Implications of grizzly bear habituation to hikers


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use non-lethal methods to deter carnivores from attacking humans

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use non-lethal methods to deter carnivores from attacking humans

    A study in 1980–1981 in forest in a national park in Wyoming, USA (Jope 1985) found that hikers wearing bear bells were less likely to be approached or charged by grizzly bears Ursus arctos. Of initially motionless bears spotted ≤150 m from hikers, a higher proportion (67%) moved away from hikers with bells than from hikers without bells (26%). No bears charged at hikers with bells, whereas 14% of bears spotted by hikers without bells charged at the hikers. Hikers reported 97 observations of bears within 150 m. In 24% of encounters, hikers wore bells. Human-bear encounters in a 154-km2 study area were surveyed from 3 June–15 September 1980 and 14 June–22 September 1981. Bell-wearing rates were assessed during timed counts of hikers on trails, at 15-day intervals. Hikers were questioned about bear encounters.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust