Vocal repertoire of Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) cubs

Liya Pokrovskaya (2013). Vocal repertoire of Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) cubs. Bioacoustics, Volume 22 (3): 229 -245

The vocal repertoire of the Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) has been poorly studied and until recently only two call types (chuffing and humming) have been described. Here I investigate the vocalizations of three wild orphaned cubs (two males and one female) reared by two observers in natural conditions in the Russian Far East. I grouped the calls into structural types, and then compared them with existing literature data on vocalizations of the same, as well as other species of the Ursidae family. In total, 1302 calls were classified visually from spectrograms into seven call types: whine, moan, yelp, grunt, snort, chuffing and humming. Classification results were verified with discriminant function analysis and randomization. I also fixed the presence of nonlinear phenomena (NLP) and articulation effects in calls. Whine was the most frequently recorded, as well as the most structurally variable call type due to a high rate of NLP. These results indicate that the vocal repertoire of the Asiatic Black Bear cubs is graded, but includes at least two discrete sound types. This work needs to be continued with further studies of vocalizations of cubs and adults of this species to verify the results of this preliminary study.


Asiatic Black Bear, Ursus thibetanus , vocal repertoire, nonlinear phenomena, articulation effect