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


Date of this Version

February 2001


Published in WESTERN BLACK BEAR WORKSHOP 7:73-81 2001.


Black bears (Ursus americanus) are a valued resource in North America but pose many challenges to resource managers. They may be managed in 1 or more ways, including sustained yield harvests, nuisance animal control, or conservation management. Many black bear populations are stable or increasing, and combine with expanding human populations, increased development, and recreational activities, are leading to an increase in human-bear conflicts. Historically, methods such as relocation, general hunting seasons, or special hunts have been used in an effort to reduce bear density and damage, or to target individual offending animals. Many resource managers now operate under an increased set of constraints and limitations on methods with which to address these problems. That is considerable room for improvement in our ability to manage bear populations and reduce damage levels. New approaches, however, must meet criteria of socio-political acceptability, legal and regulatory authority, effectiveness costs. and duration of protection. Most successful programs to reduce human-bear conflicts usually employ a diversity of carefully calculated approaches, hence, using truly integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. Bear population management, habitat management, and people management should all be pm of the strategy.