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Structured Decision Making for Brown Bears on National Park Service Lands in Alaska: Integration of Monitoring to Inform Management

Duration

August 2011 - December 2013

Narrative

Brown bears, or grizzlies (Ursus arctos horribilis), are widely distributed, abundant, and their management is of interest throughout much of their Alaskan range. Brown bears are regulated as a game species by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) and occur in large numbers on lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS). Depending on the status of the park, NPS involvement in bear management ranges from regulating access to full involvement with ADFG in regulating harvest. By its nature, this problem involves tradeoffs between competing interests (sport hunting, subsistence hunting, and potential release of ungulates from predation) with other values such as wildlife viewing, with uncertainty about the impacts of harvest activities and human encroachment from mining and other activities on these respective values. Thus, NPS and ADFG managers face difficult decisions in establishing a balance between these conflicting needs. To aid the decision-making process, we propose to build decision-support models consisting of relationships among management actions, sources of uncertainty, and potential outcomes. Because existing knowledge of the dynamics of bear populations is imperfect, the models will allow for the formal incorporation of inventory and monitoring data to reduce uncertainty and improve the understanding of the dynamics of bear populations and future decision-making.

 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 4

Masters Students: 12

Phd Students: 11

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 16

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 20

Scientific Publications: 71

Presentations: 268

 

Personnel

  • James PetersonPrincipal Investigator
  • Michael ConroyCo-Principal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USGS

Links

Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  2. Oregon State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute