U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

March 2001


Published in Ursus 12:2001.


Forest managers establish feeding stations throughout coniferous forests in western Washington that are vulnerable to American black bear (Ursus americanus) damage in the spring. This study was conducted to determine whether the home ranges of bears in areas with supplemental feeding were smaller than the home ranges of bears in similar adjacent areas without supplemental feeding. Home range sizes varied among bears. However, the home range sizes of bears in feeding areas did not differ (P > 0.35) from home ranges of bears in non-feeding areas. Male bears had larger (P = 0.0002) home ranges than female bears, but this difference was consistent across both treatments (P > 0.35). Bear home ranges were reduced (P = 0.029) during the feeding period relative to the non-feeding period, but this reduction was not related to treatment (P = 0.261). Although the supplemental feeding program did not affect home range sizes, the telemetry study data, supported by data collected through video-monitoring of feeding sites, indicated that feeding stations may attract and concentrate bears at specific locations.