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Interactions between wildlife viewers and habituated brown bears, 1987-1992

By J. M. Fagen, R. Fagen

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Public participation in wildlife viewing has increased in recent years in the USA and is expected to continue to increase. The article presents and analyses direct, systematic observations of 322 human interactions with known, habituated brown bears over six consecutive years from 1987-92 at Pack Creek, Alaska, before, during and after conception and implementation of new bear viewing regulations. The site has been popular for bear viewing since the 1930s. The study showed that, overall, bear-human interaction declined after regulation of visitor activity began in 1988. This decline lasted until 1992, even though visitor use increased almost threefold from 1987-92. Rates and types of interaction fluctuated among years and were influenced by individual bears and their age/sex class. The goals of limiting possible human effects on bears and of enhancing human safety could be served by management that: (1) minimizes human-caused interactions, and (2) continues and expands visitor education.

Date 1994
Publication Title Natural Areas Journal
Volume 14
Issue 3
Pages 159-164
ISBN/ISSN 0885-8608
Language English
Author Address 9084 Sheiye Way, Juneau, Alaska 99801, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Alaska
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Audiences
  4. Bears
  5. Developed countries
  6. Guests
  7. Mammals
  8. Management
  9. North America
  10. OECD countries
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. recreation
  13. regulations
  14. rules
  15. spectators
  16. United States of America
  17. visitors
  18. wildlife
  1. peer-reviewed