thereof.

Methods

The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry sampled black bear DNA at baited barbed wire hair corrals on 77 independent study areas in Ontario Canada, 2017-2019. Wire height (~50 cm) was intended to exclude dependent offspring (bears aged 0 and 1 years) from the sample. Most study areas were surveyed only once, in 2017, 2018, or 2019, but OpeongoLine, ShirleyLakeRd, and WinterLake were all sampled in both 2018 and 2019, and Sowden was sampled in all three years, for a total of 82 data sets. Sampling took place over 5 weekly sampling occasions in spring and early summer. Sampling on ShirleyLakeRd in 2019 was extended by two weeks, for 7 occasions. Individuals and their sex were identified from microsatellite genotypes to 15 loci to generate encounter histories.

Usage Notes

"StudyAreas.csv" lists the study area-specific files with trap locations ("traps_...csv") and bear encounter histories ("caps_...txt") and summarizes data collection results.
Also provided in this file are the year of sampling, the forest region sampled (boreal or Great Lakes St. Lawrence ["GLSL"; Rowe 1972]), and the Wildlife Landscape Zone (WLZ) i.e. management zone sampled.

"traps...csv" files provide numeric labels (detectorID) and x- and y-coordinates of barbed wire hair corrals on each study area. 
Coordinate units are UTMs (datum = NAD83; longitude zone included in the filename at end after "Z")
Wherever temporal sampling effort varied among sampling occasions, week-specific sampling effort in days is provided as additional columns in traps files. 
These additional colums are usually recognized by the 'secr' R package and included as 'usage' information when traps and capthist objects are created. 

"caps....txt" files are individual-specific encounter histories. Columns are (1) "session", which references the study area, 
(2) "indiv": an individual identifier for different bears, (3) "ocn" is the temporal sampling occasion, 
(4) "trap": is an identifier for a sampling location (coordinates in corresponding "traps...csv" file), and "sex" ("fem" or "mal").
Encounter histories exclude repeat detections of the same individual at the same trap within occasions 

All "caps" and "traps" files include the study area name and the year of sampling in the file name to ensure encounter histories can be matched to the appropriate traps.

Session names are unique across surveys and data files. Session names are study area names except for study areas sampled in more than one year.
For these study areas, we appended the year of sampling to the study area name for all years other than the first year.
E.g. for the study area named "Sowden", the session name for 2017 data is "Sowden", and for data from subsequent years the session names are "Sowden2018", and "Sowden2019".

Example R script for importing study-area specific data and formatting them as a capthist object is provided ("RScript_InputBlackbearSECRdata.txt").