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Predator Ecology and Management
What is a predator?
What is the effect of predators on prey
Some aspects of predator ecology and
1. Territoriality.
2. Functional and numerical responses.
3. Selectivity.
Territoriality: defense of an area by one
or more individuals against others of the
same, related, or ecologically similar
relates to the
amount of effort
exerted on a
particular prey
type. Often
measured as the
number of prey
eaten as a
function of prey
The numerical
response is
similar, but
relates to the
actual density
of the predators
in response to
the density of
the prey.
Predator Selectivity: the degree of
“choice” in the prey taken by a predator.
Often, in conservation biology, we’re
interested in the predator’s tendency to
take old, weak or diseased prey.
Coyotes and Mule Deer
Are declines of deer the
result of predation, or
other factors?
Proposition 197
Gray Wolves and
Numbers of moose and wolves
have fluctuated greatly since the
late 1960’s.
Can predators do
significantdamage to
What about predators that are potentially
dangerous to man?
A bear attack research update
Herrero and Higgins analyzed incidences of human injuries inflicted by bears in Alberta and
British Columbia (B.C.) between 1960–1998 and 1960-1997 respectively. The following are
selected findings from their studies:
According to Dr. Steve Herrero bear attacks are rare but obviously traumatic events. In all of
North America there are an estimated 800,000 black bears and 60,000 grizzly bears. Each year
people have millions of interactions with bears. A very small fraction of these results in human
injury. During the decade of the 1990s bears fatally injured on average 3 people each year and
seriously injured about 12.
The percentage of serious/fatal injuries in Alberta that occurred inside National Parks (as
opposed to on Alberta lands outside of National Parks) was disproportionate (high) to the
relatively small numbers of bears in the parks.
the probable explanation for the above findings is the very large number of visitors in bear
habitat in Alberta National Parks, and the associated challenge of human food and garbage
Injury rates for backcountry visitors to the National Parks were significantly higher than for frontcountry visitors.
Black bears far outnumber grizzly bears in both provinces. Grizzlies, however, were responsible
for a significantly greater percentage of serious/fatal injuries than were black bears.
Data demonstrate behavioural differences between the two species. For example, competition
with hunters, often over carcasses, and adult females acting in defense of their cubs were
commonly associated with grizzly attacks in B.C.
As long as people want to go in the water, some attacks will be rare,
but inevitable.
There are conditions that should be avoided:
1. Night swimming
2. Handling dead or dying fish in the water.
3. Swimming in murky conditions.
4. Swimming in areas known to harbor large populations of
International Shark Attack File
2008 death in Bahamas - News - Florida Boy Killed In
Alligator Attack
From 1975 to 1993,
about 45 people a
year were killed by
tigers in India’s
Sunderbans region.
That number has
declined greatly in
recent years due to
increased supervision
of villager activities.
A novel way to
avoid being eaten
by a tiger.
Should we reintroduce predators into parks
and preserves?