University of Alaska Fairbanks
Perceptions and Spatial effects of Human-Bear Encounters across the Pacific Rim
This study is the first approach to treat human-bear interactions as a social-ecological system across time and space. Analyses combine both, social and ecological methodologies. The goal is to obtain detailed and structured results describing the linkages between social perceptions, land-use change and urbanization. Those linkages will help to identify key factors that can achieve resilient bear conservation while managing for an increasing human footprint in Northern regions.
On the spatial scale this research approach compares Sakhalin Island, Russian Far East, with Alaska, focusing on the human-urban interface around Yuzhno, the largest city on Sakhalin Island, and the Anchorage-Kenai Peninsula region in Southern Alaska. Comparison across the Pacific Rim holds its strength in similarities (like economic interests in oil and gas development, fisheries) and key differences (implementation of a bear management) between regions. Methods include a mixed methods approach to gain qualitative and quantitative information from local people, remote sensing to generate maps in relation to urbanisation and land-use, and predictive modelling analysing relationships between parameters. The time-extend combines data from the 1990ies till today in three 10 year intervals. All research is carried out in both study regions in the same fashion, and compared will help understand key factors increasing human-bear encounters in each region. Results will show positive as well as negative (conflict) encounters between humans and bears, and model hot spots; for both encounter types in relation to urbanization and habitat. Additionally residentsperceptions will be compared, and future human-bear encounters predicted.
Data and Resources