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Factors affecting the success of grizzly bear translocations

 

IMAGE: Factors affecting the success of grizzly bear translocations.
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Credit: Journal of Wildlife Management

The number of grizzly bear translocations has increased in recent years to protect the bears and reduce conflicts with humans. In a recent Journal of Wildlife Management analysis of translocations in Alberta, Canada, researchers found that the most important factors for translocation success were the level of human-caused mortality risk at the release site and the time of year when the translocation occurred.

In general, moving bears earlier in the year and releasing them in areas of low mortality risk (such as areas with few roads) and in proximity to rivers will improve the odds of translocation success.

“To improve science-based management decisions regarding translocations, there must be greater effort to collect scientific data post release (through monitoring) and greater effort to publish the results of translocations, even ones that are unsuccessful, in peer-reviewed journals,” said lead author Sarah Milligan, of the Grizzly Bear Program at fRI Research. “We see our study as a first step toward improving the success of grizzly bear translocations when they are considered necessary, but also as an important contribution to the scientific literature necessary for understanding and advancing translocation science in general.

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