Sharon Baruch-Mordo GDPE PhD Dissertation Defense
Human-dominated landscapes offer spatially concentrated and reliable food resources that attract bears and lead to human-bear conflicts.
Many conflicts occur in urban areas where traditional management strategies targeting bears can be difficult to implement or unpopular with local citizens, hence wildlife managers are increasingly considering management tools targeting people.
Regardless of whether management is targeting humans or bears, effective implementation depends on understanding human and bear behaviors. Here I draw on results form a 6-year study on American black bear (Ursus americanus) in Aspen, Colorado, USA, in which I studied the human and bear components of an urban system.
I gained insights on bear behavior based on detailed data collected from GPS collars. I found that bear space use and activity patterns fluctuated with the availability of natural food sources and that bears were not irreversibly dependent on human food sources. I also gained insights on human behavior from an experimental evaluation of education and enforcement as management tools, and found that proactive enforcement was most effective in changing human behavior to better secure refuse attractants from bears.
Finally, I conducted a simulation study using patch-selection models to examine how changes in energetic costs and benefits that result from management targeting bears and people can influence bear foraging decisions. Modeling results suggested that allocating management resources to reduce availability of anthropogenic attractants are more practical in preventing bear foraging in urban patches. My study therefore provides an inclusive understanding of human-bear interactions and conflict management in the urban environment and can serve as a model for other systems. In addition I demonstrate how patch-selection models can be used as a decision support tool to evaluate mitigation strategies of human-wildlife conflict.
Event Contact: Jeri Morgan can be reached at (970) 491-4373
Sponsored by the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology.
|Calendar Name:||All University Events Calendar|
|Event Category:||Dissertation & Thesis Defenses|
|Start Time:||10:00 AM|
|End Time:||01:00 PM|
|Event Begins On:||Friday, April 27, 2012|
|Event Ends On:||Friday, April 27, 2012|
|Submitter's Name:||Jeri Morgan|