Human impacts on bear habitat use

Bears: Their Biology and Management



: Human effects on bear habitat use are mediated through food biomass changes, bear tolerance of humans and their impacts, and human tolerance of bears. Large-scale changes in bear food biomass have been caused by conversion of wildlands and waterways to intensive human use, and by the introduction of exotic pathogens. Bears consume virtually all human foods that have been established in former wildlands, but bear use has been limited by access. Air pollution has also affected bear food biomass on a small scale and is likely to have major future impacts on bear habitat through climatic warming. Major changes in disturbance cycles and landscape mosaics wrought by humans have further altered temporal and spatial pulses of bear food production. These changes have brought short-term benefits in places, but have also added long-term stresses to most bear populations. Although bears tend to avoid humans, they will also use exotic and native foods in close proximity to humans. Subadult males and adult females are more often impelled to forage closer to humans because of their energetic predicament and because more secure sites are often preempted by adult males. Although male bears are typically responsible for most livestock predation, adult females and subadult males are more likely to be habituated to humans because they tend to forage closer to humans. Elimination of human-habituated bears predictably reduces effective carrying capacity and is more likely to be a factor in preserving bear populations where humans are present in moderate-to-high densities. If humans desire to preserve viable bear populations, they will either have to accept increased risk of injury associated with preserving habituated animals, or continue to crop habituated bears while at the same time preserving large tracts of wildlands free from significant human intrusion.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Human impacts on bear habitat use
Series title Bears: Their Biology and Management
DOI 10.2307/3872901
Volume 8
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher International Association of Bear Research and Management
Publisher location Morges, Switzerland
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 24 p.
First page 33
Last page 56
Conference Title Eighth International Conference on Bear Research and Management
Conference Location Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Conference Date February 1989
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details