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Assessing bear-human conflicts in the Yukon Territory

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Managing conflicts between bears and humans is vital for human safety and for the conservation of bears. This study investigated black bear (Ursus americanus) and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) interactions with humans in 18 major communities of the Yukon Territory. I used an information theoretic approach to generate predictive models of the relative potential of bear-human interaction for the 9 conservation officer management regions in the Yukon Territory. I independently modeled interactions for each species according to 2 distinct bear foraging seasons: hypophagia and hyperphagia. Predictive models for both foraging seasons suggest a strong correlation between anthropogenic linear features and black and grizzly bear-human interactions. Therefore, consideration of bear habitat requirements and “bear smart” principles during community planning and development may be critical to achieve long-term success in bear-human conflict management.
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