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Data from: Diet and macronutrient niche of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in two regions of Nepal during summer and autumn

Citation

Panthi, Saroj; Aryal, Achyut; Coogan, Sean C. P. (2019), Data from: Diet and macronutrient niche of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in two regions of Nepal during summer and autumn, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.81kk648

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the nutritional ecology of omnivorous Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) in Nepal. We characterized the diet of black bears in two seasons (June–July, “summer”; and October–November “autumn”) and two study areas (Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve [DHR]; and Kailash Sacred Landscape [KSL]). We then conducted nutritional analysis of species consumed by black bears in each study area, in combination with nutritional estimates from the literature, to estimate the proportions of macronutrients (i.e., protein [P], lipid [L], and carbohydrate [C]) in the seasonal bear foods and diets, as well as their macronutrient niche breadth. We found that bamboo (Arundinaria spp.) had the highest relative frequency in both study areas and seasons. Ants and termites were found in DHR diets, but not KSL diets. One anthropogenic crop was found in DHR summer diets (Zea mays) and two were found in KSL summer diets (Z. mays; and Kodo millet [Paspalum scrobiculatum]). Other than insects, no animal prey was found in either diet. The proportions of macronutrients in diets (i.e., realized macronutrient niches) were relatively high in carbohydrate for both study areas and seasons: DHRsummer 24.1P:8.7L:67.2C; KSLsummer 16.7P:8.2L:75.1C; DHRautumn 21.1P:10.5L:68.4C; KSHautumn 19.0P:11.0L:70.0C. Macronutrient niche breadth was 3.1 × greater in the DHR than KSL during summer, and 4.0 × greater in the autumn, primarily due to the higher proportion of lipid in ants and termites relative to plant foods. Within‐study area differences in niche breadth were greater during summer than autumn; in the KSH the macronutrient breadth was 1.4 × greater in summer, while in the DHR it was 1.1 × greater in summer. Similarity in dietary macronutrient proportions despite differences in foods consumed and niche breadth are suggestive of foraging to reach a preferred macronutrient balance.

Usage Notes

Location

Nepal