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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Field tests of potential polar bear repellents

Published source details

Miller G.D. (1987) Field tests of potential polar bear repellents. Bears: Their Biology and Management, 7, 383-390


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 study in 1978 at a shrubland and grassland site in Manitoba, Canada (Miller 1987) found that acoustic deterrents and baits treated with chemical deterrents did not, in most cases, repel polar bears Ursus maritimus. Out of 55 visits, acoustic deterrents repelled bears on 17 visits and did not repel them on 38 visits. From 294 visits, chemical deterrent repelled bears five times but did not repel them during 289 visits. However, bears remained for shorter periods at chemical repellent-treated bait stations (average 98–317 s) than at baits without repellents (average 420 s). In October–November 1978, polar bears were attracted to 13 bait stations with sardines. Stations were all 100–500 m from a 6-m-high tower, from which bear responses were observed. At one bait station, a loudspeaker was placed 5 m from the bait. Sounds played through the loudspeaker included bear sounds, human shouting, killer whale sounds, radio noise and human hissing and barking like a bear. Ten bait stations were sprayed with dog-repellents or household chemicals. Two bait stations had no repellents.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)