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The Impact of Translocation on Nuisance Florida Black Bears

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021494/00001

Material Information

Title: The Impact of Translocation on Nuisance Florida Black Bears
Physical Description: 1 online resource (53 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Annis, Kimberly M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: americanus, bear, black, conflicts, florida, floridanus, human, nuisance, relocation, translocation, urban, ursus, wildlife
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Despite the widespread use of translocation as a tool to eliminate nuisance bear behaviors and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, questions remain concerning the efficacy of the technique. The bear population centered in Florida?s Ocala National Forest (ONF) is surrounded by several rapidly growing human communities and has the highest rate of human-bear conflicts and subsequent nuisance bear translocations in the state. The objective of this study was to determine the fate of translocated nuisance bears in Florida and to evaluate the effectiveness of removing nuisance bears from the area of human-bear conflict. I assessed the nuisance behaviors, movements, and survival of 41 translocated nuisance bears, surveyed 25 home and business owners where bears were removed, and evaluated the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission?s bear database for the reoccurrence of human-bear conflicts at the site of original conflict after bears were removed. Nearly half of all translocated bears engaged in a nuisance event at least once post-release and 34% engaged in nuisance events more than once. A higher percentage of males than females continued nuisance behaviors. Thirteen bears returned to capture sites and the average translocation distance of this group was shorter than those that did not return. An additional 32% remained within ONF and 37% left ONF, but did not return home. Annual survival estimates were lower for females than for males but were not significantly different (P=0.40). Survival estimates for males were comparable to those reported for resident bears in ONF. Nineteen survey respondents stated they continued to have bear conflicts within 1 year of a bear being removed from their property and 7 of these respondents had a conflict occur in less than a month. The database revealed that the FWC received a call complaining of another bear conflict within a year at 12 of the 25 capture locations. No one from the remaining 13 locations called the FWC to complain of future conflicts, however the survey revealed that they continued to have conflicts but did not report them to the FWC.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Kimberly M Annis.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Sunquist, Melvin E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021494:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021494/00001

Material Information

Title: The Impact of Translocation on Nuisance Florida Black Bears
Physical Description: 1 online resource (53 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Annis, Kimberly M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: americanus, bear, black, conflicts, florida, floridanus, human, nuisance, relocation, translocation, urban, ursus, wildlife
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Despite the widespread use of translocation as a tool to eliminate nuisance bear behaviors and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, questions remain concerning the efficacy of the technique. The bear population centered in Florida?s Ocala National Forest (ONF) is surrounded by several rapidly growing human communities and has the highest rate of human-bear conflicts and subsequent nuisance bear translocations in the state. The objective of this study was to determine the fate of translocated nuisance bears in Florida and to evaluate the effectiveness of removing nuisance bears from the area of human-bear conflict. I assessed the nuisance behaviors, movements, and survival of 41 translocated nuisance bears, surveyed 25 home and business owners where bears were removed, and evaluated the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission?s bear database for the reoccurrence of human-bear conflicts at the site of original conflict after bears were removed. Nearly half of all translocated bears engaged in a nuisance event at least once post-release and 34% engaged in nuisance events more than once. A higher percentage of males than females continued nuisance behaviors. Thirteen bears returned to capture sites and the average translocation distance of this group was shorter than those that did not return. An additional 32% remained within ONF and 37% left ONF, but did not return home. Annual survival estimates were lower for females than for males but were not significantly different (P=0.40). Survival estimates for males were comparable to those reported for resident bears in ONF. Nineteen survey respondents stated they continued to have bear conflicts within 1 year of a bear being removed from their property and 7 of these respondents had a conflict occur in less than a month. The database revealed that the FWC received a call complaining of another bear conflict within a year at 12 of the 25 capture locations. No one from the remaining 13 locations called the FWC to complain of future conflicts, however the survey revealed that they continued to have conflicts but did not report them to the FWC.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Kimberly M Annis.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Sunquist, Melvin E.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021494:00001


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THE IMPACT OF TRANSLOCATION ON NUISANCE
FLORIDA BLACK BEARS




















By

KIMBERLY MAUREEN ANNIS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007

































O 2007 Kimberly Maureen Annis



































Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

-Dorothy on being translocated to Oz from Kansas by a tornado, 7Jhe Wiza~rd of Oz









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Without the help and support of the following people, agencies and organizations, this

proj ect would not have been possible. Funding and logistical support was provided by the

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), United States Department of

Agriculture Forest Service, University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and

Conservation, Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Jennings Scholarship, and Florida Wildlife

Federation.

I thank my FWC supervisor Walt McCown whose, skills, support, friendship, and

encouragement have improved my life, and this thesis, beyond words. I would also like to thank

everyone who helped follow the bears throughout the study, especially Katherine Isaacs, Clint

Peters, Alex Pries and Heather Scott, whose dedication in driving all of north-central Florida to

track traveling bears was invaluable. I am especially grateful for all of the FWC biologists and

Bear Response Agents, most notably Mike Abbott, Fred Bohler, Andrea Boliek, Joe Bozzo,

Susan Carroll-Douglas, Mike and Kathy Connolly, Dr. Mark Cunningham, Jerry Flynn, Paul

Kubilis, Mike Orlando, Brian Scheick, Greg Stafford and Tom Shupe. I sincerely thank the FWC

bear section leader, Stephanie Simek, who started the whole proj ect rolling and helped me get

my hands on it. I also thank my pilot Ron Towater for the hundreds of hours searching hundreds

of miles in a hot airplane for lost bears. His enj oyment of circling Florida from high above is

inspiring.

Special thanks go to my best friend Liz Labunksi, who, from hundreds of miles away, was

always there to make me laugh, let me cry, and always supported me during the best and worst of

times. I could not have made it through graduate school without our weekly, sometimes daily,

phone conversations. I also thank my office mates in Building 150, Margo Stoddard, Kate

Williams, Arjun Gopalaswamy, Dan Dawson, Jason Martin, Kelly Bryam and Evan Adams for










their continued friendship and encouragement. I am forever in debt to Dave and Rebecca Telesco

who provided the encouragement and advice I needed to attempt graduate school in the first

place.

Much of my gratitude goes to my family, especially to my sister Rebecca, who was always

there for me during the long hours I spent tracking bears. I am deeply thankful to my mother and

father, who have ardently supported my many years working with wildlife and to my brother

Jamie for his continued encouragement.

I greatly appreciate my advisor and committee chair, Melvin Sunquist, who believed in my

abilities and was always willing to share his advice, enthusiasm, and wisdom. And last, but not

least, I thank my committee members Perran Ross and Mark Hostetler for their suggestions,

advice and comments on my drafts.













TABLE OF CONTENTS


page


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES .........__... ......._. ...............7....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............11.......... ......


