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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Management of McNeil River State Game Sanctuary for viewing of brown bears

Published source details

Aumiller L.D. & Matt C.A. (1994) Management of McNeil River State Game Sanctuary for viewing of brown bears. Bears: Their Biology and Management, 9, 51-61

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Habituate mammals to visitors Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1973–1993 in a riverine and grassland site in Alaska, USA (Aumiller & Matt 1994) found that brown bears Ursus arctos that were highly habituated to humans showed less aggression towards human visitors than did non-habituated bears. Results were not tested for statistical significance. No intense charges were made at people by highly habituated bears compared to eight by bears that were not highly habituated (four by ‘wary’ and four by ‘partially habituated’ bears). No human injuries from bears were recorded. All charges, other aggressive displays and bear visits to the campsite were averted by actions such as loud noises or, occasionally, use of non-lethal rubber shot. The programme operated in a 999-km2 protected area in which bear hunting was prohibited. Bears were habituated by being in proximity to people in non-threatening interactions (see paper for details; numbers of bears not provided). Human visitors away from the campground were restricted to 10/day, usually from early June to late August. Visitors were in groups, escorted by park staff and were instructed in exhibiting non-threatening behaviour, such as avoiding loud noises or sudden movements.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)