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Grizzly Bear Mortality and Human Access in Banff and Yoho National Parks, 1971-98
Bryon Benn and Stephen Herrero
Vol. 13 (2002), pp. 213-221
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3873201
Page Count: 9
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We conducted spatial and temporal analyses to examine the relationship between access, changing grizzly bear management strategies, and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) mortality for 1971-98 in Banff and Yoho National Parks, Canada. We summarized mortality by cause of death, sex, age, and cohort. The annual number of grizzly bear deaths declined significantly between 1971-84 and 1985-98. However, the female portion of this mortality was 80% from 1985-98 compared to 50% during the earlier period. Human-related causes were the primary sources of recorded grizzly bear mortality in the study area (119 of 131 known mortalities). Control of problem bears accounted for 71% of 119 known human-caused mortalities, followed by highway and railway mortalities (19%), unknown cause of death (9%), and research (<1%). All 95 human-caused mortalities with known accurate locations were within 500 m of roads or 200 m of trails. Eighty percent of these mortalities occurred below 2000 m. Kills were concentrated at Banff townsite, Lake Louise, and along the Trans Canada Highway. Management of development, trail access, and human food and garbage are critical for managing grizzly bear mortality in the national parks. We present specific recommendations.