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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of translocation distance on frequency of return by adult black bears

Published source details

Rogers L.L. (1986) Effects of translocation distance on frequency of return by adult black bears. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 14, 76-80

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Translocate mammals that have habituated to humans (e.g. bears) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A review of 19 studies in forested areas in 16 states and provinces in the USA and Canada (Rogers 1986) found that black bears Ursus americanus translocated away from sites of conflict with humans were less likely to return to their capture site if translocated as younger bears, over greater distances, or across geographic barriers. Of 15 sub-adult male bears translocated 32–85 km (pooled from two studies), one returned to its capture site, compared to 106 returns out of 145 bears >2 years old translocated 8–120 km (pooled from 12 studies). In data pooled from 12 studies, fewer bears (34 of 79 bears - 43%) that were translocated 64–271 km returned to capture locations than bears translocated <64 km (81 of 100 bears – 81%). In one study of bears translocated ≤80 km, fewer returned when released at locations separated from capture sites by mountains or numerous ridges (5 of 27 bears – 19%) than when released across more uniform terrain (104 of 143 bears – 73%). Translocation and movement data were summarized from 19 studies (16 published in 1961–1984 and three unpublished) of bears translocated due to nuisance behaviour. Bears were considered to have returned home if found within 8–20 km of their capture site (this varied by study).

(Summarised by Rose Hinson)