Cooperative Research Units
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Massachusetts Residents' Attitudes Toward Black Bears and Black Bear Management


January 2016 - December 2019


The black bear (Ursus americanus) population in Massachusetts is growing in size and expanding in range, and bears are becoming increasingly more common in suburban areas of the state. As the Massachusetts’ black bear population increases and expands, it continues to push into areas where the general public is largely inexperienced with bears. A statewide survey, conducted in collaboration with Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and Responsive Management, Inc., will be used to assess Massachusetts residents' attitudes toward black bear and black bear management. Results of this study will provide a more detailed understanding of Massachusetts’ residents’ opinions on the bear population, experience with bears, and opinions on black bear management options. These results will be used by MassWildilfe to make informed management decisions regarding black bears and will help MassWildlife gain a better understanding of the current challenges facing black bear management in the third most densely populated state in the country.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 11

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 69

Scientific Publications: 35

Presentations: 148



Funding Agencies

  • Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife


Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  2. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. University of Massachusetts
  6. Wildlife Management Institute