Anthony M Pagano
Polar bear physiology, ecology, and conservation. Waterfowl population ecology.
Education and/or Training
Ph.D. 2018 University of California, Santa Cruz Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
M.S. 2007 University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN Wildlife Conservation
B.A. 2002 Northeastern University, Boston, MA Biology and History
2008 - Present Wildlife Biologist USGS Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska
Websites of Interest
Science and Products
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are one of 4 marine mammal species managed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The USGS Alaska Science Center leads long–term research on polar bears to inform local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation of the species and its habitat. Our studies, ongoing since 1985, are focused on population dynamics, health and...
Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical?
Ursids are the largest mammals to retain a plantigrade posture. This primitive posture has been proposed to result in reduced locomotor speed and economy relative to digitigrade and unguligrade species, particularly at high speeds. Previous energetics research on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) found locomotor costs were more than double predictions...Pagano, Anthony M.; Carnahan, Anthony M.; Robbins, Charles T.; Owen, Megan A.; Batson, Tammy; Wagner, Nate; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M.
Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans
The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals’ movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the...Sequeira, A. M. M.; Rodríguez, J.P.; Eguíluz, V. M.; Harcourt, R.; Hindell, M.; Sims, D.W.; Duarte, C.M.; Costa, D.P.; Fernandez-Gracia, J.; Ferreira, L.C.; Hays, G.C.; Heupel, M. R.; Meekan, M.G.; Aven, A.; Bailleul, F.; Baylis, A. M. M.; Berumen, M. L.; Braun, C. D.; Burns, J.; Caley, M.J.; Campbell, R.; Carmichael, R.H.; Clua, E.; Einoder, L. D.; Friedlaender, Ari; Goebel, M. E.; Goldsworthy, S.D.; Guinet, C.; Gunn, J.; Hamer, D.; Hammerschlag, N.; Hammill, M.; Hückstädt, L.A.; Humphries, N.E.; Lea, M.-A.; Lowther, A.; Mackay, A.; McHuron, E.; Mckenzie, J.; McLeay, L.; McMahon, C.R.; Mengersen, K.; Muelbert, M. M. C.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Page, B.; Queiroz, N.; Robinson, P. W.; Shaffer, S.A.; Shivji, M.; Skomal, G. B.; Thorrold, S.; Villegas-Amtmann, S.; Weise, M.; Wells, R.; Wetherbee, B.; Wiebkin, A.; Wienecke, B.; Thums, M.
High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear
Regional declines in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations have been attributed to changing sea ice conditions, but with limited information on the causative mechanisms. By simultaneously measuring field metabolic rates, daily activity patterns, body condition, and foraging success of polar bears moving on the spring sea ice, we found that high...Pagano, Anthony M.; Durner, George M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Costa, Daniel P.; Owen, Megan A.; Williams, Terrie M.
Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity
The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus...Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Douglas, David C.; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa L; Atwood, Todd C.; Regehr, Eric V.; Richardson, Evan; Pilfold, Nicholas; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C.; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M.; Simac, Kristin S.
Evaluating methods to assess the body condition of female polar bears
An animal's body condition provides insight into its health, foraging success, and overall fitness. Measures of body composition including proportional fat content are useful indicators of condition. Isotopic dilution is a reliable non-destructive method for estimating the body composition of live mammals, but can require prolonged handling times...Pagano, Anthony M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Atkinson, Stephen N.
Habitat degradation affects the summer activity of polar bears
Understanding behavioral responses of species to environmental change is critical to forecasting population-level effects. Although climate change is significantly impacting species’ distributions, few studies have examined associated changes in behavior. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations have varied in their near-term responses to sea...Ware, Jasmine V.; Rode, Karyn D.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Douglas, David C.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, George M.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Olson, Jay; Robbins, Charles T.; Jansen, Heiko T
Performance and retention of lightweight satellite radio tags applied to the ears of polar bears (Ursus maritimus)
BackgroundSatellite telemetry studies provide information that is critical to the conservation and management of species affected by ecological change. Here we report on the performance and retention of two types (SPOT-227 and SPOT-305A) of ear-mounted Argos-linked satellite transmitters (i.e., platform transmitter terminal, or PTT) deployed on...Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Dietz, Rune; Jensen, Mikkel Villum; Durner, George M.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Dyck, Markus
Using tri-axial accelerometers to identify wild polar bear behaviors
Tri-axial accelerometers have been used to remotely identify the behaviors of a wide range of taxa. Assigning behaviors to accelerometer data often involves the use of captive animals or surrogate species, as their accelerometer signatures are generally assumed to be similar to those of their wild counterparts. However, this has rarely been tested...Pagano, Anthony M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Cutting, A.; Owen, M.A.; Jensen, S.; Ware, J.V.; Robbins, C.T.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Obbard, M.E.; Middel, K.R.; Thiemann, G.W.; Williams, T.M.
Validation of mercury tip-switch and accelerometer activity sensors for identifying resting and active behavior in bears
Activity sensors are often included in wildlife transmitters and can provide information on the behavior and activity patterns of animals remotely. However, interpreting activity-sensor data relative to animal behavior can be difficult if animals cannot be continuously observed. In this study, we examined the performance of a mercury tip-switch...Jasmine Ware; Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Robbins, Charles T.; Joy Erlenbach; Shannon Jensen; Amy Cutting; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Amy Hash; Owen, Megan A.; Heiko Jansen
Effects of capturing and collaring on polar bears: findings from long-term research on the southern Beaufort Sea population
Context: The potential for research methods to affect wildlife is an increasing concern among both scientists and the public. This topic has a particular urgency for polar bears because additional research is needed to monitor and understand population responses to rapid loss of sea ice habitat.Aims: This study used data collected from...Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Atwood, Todd C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.
Using sightability-adjusted brood-pair ratios to estimate waterfowl productivity
Historically, biologists used brood-pair ratios (BPRs) as an index to waterfowl productivity to help guide management decisions and evaluate conservation practices. However, BPRs are biased by imperfect detection probabilities, especially for broods. We conducted roadside surveys for breeding waterfowl pairs on 7–8 study sites in the springs...Pagano, Anthony M.; Amundson, Courtney L.; Pieron, Matthew R.; Arnold, Todd W.; Kimmel, Timothy C.
Remote biopsy darting and marking of polar bears
Remote biopsy darting of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is less invasive and time intensive than physical capture and is therefore useful when capture is challenging or unsafe. We worked with two manufacturers to develop a combination biopsy and marking dart for use on polar bears. We had an 80% success rate of collecting a tissue sample with a...Pagano, Anthony M.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.; McKinney, Melissa A.