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    Author(s): Nicholas J. Czaplewski; Steve Willsey
    Date: 2013
    Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 468-471.
    Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (563.39 KB)

    Description

    In 2008, Steve Willsey discovered the fragmentary cranium of a bear loose on the floor of a cave at about 2270 m elevation near the crest of the Huachuca Mountains. In 2009, we revisited the cave to examine the specimen with the intention of identifying the species. We photographed and measured the main pieces and left them in the cave. The skull is from an adult, probably male, with prominent sagittal crest. Bears are highly variable morphologically and their remains are difficult to identify. The morphological features and measurements of the Huachuca Mountains cranium are somewhat equivocal, but most available features indicate a brown bear, Ursus cf. arctos. Some parts are encrusted with carbonate and could be better examined after collection and preparation as well as comparison with late Pleistocene brown and black bears. Based on its state of preservation, the cranium possibly represents a late Pleistocene occurrence, which could be determined by radiometric dating. There is no previous fossil record of U. arctos in the Sky Islands, nor in the rest of Arizona, New Mexico, Chihuahua, or Sonora. Despite the lack of other fossil records in the region, this late Quaternary occurrence affirms the historic records of the species in the Apache Highlands before extirpation.

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    Citation

    Czaplewski, Nicholas J.; Willsey, Steve. 2013. Late quaternary brown bear (Ursidae: Ursus cf. arctos) from a cave in the Huachuca Mountains, Arizona. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 468-471.

    Keywords

    Madrean Archipelago, Sky Islands, southwestern United States, northern Mexico, natural environment, fauna, flora, research, management, biodiversity, climate change

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/44476