2 STUDY AREA AND METHODS ................. ...............18.......... ....


Study Area ................. ...............18.......... .....
Methods ................. ....... .............1

Captures and Translocations............... .............1
Monitoring ................. ...............20.................
D ata Analysis................... ..............2
Nuisance Recidivism .............. ...............20....
Returns and Movements .............. ...............22....
Survival .............. ...............22....

Survey ................. ...............24.................


3 RE SULT S .............. ...............28....


Nuisance Recidivi sm ................. ...............28.......... ....
Returns and Movements ................. ...............3.. 0......... ...
Survival ................ ...............3.. 1..............

Survey ................ ...............3.. 1..............


4 DI SCUS SSION ................. ...............4.. 1......... ....


Nuisance Recidivism .............. ...............41....
Returns and Movements .............. ...............42....
Survival ................ ...............44.......... ......

Survey ................ ...............45.......... ......


5 CONCLUSION AND MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS .............. ...................47


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............50................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............53....










LIST OF TABLES


Table page

2-1 Questions asked to survey respondents .....__.....___ ..........._ ...........2

3-1 Initial capture and translocation data of nuisance Florida black bears moved to the
Ocala National Forest from peninsular Florida May 2004-December 2005 ................... ..34

3-2 Recapture and retranslocation data of nuisance Florida black bears captured a second
time during the study May 2004-December 2006............... ...............35..

3-3 Types of nuisance activities bears engaged in before and after translocation to the
Ocala National Forest. ............. ...............38.....

3-4 Causes of mortality for translocated nuisance black bears in north-central Florida
May 2004-December 2006 ........._.__........__. ...............39...










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1-1 Florida black bear populations within Florida, as documented by the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in 2005. ............. ...............15.....

1-2 Number of bear related phone calls by population in Florida as reported by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1978-2006. ............. ..................16

1-3 Numbers of bear translocations by population in Florida as reported by the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1999-2004. ........._._ .... ...____...........17

2-1 Location of the Ocala bear population centered in the Ocala National Forest in north-
central FI orid a. .............. ...............25....

2-2 The 3 sites where translocated bears were released within the Ocala National Forest
in north-central Florida May 2004-December 2005. ............. ...............26.....

3-1 Capture locations of nuisance Florida black bears in peninsular Florida translocated
to the Ocala National Forest May 2004-December 2005 and of subsequent
recaptures May 2004-December 2007. ............. ...............36.....

3-2 All locations of translocated nuisance bears post-release in Florida May 2004-
December 2006. ............. ...............37.....

3-3 Annual survival curve estimate for nuisance bears translocated to the Ocala National
Forest in Florida > 64 km (black) and < 64 km (red) May 2004-December 2006. ..........40









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

THE IMPACT OF TRANSLOCATION ON NUISANCE
FLORIDA BLACK BEARS

By

Kimberly Maureen Annis

December 2007

Chair: Melvin E. Sunquist
Major: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Despite the widespread use of translocation as a tool to eliminate nuisance bear behaviors

and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, questions remain concerning the efficacy of the technique.

The bear population centered in Florida' s Ocala National Forest (ONF) is surrounded by several

rapidly growing human communities and has the highest rate of human-bear conflicts and

subsequent nuisance bear translocations in the state. The obj ective of this study was to determine

the fate of translocated nuisance bears in Florida and to evaluate the effectiveness of removing

nuisance bears from the area of human-bear conflict. I assessed the nuisance behaviors,

movements, and survival of 41 translocated nuisance bears, surveyed 25 home and business

owners where bears were removed, and evaluated the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Commission's bear database for the reoccurrence of human-bear conflicts at the site of original

conflict after bears were removed. Nearly half of all translocated bears engaged in a nuisance

event at least once post-release and 34% engaged in nuisance events more than once. A higher

percentage of males than females continued nuisance behaviors. Thirteen bears returned to

capture sites and the average translocation distance of this group was shorter than those that did

not return. An additional 32% remained within ONF and 37% left ONF, but did not return home.

Annual survival estimates were lower for females than for males but were not significantly









different (P = 0.40). Survival estimates for males were comparable to those reported for resident

bears in ONF. Nineteen survey respondents stated they continued to have bear conflicts within 1

year of a bear being removed from their property and 7 of these respondents had a conflict occur

in less than a month. The database revealed that the FWC received a call complaining of another

bear conflict within a year at 12 of the 25 capture locations. No one from the remaining 13

locations called the FWC to complain of future conflicts, however the survey revealed that they

continued to have conflicts but did not report them to the FWC.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

Vast tracts of land are required to maintain viable populations of large-bodied carnivores

and expanses of non-fragmented landscape are needed to encompass even a single home range

(Noss et al. 1996). Since the 1800s, human persecution coupled with the conversion of native

habitat has resulted in the elimination of large carnivores throughout much of their former range

(Mech 1995). In most of the United States, large carnivores continue to persist only in protected

public lands or in areas with relatively little economic importance to humans. As human

population densities continue to increase, the intense development of land resources has resulted

in humans being in close proximity to remaining wildland areas and in close proximity to large

carnivores, causing a recent rise in human-carnivore conflicts.

Translocation is the intentional capture and transport of a wild animal from one location to

another and is utilized to introduce, reintroduce or augment wildlife into new or former ranges.

Historically, translocation is used to introduce popular game species for hunting opportunities.

and more recently used to restore endangered and threatened species throughout North America

(Conover 2002). However, translocating wildlife is expensive and is often unsuccessful (Griffith

et al. 1989, Wolf et al. 1996, Fischer and Lindenmayer 2000). Translocated animals can

experience high rates of post-release mortality (O'Bryan and McCullough 1985, Blanchard and

Knight 1995), do not stay where released, or may attempt to return to former homes (Comly

1993, Sullivan et al. 2004, Bradley et al. 2005). Because of such complications, translocation is

frequently subject to intense evaluation and public scrutiny, especially when used for imperiled

species.

Wildlife residing in residential and suburban areas are a leading cause of human-wildlife

conflicts in North America today (Conover 2002). In these areas, food resources, such as










garbage, are often readily available to wildlife and are a source of negative human-wildlife

interactions. Despite this conflict, there is little public tolerance for the lethal management of

nuisance wildlife, especially for large carnivores; therefore, translocation is often used as an

alternative. Translocation has been employed for at least 40 years as a standard method to

remove problem animals from areas where human-wildlife conflicts occur (Linnell et al. 1997).

The stressful and negative experience of capture and translocation is thought to cause the animal

to avoid further contact with humans, and moving it to a new location is thought to prevent it

from returning to the area of original conflict. The public perception of this technique is that the

animal is moved to a more "natural" habitat and that it will "live happily ever after" (Craven et

al. 1998). However, when human-derived food resources have contributed to the nuisance

situation, simply removing an individual generally does not eliminate the problem (Linnell et al.

