All Deterrents Articles
Bear pepper spray is the most effective means of repelling an attacking grizzly or black bear in a non-toxic, non-lethal manner. Although common sense might suggest that guns would provide greater personal protection, research and experience indicates that human-bear encounters that do not involve firearms are less likely to result in injury to a human or bear.
The author tested the efficacy of aversive conditioning (AC) and conditioned taste aversion (CTA) on American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Whistler, British Columbia. The study used AC (rubber bullets fired from a shotgun and marbles fired from a sling shot) in an attempt to increase bear wariness toward humans and decrease the time bears spend in human developments. Thiabendazole, an emetic with low toxicity, was used to teach bears to associate illness with specific attractants that cause human-bear conflict.
This 85 page guide will provide you with a better understanding of bear behaviour and an understanding
of various techniques for responding to human-bear conflicts, including an introductory level
working knowledge of bear aversion methodology. The knowledge gained through this guide
will enable you to better understand and diffuse human-bear conflict situations in a manner that
increases safety for the public, the bear manager/police officer and bears.
A properly constructed electric fence is safe for people and pets and has proven to be effective at deterring bears from apiaries (beehives), fruit trees, gardens, livestock pens, rabbit hutches, garbage containers, dog kennels, chicken coups, compost piles, storage sheds, along with numerous other uses. There is an abundant variety of applications and effective fencing designs for deterring bears. Design, construction and proper maintenance will determine the effectiveness of your electric fence. Safety is always a concern when using electrified equipment. Modern electric fence energizers have been shown to be safe for humans, animals and vegetation. The pulse rate of a modern energizer is so quick that they cannot generate enough heat to start vegetation on fire. While touching an electrified fence is unpleasant, modern energizers are safe to use around pets and children.
Recently, the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP) team skyped Get Bear Smart to learn more about creating bear smart communities in Washington. I'm sure many of you have the same questions, so I thought I'd provide a summary of the conversation.
Living in Bear Country provides practical advice on minimizing problems with bears in the places that people live. It shows how a few simple adjustments to your daily routine can reduce the risk of property damage and human injury from bears.
This 27-minute program contains important information on how people can reduce their chance of encountering a polar bear and how to best respond if they do meet a bear.
Aug 18, 2009 — Web Page: Bear Dogs
Dogs can be used to shepherd bears by barking and chasing them from areas where they would come into conflict with people. Shepherding is combined with other aversive conditioning tools such as yelling, throwing stones, bear spray, and rubber bullets.
Passive bear aversion involves the delivery of an immediate deterrent caused by the action of the animal itself. This can include an electric shock upon making contact with an electric fence, triggering a motion sensor that in turn activates a siren, or releasing pepper spray by taking bait.
Aug 17, 2009 — Web Page: Tools
Both noise and physical deterrents can be used to deter bears from human-use areas. While bears may acclimated to the sound of noise deterrents, physical deterrents are most effective, especially when used with human dominance techniques.
See how Whistler scored in terms of meeting the six criteria for becoming a BearSmart Community.
Jul 29, 2009 — Web Page: Research
In 2005, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, along with the B.C. Conservation Foundation, funded a project to investigate the efficacy of non-lethal bear management in Whistler, for application to other jurisdictions. Specifically, we investigated how bears responded to AC, a process of hitting bears with rubber bullets to make them more wary of humans and human developments.
Jun 16, 2009 — Web Page: Online Store
Bear Smart Stuff for Sale
Despite our best efforts to bear-proof our homes, businesses, communities and campsites, sometimes they show up anyways. When they do, there are several ways to warn you of their presence, keep them from receiving unwanted food rewards or actively teach them where they're not wanted
Staying Safe in Bear Country, Working in Bear Country and Living in Bear Country provide important information to help reduce human injuries and property damage from grizzly and black bears throughout North America while also reducing unnecessary bear deaths.
We present a comprehensive look at a sample of bear spray incidents that occurred in Alaska, USA, from 1985 to 2006. We analyzed 83 bear spray incidents involving brown bears (Ursus arctos; 61 cases, 74%), black bears (Ursus americanus; 20 cases, 24%), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 2 cases, 2%). Of the 72 cases where persons sprayed bears to defend themselves, 50 (69%) involved brown bears, 20 (28%) black bears, and 2 (3%) polar bears. Red pepper spray stopped bears' undesirable behavior 92% of the time when used on brown bears, 90% for black bears, and 100% for polar bears. Of all persons carrying sprays, 98% were uninjured by bears in close-range encounters. All bear inflicted injuries (n¼3) associated with defensive spraying involved brown bears and were relatively minor (i.e., no hospitalization required). In 7% (5 of 71) of bear spray incidents, wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy, although it reached the bear in all cases. In 14% (10 of 71) of bear spray incidents, users reported the spray having had negative side effects upon themselves, ranging from minor irritation (11%, 8 of 71) to near incapacitation (3%, 2 of 71). Bear spray represents an effective alternative to lethal force and should be considered as an option for personal safety for those recreating and working in bear country.
The black bear supplemental feeding program successfully deterred bears from damaging trees. In addition to Washington State and Oregon, ADCP pellets were used since 2003 in Asia, Prefecture of Gunma, and Japan (B. Kamiyama, Kiryu, Japan, personal communication). Forest managers in Croatia, Europe, produced their own pellets, using the ADCP formula, since 2002 (D. Huber, University of Zagreb, Croatia, personal communication). Supplemental feeding also stimulated an international discussion about the pros and cons of the program and the implications for forest management. All age classes and gender of bears, including female bears with cubs, fed on the pellets. Although large bears did not dominate feeding stations, they did mark and destroy some trees to attract females during the mating season in early summer. This behavior was not an economic problem and did not trigger control action. The supplemental feeding program had no influence on the home ranges of bears throughout the year, but it did during a 2.5- month period in the spring when supplemental food was provided. The ADCP had no reports of conflicts between bears and feeding personnel. The reproductive success among fed and nonfed bears was similar.
This is a comprehensive look at bear spray incidents that occurred in Alaska, USA, from 1985 to 2006. The authors analyzed 83 bear spray incidents involving brown bears (Ursus arctos; 61 cases, 74%), black bears (Ursus americanus; 20 cases, 24%), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 2 cases, 2%). Of the 72 cases where persons sprayed bears to defend themselves, red pepper spray stopped bears’ undesirable behavior 92% of the time when used on brown bears, 90% for black bears, and 100% for polar bears. Bear spray represents an effective alternative to lethal force and should be considered as an option for personal safety for those recreating and working in bear country. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 72(3):640–645; 2008)
Jay Honeyman evaluated the effectiveness of aversive conditioning (AC) as a non-lethal management technique to reduce bear-human conflict, and ultimately reduce bear mortality. The conclusion? AC is an effective management tool to reduce human conflicts with grizzly bears and promote bear population stability.