ABSTRACT

The American black bear (Ursus americanus) was nearly extirpated from New Jersey in the early to mid-twentieth century. The black bear is the largest land mammal in New Jersey and occupies the northwestern region of the state. Both sexes of black bears are known to practice multiple mating. In this study, we assessed paternity among bears from New Jersey. All analyses were performed using eight microsatellite loci: G10L, Mu50, G10P, G10H, G10O, G10J, G10C, and Mu59. We analyzed fifteen family units (sow and offspring) for a total of 50 cubs and yearlings for paternity. Data from eight microsatellite loci allowed assignment of multiple paternities for cubs in three out of 15 (20%) litters.

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