SCI Foundation, with the assistance of the SCIF Hunter Legacy Fund (HLF), has funded five new research projects on black and brown bears in North America; specifically in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Wyoming and Missouri. The projects seek to explore a range of topics including population density, distribution and bears impacts on prey species.
Bears are a valuable economic resource in many regions throughout North America, making proper management strategies critical. Each project is studying the specific aspects that need to be addressed in order to ensure sustainable use and define hunting regulations in their areas.
Some projects are also looking at human-bear conflicts in areas with high bear population densities. The Alberta project will evaluate conflicts arising from bears attacking livestock and Missouri hopes to assess how the state mitigates human-bear conflict. The data collected from these projects will allow managers to create new management plans to monitor and reduce these conflicts. Knowing the time of year in which bear populations are at their highest or most active will facilitate the crafting of hunting regulations and allow regions to produce educational materials for the public in regards to safety precautions and general awareness.
In Wyoming they are looking at the predator-prey interactions between grizzly bears and moose. The recent recovery of grizzly bears in much of the Northern Rockies is presenting wildlife managers with the challenge to maintaining sustainable harvests of ungulate populations. This project will help managers decide where to most effectively conduct habitat enhancements or adjust predator harvest to increase sustainable harvest of moose.
The South Rockies Grizzly Project in British Columbia seeks to research “bottom- up” effects on bears such as its habitat or prey availability, as well as “top-down” effects such as hunting and human development. The goal of the project is to balance hunting opportunity, human safety and conservation risk for grizzly bears in the southern Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. This data could also be used to address other regions with similar bear populations.
SCI Foundation is proud to be able to contribute to these projects and thanks the HLF who provided more than $100,000 to assist in these important endeavors. HLF is a vital part in making this research possible. SCI Foundation is committed to science based management of wildlife and it is through these partnerships that we are able to contribute to conservation efforts around the world.
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