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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evaluation of deterrent techniques and dogs to alter behavior of "nuisance" black bears

Published source details

Beckmann J.P., Lackey C.W. & Berger J. (2004) Evaluation of deterrent techniques and dogs to alter behavior of "nuisance" black bears. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 32, 1141-1146


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

Scare or otherwise deter mammals from human-occupied areas to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A randomized, controlled study in 1997–2002 in residential areas and adjacent forest across at least four mountain ranges in Nevada, USA (Beckmann et al. 2004) found that subjecting nuisance black bears Ursus americanus to deterrents intended to scare them, did not prevent their return to urban areas. The average time for bears to return to urban areas after treatments did not differ significantly between those chased by dogs Canis lupus familiaris in addition to noise and projectile deterrents (154 days), those subject to the same deterrents excluding chasing by dogs (88 days) or those not subject to deterrents (65 days). Fifty-seven of the 62 bears in the study returned to urban areas. Forty-four of these returned within 40 days. Nuisance bears (which raided garbage) were captured and radio-collared between July 1997 and April 2002. They were randomly assigned to deterrent treatments including chasing by dogs (20 bears), deterrent treatments excluding chasing by dogs (21 bears) or no deterrent (20 bears). Additional to chasing by dogs, deterrents entailed pepper spraying, firing 12-gauge rubber buckshot or rubber slugs, loud cracker shells and shouting. Deterrents were administered at release sites, 1–75 km from capture locations.

(Summarised by Rebecca F. Schoonover)