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Researchers Identify Best Strategy to Reduce Human-Bear Conflict


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A black bear crosses the road.

A new study by sustainability researchers in the University of British Columbia uses computer modelling to look at strategies to reduce conflict between people and bears.

Credit: University of British Columbia Okanagan News

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada have developed a computer model to determine the most effective ways to reduce human-bear conflict.

The researchers used the model to simulate the movement of black bears in the resort municipality of Whistler in order to determine potential attractants and test different strategies to keep them out.

Researcher Luke Crevier said, "Our model allows us to drop in large amounts of data, including the landscape's spatial characteristics, movement patterns collected from GPS tracking of real bears, and other important information to essentially create a virtual landscape."

Crevier noted, "What was really interesting was how the model allowed us to identify attractants that maybe otherwise wouldn't be considered—like human garbage or large amounts of berries on private land within city limits."

The model could be applied to other areas and animals, such as cougars or wolves.

From University of British Columbia Okanagan News
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