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Biological and social investigation of human–black bear conflicts in the Panhandle of Florida

By Damon R. Lowery, Wayde C. Morse, Todd D. Steury

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Abstract

As human–black bear conflicts increase, developing conflict mitigation strategies that account for both biological and social understanding has become a primary objective of managers. We examined black bear habitat use in the Florida Panhandle to understand its impact on the spatial distribution of conflicts. Focus groups were conducted with local residents and wildlife professionals to obtain participants' beliefs, attitudes, and preferences toward bears and conflict management approaches. Findings suggest bears prefer using areas located closer to humans and that while participants generally supported the regional presence of bears there was no consensus on how to manage human–bear conflicts. Several habitat and human management implications were identified along with suggestions for additional research. Improving biological and social understanding on the causes of human–black bear conflicts and the efficacy of various mitigation strategies can advance collaboration between the public and wildlife professionals and facilitate agreement on socially acceptable conflict management strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Publication Title Human Dimensions of Wildlife
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 193-206
ISBN/ISSN 1087-1209; 1533-158X
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10871209.2012.660674
Author Address Morse, Wayde C., School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, 3301 Forestry and Wildlife Services Building, Auburn, AL, US, 36849
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Tags
  1. Animal welfare
  2. Conflict
  3. human-wildlife interactions
  4. Interspecies interactions
  5. Investigations
  6. peer-reviewed
  7. professionals
  8. space
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  1. peer-reviewed