Human-Bear Conflict

As the black bear (Ursus americanus) population in the Adirondack region has expanded, so have negative encounters with humans. While it is believed that periodic increases in black bear-human conflict levels and non-hunting mortalities in the central Adirondack region are due to drought and lack of natural food sources, the degree of impact has not been quantified. Indices of hard and soft mast abundance may serve as indicators of potential bear nuisance activity and reproductive rates. Equipping wildlife managers with knowledge of these indicators will increase their predictive ability for population management and provide empirical evidence to support educational outreach to mitigate human-bear conflicts.


Project Title: Effect of Variable Mast Production on American Black Bear Reproduction and Bear-Human Conflict in the Central Adirondack Mountains

Summary:
We are describing the effect of fluctuations in natural food sources on human-bear conflict through the use of long-term datasets on annual abundance of natural bear foods and nuisance complaint records filed by the public. We’re using harvest data and a reproductive tract collection by hunters to describe the relationship between food abundance and the timing of cub production in the region.

Location: Adirondack Region of New York State USA

Timeline: 2009 – 2011

Field participants:
Courtney LaMere, M.S. Candidate

Principal Investigators:
Stacy A. McNulty, Adirondack Ecological Center of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Jeremy Hurst, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Funding:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Contact:
Stacy A. McNulty
Adirondack Ecological Center of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Newcomb, NY USA.
Ph: 518-582-4551 x102. E-mail: smcnulty@esf.edu