1997, Athreya 2006).

Fossil records indicate that American black bears (Ursus americanus) have been present in

North America for approximately 3 million years and that they once ranged throughout all of

North America (Kurten and Anderson 1980). Like most large-bodied carnivores, black bears also

need large areas of land to maintain viable home ranges; however, the conversion of native

habitat for human use and intensive, unregulated hunting resulted in the extirpation of many

populations by the early 1900s. Uniquely, the black bear has an ability to live in close proximity

to humans. As human developments proliferate in areas adj acent to remaining bear habitat

human-bear conflicts have steadily increased and the deterrence of human-bear conflicts has

recently become an important aspect of many state management agencies in the United States.

The Florida black bear (U. a. floridanus)~~dddd~~~ddd~~~ is one of 3 recognized subspecies of the

American black bear. Historically, it ranged throughout all of Florida and into southern portions









of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia (Hall 1981). However, by the 1970s the Florida black bear

had dwindled to an estimated 300-500 bears and were eliminated from approximately 83% of

their former range (Wooding 1993). It was listed in 1974 as a state threatened species (Wooding

1993) and currently remains listed throughout Florida, with the exception of Columbia and Baker

counties and the Apalachicola National Forest. Ecologically and aesthetically the Florida black

bear is a maj or vertebrate component of Florida, being only one of two native large carnivores

that remain in the state (Dobey et al. 2005).

There are 8 bear populations in Florida (Simek et al. 2005) (Figure 1-1). The Ocala bear

population is one of the densest bear populations (McCown et al. 2004) and is also adj acent to

some of the most rapidly growing human communities in the state (Simek et al. 2005). It far

exceeds all other bear populations in the state in the number of public reports concerning bears

submitted to the FWC (Figure 1-2) and number of annual nuisance bear translocations (Figure

1-3).

The success of using on-site releases with nuisance apiary-raiding bears in Florida has

been well documented (Brady and Machr 1982, Wooding et al. 1988), but there has been no

documentation of the success in using translocation to eliminate future nuisance behaviors. In

addition, there has been little data collected on previously translocated bears to determine their

fate after release. Reviews of wildlife translocation studies concluded that translocation failed to

suitably solve human-wildlife conflict issues, especially in bears (Linnell et al. 1997, Fischer and

Lindenmayer 2000). In addition, Linnell et al. (1997) reported that using translocation to mitigate

human-wildlife conflicts commonly lacked long-term goals. Given the common use of

translocation in Florida and the lack of previous data, further examination of this management

tool is certainly justified, especially for a threatened species such as the Florida black bear.










The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of translocating nuisance Florida

black bears and to evaluate the effectiveness of using translocation as a management tool to

reduce nuisance bear problems at the area of original human-bear conflict. My obj ectives were to

determine 1) whether translocated nuisance bears continued to engage in nuisance behaviors, 2)

whether they returned home, 3) if they exhibited higher annual mortality rates than those of

resident bears in the ONF, 4) whether the location of initial conflict continued to experience bear

problems, 5) the attitudes about translocating nuisance bears, and 6) subsequent bear-conflict

complaints at the site of initial conflict after a specific bear was captured and removed.














Ocala


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Osceola


Eglin


Apalachicola


Chassahowitska


GladeslHighlands


Prirnary Bear Range
SSecondary Bear Range
V//A Urban Areas
~ L~L~L~1 I iljometers
b 30 601 120 100 240


Big Cypress


Figure 1-1. Florida black bear populations within Florida, as documented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWC) in 2005.










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CHAPTER 2
STUDY AREA AND METHODS

Study Area

Nuisance bears were captured by the FWC in counties within peninsular Florida and

translocated to the ONF for release. Capture locations were characterized primarily by

concentrated areas of residential neighborhoods and suburban sprawl adj acent to large tracts of

forested lands and occurred at both private residences and businesses. The ONF is located in

north-central Florida along an ancient sand dune ridge bordered by the St. Johns River to the east

and by the Ocklawaha River to the north and west (Figure 2-1). The 174,019 ha forest contains 4

maj or plant communities 1) swamps and marshes along the rivers, 2) pine flatwoods between the

rivers and the central ridge, 3) dune-like interior ridge of sand pine (Pinus clause) and scrub oak

species (Quercus sp. )with ponds and seasonal wet prairies throughout, and 4) mixed hardwood

swamps associated with large permanent lakes. The climate in north-central Florida is

characterized by hot wet summers with abundant rainfall and cool dry winters. Annual

precipitation averages 1364 mm with 55% of rainfall occurring from June-September of each

year (Ayedelott et al. 1975).

Methods

Captures and Translocations

From 01 May 2004 to 31 December 2005 nuisance bears were live-trapped in culvert traps

by agents of FWC's Nuisance Bear Response Program or by FWC biologists. A culvert trap is a

large metal cylinder, approximately 2.2 meters long and one meter in diameter, with a drop door

located at the entrance and a release device attached to a locking cable at the far end. Bears enter

and take bait off a locking cable, which releases the door, trapping the animal inside. Culvert

traps are trailer mounted for transport. An apiary-raiding bear was captured in an Aldrich spring-









activated foot snare set up next to a bee-yard after he would not enter a culvert trap. Bears that

were in trees in urban areas were darted and removed from the tree. All bears were translocated

to the ONF in culvert traps for handling.

The FWC policy that addresses the translocation of nuisance bears states that a captured

bear may be relocated away from the capture site to bear habitat within the range of its

population, or, if it is believed that the bear will continue nuisance behavior within the range of

its population, it may be released within the range of a different population (Egbert 2001).

Accordingly, the FWC also determined when a capture effort would take place. Bears entered the

study when the FWC determined the captured bear would be translocated to the ONF for release.

The FWC translocated all bears the farthest possible distance from their capture site while

meeting 2 criteria: 1) bears were released in one of the 3 approved release locations within ONF,

and 2) consecutive releases at the same location were avoided. To maintain continuity for this

study, 3 specific sites with shade, cover and nearby water were chosen within the 3 FWC release

locations (Figure 2-2).

Bears were immobilized with a 1:1 mixture of Tiletamine hydrochloride and Zolezepam

hydrochloride (Telazol ) administered at approximately 4-6mg/kg of estimated body weight with

a CO2 charged low-impact dart pistol. Bears were fitted with radio-collar transmitters equipped

with motion and mortality sensors (Telonics Inc., Mesa, Arizona). Untreated leather-breakaway

connectors were used to secure each collar (Hellgren et al. 1988). Bears were uniquely marked

with lip-tattoos and numbered red, round ear-tags for identification. These ear tags differed from

the tags the FWC normally uses so the bear could be identified as a research animal from a

distance. A premolar tooth was extracted for age estimation using cementum annuli analysis

(Matson' s Laboratory, Milltown, Montana, Willey 1974). All bears were handled according to










the University of Florida protocol for the use of live vertebrates (Institutional Animal Care and

Use Committee protocol # D653).

Monitoring

Instrumented bears were located 1 to 3 times per week from the air using a Cessna-172

aircraft equipped with wing-strut mounted 2-element yagi antennas, and by ground triangulation

using a 3-element, hand-held, yagi antenna (Telonics Inc., Mesa, Arizona) and a

Communications Systems Inc. receiver. Ground triangulations were made using > 3 compass

bearings obtained within a 30-minute interval to minimize location error as a result of a bear' s

movement. Ground locations were collected during both day and nighttime periods. I selected

17-hours as the minimum time interval between locations for biological independence among

locations (Swihart et al. 1988). Aerial locations were collected on specific bears approximately

once per week during daytime hours. However, extreme movements, severe weather and lack of

funding often restricted aerial locations to 1-2 per month.

The total number of day's monitored post-release began with the first translocation for

bears that were recaptured and retranslocated during the study. Recaptured bears, which

remained in the study, were re-released at their original release site in the ONF. I used SAS (SAS

Institute, Inc., Cary, N.C.) for all statistical analysis and all analysis significance was assessed at

a = 0.05.

Data Analysis

Nuisance Recidivism

Information on nuisance activities prior to capture was compiled for all bears entered into

the study by using nuisance bear reports generated through the FWC bear database (a public

record database used to document all public calls about bears throughout the state), and by









interviewing homeowners, complainants, FWC Bear Response Programs Agents, and FWC

biologists.

Once instrumented and released, bears that engaged in nuisance events were identified

using 1) radio telemetry, 2) visual sightings and descriptive confirmation, and 3) FWC law

enforcement officers and biologists. Nuisance events were recorded if the event could be verified

as occurring within a known 24-hour time period and nuisance events that occurred in intervals

>17 hours were included in the analysis. Nuisance behaviors were identified as 1) utilizing any

human-food resource (i.e., household garbage, dumpsters, etc), 2) utilizing pet or wild-bird food,

3) causing apiary or other property damage, 4) entering, or the attempted entry of, a home, and 5)

any show of aggression or territoriality within or around human dwellings, especially during

daytime hours. Public sightings of radio-collared bears passing through residential or urban

areas, or bears in trees that were not also associated with any of the above-described behaviors

were not classified as nuisances but were recorded throughout the study.

Logistic regression was used to test the association between nuisance recidivism (yes or

no) and sex (male or female), age class (sub-adult < 3yrs old, adult > 3yrs old), weight

(continuous, kg), distance of translocation, and month of translocation. Rogers (1986) indicated

that a high percentage of black bears return to their capture area when translocated < 64 km.

However, the relationship of nuisance recidivism and distance of translocation has not previously

been studied. Therefore, I tested both continuous (i.e., total distance in km) and categorical (5 64

km or > 64 km) distances of translocation for analysis. Month of translocation was used to

designate the season in which the translocation occurred, where months 1-4 represented winter,

months 5-8 represented summer, and months 9-12 represented fall. Logistic regression was also

used to estimate the probability of recidivism when 2 of the variables were combined. For










example, combining age with sex would test if adult male bears were more likely to exhibit

recidivism than sub-adult males, adult females or sub-adult females.

Returns and Movements

A translocated bear coming within 1 home-range diameter of the capture location, at any

time during the study, was considered a successful return. In a study previously conducted on

resident bears in the ONF, the reported annual home ranges for males and females were 94.3 km2

and 20.48 km2, TOSpectively (McCown et al. 2004). Assuming home ranges were circular, a

return was judged successful when a male bear was located within 11 km and a female bear was

within 5 km of their capture site, at any time during the study. ArcGIS 9.0" was used to calculate

the distance between 1) capture and release site, 2) release site and post-release locations, 3)

capture site and post-release locations, 4) distance to capture site, and 5) total travel distance.

Similar to determining nuisance recidivism, logistic regression was used to test for

differences in whether a return differed by sex, age class, weight, grouped distance of

translocation, and month of translocation. It was also used to estimate the probability of a return

when 2 of the variables were combined. For example, combining age with sex tested if adult

female bears were more likely to return home than sub-adult females, adult males or sub-adult

males.

Survival

Since the event of interest is the probability that death will occur following the treatment

(i.e., translocation), I used the day of translocation as the starting date (i.e., day 1) for all bears,

regardless of the calendar date they entered the study, and counted forward to the first day

mortality was detected, the last day of location (if radio contact was lost or collar drop location),

or 3 1 December 2006 if the animal was still in radio contact.









Annual survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier analysis, where a survival

rate is estimated for each consecutive time period and then compared between samples across

each period (Kaplan and Meier 1958). Because the analysis has no underlying assumption of

constant survival, it allows for the addition of animals throughout the course of the study and

permits animals with lost signals, or dropped collars, to be censored while still providing an

unbiased estimate of survival. While the Kaplan-Meier analysis does not require animals to enter

the study at the same time, newly radio-tagged animals are assumed to have the same survival

function as animals previously radio-tagged during the study (Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001).

The estimated annual survival rate of translocated bears was compared to that of resident bears

radio-monitored in ONF from 1999 through 2003 (McCown et al. 2004). Estimates were

calculated to compare differences in survival of translocated bears between sex, age class,

grouped distance of translocation, and whether nuisances did or did not occur.

Nonparametric tests, log-rank or Tarone-Ware (Lawless 1982), were used to test the null

hypothesis that survival curves of translocated bears would not differ between sex, age, distance

of translocation, and nuisance recidivism. The log-rank test is commonly used to compare

survival curves and is the most powerful test statistic when two hazard functions are proportional

to each other. However, when survival curves cross the log-rank test may fail to detect a

difference (Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001). In this case the Tarone-Ware test statistic has been

shown to be more powerful at detecting differences than the log-rank test (Lawless 1982,

Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001) and was used in cases where hazard functions were

di sprop orti onate.

I determined the cause-specific mortality of translocated bears. All deaths suspected of

being illegal kills were investigated by FWC Law Enforcement. Carcasses were necropsied to









determine cause of death if it was not otherwise obvious (e.g., vehicle collision) by the FWC

state wildlife veterinarian at the FWC Wildlife Research Laboratory in Gainesville, Florida, or in

the field where the carcass was discovered.

Survey

I conducted a telephone survey of homeowners and businesses who experienced bear

conflicts resulting in the capture and translocation of a bear monitored during this study. An

FWC bear database was used to obtain contact information that was collected during the initial

complaint. Twelve open-ended questions were asked of all respondents to determine their

perceptions regarding the effectiveness of using translocation to eliminate their specific nuisance

bear problem (Table 2-1). The survey was created using the total design method (Dillman 1978)

to ascertain the beliefs and behaviors of the interviewees based on their experiences with

nuisance bears before, during, and 1 year after a bear(s) was captured and removed from their

property. Surveys were conducted during April and May 2007 and ranged from 17 to 36 months

after the specified bear(s) was removed. In addition, utilizing the FWC bear database, I

quantified the number and types of complaints the FWC received from the capture location, and

adj acent neighbors, prior to capture and for 1 year after a bear was captured and removed.















































o s 0 20 a aOcala National Forest
Oth-er Public Land
M Urban Areas
Water


Figure 2-1. Location of the Ocala bear population centered in the Ocala National Forest in north-central Florida.




















SSecondary Bear Range J


17~17 1 I Kilometers
0 2.5 5 10 15 20

Figure 2-2. The 3 sites where translocated bears were released within the Ocala National Forest in north-central Florida May 2004-
December 2005.


~~












Order # Question
1 If I could just j og your memory for a moment and ask if you can recall what bear problems you were having, prior to
the FWC capturing and removing the bear.
2 At the time you were experiencing bear problems were you aware of your neighbors experiencing any problems?
3 When you contacted the FWC about the problem what kind of advice were you given?
4 Did you try and follow the advice the FWC gave?
5 Did you request that the bear be removed?
6 Do you feel that the FWC removed the correct bear?
7a Did you continue to experience bear problems after the bear was removed?
7b If so, were the bear problems you experienced similar to those before the bear was removed or were the problems
different?
7c How soon did your problems reoccur? 1 day 1 week 1 month 6 months 1 year
8 Are you aware of your neighbors experiencing any bear problems after the bear was removed?
9 Since (date bear was removed) do you continued to attempt to follow the advice that the FWC gave you?
10 Do you feel that the advice the FWC gave you solved your problem?
11 Do you feel that removing the bear solved your problem?
12 Aside from the type of assistance you have received from the FWC, can you think of anything else the FWC should do
about nuisance bears?


Table 2-1. Questions asked to survey respondents.









CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

Forty-one bears (33 male [M], 8 female [F]) were captured (Table 3-1) and translocated to

the ONF; 5 (4M, 1F) were recaptured and translocated to ONF a second time and 2 males were

recaptured and translocated to the Apalachicola National Forest, removing them from the study

(Table 3-2). Including recaptures, 48 captures occurred in 22 towns within 10 Florida counties

(Figure 3-1); 36 bears were captured at private residences, 4 at businesses, 4 in trees within

residential communities or urban areas, 3 in campgrounds (1 private and 1 public), and 1 at an

apiary. Including recaptures, the number of capture locations was 31 private residences, 3

businesses, 4 trees, and 2 campgrounds.

The average age of bears was 4 years (range 1-15 years). In total, I collected 2,456

locations (mean 61 locations/bear, range 8-179 locations/bear) (Figure 3-2). Nuisance events

and visual sightings comprised 138 of all locations. Bears were tracked for an average of 297

days (range 26-779 days). The median distance bears were translocated from their capture site

was 56. 11 km (mean 81.90, range 30.75-319.34 km).

Nuisance Recidivism

At the time of capture 12 different nuisance activities were identified (Table 3-2). Bears

seeking food in household garbage was the primary nuisance activity that triggered complaints to

the FWC, followed by bears in dumpsters, at bird feeders and entering screen porches. Nineteen

bears engaged in more than one type of nuisance activity (e.g., household garbage and bird seed).

Two male bears were captured from trees in residential areas, but had not engaged in nuisance

activities at the capture location. Using nuisance histories at each capture location and

homeowner's description of the bears, 8 of the 41 captured bears (6M, 2F) were identified as

incidental captures and were not believed to be the bears initially targeted by the FWC.









Ninety-six nuisance events were recorded post-release, but only 73 could be used in

analysis. Of 96 nuisance events, the public reported 63 to the FWC. The remaining 33 events

were either witnessed by myself, or a technician, or were reported directly to me by the public

while I was in the vicinity of where the nuisance occurred.

Seventeen males and 2 females (46%) engaged in nuisance activities at least once post-

release. Fourteen males (34%) engaged in nuisance activities more than once and 1 male was

involved in more than 10 nuisance events. A higher percentage of males than females exhibited

post-release nuisance behaviors (89% and 11%, respectively) with an equal distribution among

sub-adults and adults (10 sub-adults, 9 adults). Three bears (2M, 1F) returned home and engaged

in nuisance activities at least once and an additional male engaged in nuisances at least twice

upon return. The median time to the first nuisance recidivism event was 143 days and ranged

widely from 7-3 59 days. Feeding from household garbage remained the primary nuisance

activity that bears engaged in post-translocation, with bird feeders a close second.

Seven bears (17%) were recaptured by the FWC due to continued nuisance behaviors.

Three males and 1 female were recaptured at locations outside of the ONF and were translocated

back to their original release site within the ONF. Two males were recaptured inside the ONF

and translocated to the Apalachicola National Forest, removing them from the study. One male

was recaptured inside the ONF and was euthanized due to his repeated attempts at home-entry.

Only 3 bears were translocated during the winter season and no nuisance events were

recorded after their release. Since the sample size for winter translocations was small it made the

test for seasonal affect questionable. The test remained questionable even when seasons were

grouped in to 2 categories, fall and summer, shifting the months of translocation for winter bears









into the nearest next season. Therefore the affect of season was removed for all remaining

analy si s.

In the first logistic regression analysis I used the distance of translocation as one of the

predictor variables (i.e., continuous). However, distances of translocations were irregular and left

large gaps between measurements. The distance of 64 km has been used as a benchmark for

determining successful or unsuccessful translocations (Rogers 1986, Linnell et al. 1997, Conover

2002) based on whether or not a bear returned home. Since no previous nuisance studies have

examined the effect of distance of translocation on nuisance recidivism, I chose to run a second

logistic regression analysis using the 2 distance criteria of I 64 km or > 64 km, to see if there

were differences between categorical and continuous distance variables.

Males were more likely to engage in nuisances than females (X2 = 3.775, df = 1, P = 0.05).

Nuisance recidivism did not differ between age groups (X2 = 1.26, df = 1, P = 0.26) but heavier

bears (X2 = 4. 15, df = 1, P = 0.04) and bears translocated > 64 km (X2 = 5.67, df = 1, P = 0.02)

were more likely to engage in nuisances.

Returns and Movements

Thirteen bears (8M, 5F) (32%) returned to their capture area after release; females returned

at a higher rate (63%) than males (24%). The average distance translocated for the bears that

returned was 49 km (range = 31-80 km) and the time to return varied from 13-242 days. Bears

that returned had a shorter average distance of translocation than those bears that did not return.

The probability of a bear returning home did not differ between age groups (X2 = 0.95, df =

1, P = 0.32). Females were more likely to return home than males (X2 = 6.28, df = 1, P = .01),

heavier bears were less likely to return (2 = 5.65, df = 1, P = 0.02) and bears translocated < 64

km were more likely to return (X2 = 7.51, df = 1, P = 0.006). Data did not suggest that age group,

weight or distance influenced the probability of a return for either a male or a female.









Of the 28 bears that did not return, 12 remained in ONF, 10 left, and 6 left but later

returned to ONF. The average distance traveled by bears that did not return was 244 km, with 4

(3M, 1F) traveling between 5 17 and 872 km. Of the 4 bears recaptured and retranslocated to

ONF, the 3 males remained within the ONF for the remainder of their monitoring period, but the

female left the ONF within 9 days.

Survival

Eight bears (6M, 2F) died post-release and humans directly or indirectly caused 7 of these

deaths (Table 3-5). This includes a male bear whose collar was found in a creek at a bridge

crossing and is presumed to be dead. Although no carcass was found, I presume the bear was

illegally killed due to the suspicious circumstances in which the collar was discovered.

The annual survival estimate for translocated males was 0.75 (95% CI: 0.52-0.88) and

0.80 for translocated females (95% CI: 0.20-0.97). There was no significant difference in annual

survival estimates between sexes (X2 = 0.3 1, df = 1, P = 0.57), age groups (X2 = 0.41, df = 1, P =

0.52), or nuisance recidivism (X2 = 0.51, df = 1, P = 0.47). A significant difference in estimated

survival was detected for distance of translocation (X2 = 4.84, df = 1, P = 0.02). Bears that were

translocated > 64 km had lower annual survival (0.45, 95% CI: 0.09-0.77) than those that were

translocated < 64 km (0.88, 95% CI: 0.59-0.97) (iure 3-3. .

Annual survival estimates for resident males (0.76, 95% CI 0.48-1.00) (McCown et al.

2004) were similar to that of translocated males. Annual survival estimates for translocated

females were somewhat lower than that of resident females (0.93 95% CI 0.835-1.00) (McCown

et al. 2004), however differences may be due to the small sample size of translocated females.

Survey

Of the 40 locations where bears were captured or recaptured, 25 people were contacted by

phone and agreed to be interviewed. Attempts were made to contact all locations, but 11 could









not be contacted due to disconnected phones or because the person no longer lived at the address.

At one business and one campground little was remembered about the specific conflict in

question but the respondents were able to answer other parts of the survey as appropriate. There

was no available contact information for one location where a bear was captured from a tree and

a respondent could not recall any information at another location where a bear was also captured

from a tree. The person listed in the FWC bear database as the primary complainant was

interviewed in all but 3 cases. In these cases the spouse, son and employee, who were also

involved in the specified nuisance event, were interviewed instead. Those respondents that were

able to recall the specified nuisance situation and subsequent capture did so in detail and

supported the information collected by the FWC at the time of the conflict.

Twenty-one respondents were aware of their neighbors having bear problems similar to

their own at the time they called they FWC with a complaint. Prior to the FWC beginning a

trapping effort 18 respondents stated that they tried to follow the advice the FWC gave them in

response to their situation. Fourteen respondents stated that they specifically requested that the

FWC remove the problem bear while 6 stated that the FWC removed the bear without being

requested to do so. Twenty-one felt that the FWC removed the "correct" bear (i.e., the bear

identified as causing the primary problem), but 19 stated that they continued to have problems

even after the bear was removed. The immediate problem was solved for 10 respondents when a

specific bear was removed, even though they continued to have conflicts after the removal.

In 5 cases the FWC reported that they did not capture the correct bear and made an effort

to re-set the trap to catch the correct bear twice. Four homeowners felt that the FWC did not

catch the correct bear; the FWC acknowledged this in one instance, but in no case was a trap









reset. At 3 locations trapping efforts targeted multiple bears and efforts were made by the FWC

to catch and remove all bears.

According to the records in the FWC bear database 12 of 25 respondents called the FWC

back within 1 year to report another bear conflict. Seven locations reported having bear conflicts

within 1 day to 1 month, 3 locations reported a conflict within 1 to 6 months, and 2 locations

reported a conflict within 6 months to 1 year. Of the 13 that did not report another bear conflict,

7 stated that they continued to have bear conflicts even though they did not report them to the

FWC.

Survey respondents were asked if they could identify something more that they would like

the FWC to do about their bear conflicts. There was a variety of different answers, but 2 primary

suggestions were that they wanted the FWC to respond more quickly to a bear conflict and that

they would like help with preventing garbage from being available to bear throughout their

neighborhood. Other responses included 1) taking homeowners bear problems more seriously, 2)

less primary assistance provided by phone or through brochure mailings, 3) follow up with

homeowners to ask if problems continued, 4) provide bear resistant trash cans, 5) provide

assistance with changing to bear-resistant dumpsters, and 6) open a bear hunting season. Two

respondents stated they would not call the FWC back if they have another bear conflict. One

stated that she saw the FWC as "bear catchers" and that she would not "rat out" another bear.

This was after she discovered that the bear removed from her property was later illegally killed.















Date
5/24/04
5/25/04
6/18/04
8/1/04
8/23/04
10/7/04
10/27/04
11/11/04
12/14/04
12/23/04
1/8/05
3/15/05
4/22/05
5/5/05
5/16/05
6/28/05
7/12/05
7/15/05
7/21/05
7/25/05
8/21/05
8/26/05
8/31/05
9/9/05
9/9/05
9/15/05
9/17/05
9/24/05
10/5/05
10/12/05
10/19/05
11/1/05
11/5/05
12/1/05
12/6/05
12/7/05
12/15/05
12/16/05
12/22/05
12/23/05


Capture location
Sanford; business
Sanford; business
Clewiston; tree
Labelle; residence
Paisley; private campground
Longwood; business
Apopka; residence
Longwood; residence
Sanford; residence
Deland; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence
ONF; public campground
Altoona; residence
Umatilla; residence
Paisley; residence
Longwood; business
Winter Haven; tree
Bonita Springs; residence
Fort McCoy; residence
Bonita Springs; residence
Deland; residence
Fort McCoy; residence
Paisley; residence
Altoona; residence
Sanford; residence
Eustis; residence
Paisley; residence
Paisley; residence
Deland; residence
Sorrento; residence
Longwood; residence
Apopka; residence
Deland; residence
Debary; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence
Longwood; residence


Release location
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
Big Scrub
Big Scrub
Lake Delancey
Lake Delancey
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
Big Scrub
Lake Delancey
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
Lake Delancey
65 Parallel
Big Scrub
New 65 Parallel
Big Scrub
Lake Delancey
New 65 Parallel
Big Scrub
New 65 Parallel


Distance
moved
(km)
49.98
58.86
285.37
255.82
35.09
83.60
90.16
64.45
50.08
41.89
88.58
52.08
30.75
50.88
56.99
56.05
60.90
119.82
319.34
47.36
319.24
62.19
47.45
55.67
47.40
54.37
62.12
33.97
55.73
41.31
45.18
67.93
80.15
41.31
46.98
67.39
54.65
90.68
66.75
54.10
66.75


Table 3-1. Initial capture and translocation data of nuisance Florida black bears moved to the
Ocala National Forest from peninsular Florida May 2004-December 2005.


ID
N648
N649
N01
N26
NO2
NO3
N04
NO5
NO6
NO7
NO8
N10
N11
N12
N13
N14
N15
N16
N17
N19
N20
N21
N22
N23
N24
N25
N27
N28
N29
N30
N31
N32
N33
N34
N35
N36
N37
N38
N39
N40
N41


Age
2
3
3
3
3
2
5
2
2
2
4
4
3
5
4
5
2
1
3
4
2
3
1.5
15
4
5
15
7
9
3
3
4
5
15

4
2
5
6
3
3









Table 3-2. Recapture and retranslocation data of nuisance Florida black bears captured a second
time during the study May 2004-December 2006.


Di stance
moved


ID Sex Age Date


Capture location


Release location

ANF Mud Swamp
Lake Delancey
Big Scrub
65 Parallel
none*
65 Parallel
ANF Mud Swamp


N01
N05
N16
N20
N26
N36
N37


3/17/05
11/16/05
8/17/05
3/2/06
11/1/04
6/16/06
3/10/06


ONF; public campground
Ocklawaha; residence
Jacksonville; residence
Daytona Beach; tree
Silver Springs; residence
Green Cove Springs; tree
Altoona; residence


NA*
45.41
128.77
69.97
0
84.71
NA


*NA = not applicable; bears were translocated to Apalachicola National Forest and removed
from the study.
**Bear was euthanized after capture









"iiF`


9,,


I 1


B
~-- ~


"la


t


r.


O Capture Locations
Public Land
SUrban Areas

K lilomete
D 12 5 25 50 75 100


r


;1


Figure 3-1. Capture locations of nuisance Florida black bears in peninsular Florida translocated
to the Ocala National Forest May 2004-December 2005 and of subsequent recaptures
May 2004-December 2007.


.. .a_


O '


rs.










9N


O- BerLcain
Puli Lan


V//A ~d UranAra
Kilo eter
0 10 0 40 60 8


Figure 3-2. All locations of translocated nuisance bears post-release in Florida May 2004-December 2006.










Table 3-3. Types of nuisance activities bears engaged in before and after translocation to the
Ocala National Forest.
Nuisance Activity Pre Post
Translocation Translocation

Dumpster 5 1
Household garbage 20 14
In campground 1 2
Bird feeder 4 7
Pet food 3 3
Killed livestock 1 1
Apiary damage 1 0
Attempted home entry 0 1
On screened porch 4 1
Shed/garage damage 3 0
Fence damage 3 0
Digging in yard 2 2
In a tree 2 2









Table 3-4. Causes of mortality for translocated nuisance black bears in north-central Florida
May 2004-December 2006.
Bear Sex Age Capture Death Cause Location

N20 F 2 7/25/05 7/23/06 HB Ca Outside ONF, I-95 Palm Coast, FL
N23 F 15 8/31/05 10/5/06 Natural Outside ONF, Paisley, FL
N26 M 3* 8/1/04 11/1/04 Euthanized Inside ONF, Lynne, FL
NO8 M 4 12/24/04 1/19/05 Illegal/unkb Outside ONF, Blackwater Creek/SR-44
N15 M 2 6/29/05 12/5/05 Illegal/Shot Outside ONF, Eustis, FL
N27 M 15 9/15/05 8/17/06 Wildfire Inside ONF, Juniper Prairie W.A.
N38 M 5 12/15/05 6/9/06 HBC Outside ONF, SR-20 Palatka, FL
N39 M 6 12/17/05 7/2/06 Illegal/Shot Outside ONF, Bostwick, FL

*Age estimated
aHBC Hit By Car
b Method unknown, collar found dumped in creek at bridge crossing












1. 00



0. 75







0. 25



0. 00

O 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

Tmnsocaeel>64 m -Day~s
Translocated 5 64 km


Figure 3-3. Annual survival curve estimate for nuisance bears translocated to the Ocala National Forest in Florida > 64 km (black) and
< 64 km (red) May 2005-December 2006.









CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION

Nuisance Recidivism

The percentage of translocated bears that continued to engage in nuisance behaviors (46%)

was considerably higher that those reported in other studies (Conover 2002). However, those

studies used recipient sites where the potential for continued human-bear interaction was low

(i.e., released in highly remote locations) (Linnell et al. 1997, Conover 2002), so their lower rates

of recidivism was possibly related more to the reduced potential for conflict in the release area

and less with the possible effect of the translocation procedure. Linnell et al. (1997) found that

bears released in areas with a higher potential for human-conflict, as characterized by the ONF

for this study, often caused more conflict after release. The percent of recaptures as a result of

nuisance behavior (17%) observed in this study was similar to the results of other studies

(McLaughlin et al. 1981, cited by Rogers 1986).

The relationship between continued nuisance behaviors and the sex of the bear remained

significant throughout all analyses. Considering that 89% of all bears that engaged in nuisance

activities post-translocation were males, this relationship was not unexpected. It has been well

documented that males predominate among bears captured as nuisances (McLean and Pelton

1990, Clark et al. 2002, Beckman and Berger 2003). Males also predominated among nuisance

bears captured during this study and in previously captured nuisance bears throughout Florida.

The lack of significance of age may be due to the equal distribution of sub-adult and adult bears

that engaged in nuisance activities post-translocation.

There was considerable difference in the results comparing the 2 distance variables. This is

possibly due to the wide range of the actual distances of translocation (30-3 19 km) and the

uneven distribution of those distances. Grouping distances resulted in the increased significance









of weight and distance. The mean weight of male bears in this study was greater than the mean

weight of ONF resident males (McCown et al. 2004). Bears that utilize human-food can be

significantly heavier than those bears that do not (Beckman and Berger 2003), and the longer

they utilize these resources the heavier they become. This increases the likelihood they are food-

conditioned (i.e., dependent on a particular non-natural food source) to human-food resources

and may be more likely to seek out these resources even after translocation occurs (Conover

2002). In addition, bears that are heavy as a result of eating artificial foods may reach a weight

threshold that requires the bear to continue to eat artificial foods in order to be maintained.

The probability that bears translocated farther than 64 km were more likely to continue

nuisance activities was an unanticipated result. The FWC resorts to the translocation of nuisance

bears only as a Einal management option; therefore the bears that were translocated may have

already been food-conditioned and/or habituated (i.e., unperturbed in the presence of nearby

humans). As the distance of translocation is increased it decreases the likelihood that a bear will

be able to return home. This may result in an increased wandering or searching behavior and a

higher likelihood that they will encounter humans and human food-resources.

Marking each translocated bear probably increased the probability that the public would

report nuisances to the FWC. It is reasonable to assume that nuisance activities occurred when

there was no witness, witnesses overlooked identifying marks (e.g., ear tags, radio collar, etc.), or

witnesses did not report the event. Therefore, I was only able to document a fraction of all

probably nuisances, and of those, only 65% were reported to the FWC by the public. It suggests

that the amount of nuisance recidivism detected in this study is almost certainly underestimated.

Returns and Movements

The desired obj ective of translocation is that bears would remain within ONF boundaries;

therefore the return of nuisance bears to their capture area was considered an undesirable









outcome. Studies of translocated nuisance bears show that few remain close to their release sites

and often move long distances post-release (Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997).

Rogers (1986) suggested that the success of translocation depended largely on the age of the bear

and the distance it was moved; sub-adults were more likely to remain at the release site than

were adults and the optimum translocation distance to ensure <50% of bears from returning was

>64 km. However, despite a median translocation distance of 56. 11 km in this study, < 50% of

bears returned. This may partially explain the significance of translocation distance to the

probability of return. Few bears (4 of 13) that returned were recorded engaging in a nuisance

event, suggesting that translocation may have been successful in reducing the probability of

recidivism in those individuals. However, it is also possible that recidivism was simply not

detected or that the public did not report nuisance incidences to the FWC.

The relationship between bears that returned home and the sex of the bear was significant

when compared against all other variable combinations. Female bears returned at a higher

probability than expected. While the small sample size of translocated females compared to

translocated males may be a factor, few nuisance females are captured and translocated to the

ONF each year. Therefore the small sample size and rate of return may be representative of the

area.

Previous studies indicated that translocated sub-adults were less likely to return home

when translocated greater than 64 km (Rogers 1986). However the median translocation distance

of sub-adults and adults were equal (56 km) and less than the recommended translocation

distance. Therefore the even distribution of sub-adult and adult bears that returned home is not

unusual and may describe the lack of significance of age in the analysis.









Release site selection is considered an important factor affecting translocation success

(Griffith et al. 1989, Bradley et al. 2005). The FWC uses ONF as the recipient site for bears

translocated from central Florida. However, bears captured a second time may be translocated to

a different population (Egbert 2001). Using these as the primary criteria in determining an

acceptable release site gives no consideration to population density, the extent of available

habitat, or to previously translocated bears. High population density and competition for food

and space may make it difficult for a newly translocated bear to remain where it was released.

My data show that less than a third of translocated bears remained in ONF. While sex, weight

and translocation distance play a role in determining site-fidelity, it is worth considering that

population density and subsequent habitat availability may also be a factor affecting site-fidelity.

Survival

Translocated bears had similar survival estimates to that of resident bears, which suggest

that translocation did not increase mortality from natural causes. Although there was a slight

difference in annual survival between translocated and resident females, this difference may be

due to the small sample size of translocated females.

Previous studies have suggested that translocating sub-adult bears may simulate dispersal

(Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997, Conover 2002) and sub-adults may exhibit

higher site-fidelity to their release area than adults (Rogers 1986). This high site-fidelity may

reduce the probability that their movements will bring them into contact with humans, thereby

reducing human-caused mortality. Therefore the lack of significance in mortality based on age

group was unanticipated. However, considering the considerable amount of human-disturbance

in the ONF the probability that all bears, regardless of age class, will encounter humans may be

greater than within other the bear populations in Florida (i.e., Apalachicola and Big Cypress

National Forests), which are more remote.









A lower estimated survival was detected for bears translocated > 64 km, which represents

less than a third of all translocated bears. Extensive movements by bears across the fragmented

landscape of central Florida increases the risk of mortality largely through increased exposure to

roads and interactions with humans (Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997).

Translocating bears great enough distances to reduce their likelihood of returning home may

result in extensive wandering and increases the probability that they will encounter humans and

roadways.

I lost contact with I adult male during the study. It is possible his collar failed during the

study, however, considering his well-documented nuisance history post-translocation (he was a

persistent chicken killer and had been shot in the face) the possibility exists that he was illegally

killed and his collar destroyed. This scenario was documented when the collar of an illegally

killed sub-adult male was destroyed. Additionally, a sub-adult female's collar was destroyed by

the vehicle that killed her. Had the illegal kill not been witnessed and reported to law

enforcement, and had a road-cleanup crew not discovered the remains of the female' s collar, the

fate of these 2 bears would have also remained unknown.

Survey

An important part of determining the success of translocating nuisance bears is whether

moving bears eliminated the problem at the location of initial conflict. More than 75% of survey

respondents stated that they continued to have conflicts with bears even after a bear was removed

from their property. The FWC bear database indicated that less than half of all locations where

bears were removed reported additional conflicts within a year; however, interviews with

residents revealed that 73% experienced additional conflicts within a year. Based on these results

it appears that removing bears did not drastically eliminate subsequent conflicts with bears at the

capture site.










Forty percent of those surveyed believed that removing the specified bear solved their

immediate problem. However, they also stated they continued to have bear conflicts within a

year after removal. While this may seem contradictory, some respondents may have attributed an

explicit nuisance situation to a specific bear, which they felt had been captured and removed,

while others may have attributed conflicts to any bears in the area.

Educating those that have human-bear conflicts is done by the FWC during initial

complaints and when the FWC conducts site visits to determine the nature and severity of the

conflict. The extent to which these educational efforts by the FWC have worked is difficult to

measure. More than half of all those surveyed stated that they tried to follow FWC advice on

securing bear attractants (e.g., securing household garbage in building) before, or during, a

capture attempt took place. However, since the FWC normally captures bears as a last resort,

remedial measures by the public may not be sufficient if the problem bear has had sufficient time

to become food conditioned or habituated. Complainants that wait until the bear problem is

intolerable before contacting the FWC often exacerbate this situation.

There were 8 identified incidental captures and in 2 of those cases the FWC reset a trap

and captured the targeted bear. The trap was reset in one case because the homeowner

complained they didn't catch the "right bear" and in the other case to catch a specific ear-tagged

bear. However, homeowners complained in 2 additional cases the "right bear" was not caught

and in a separate case a specific ear-tagged individual was targeted but not captured (a non-ear-

tagged bear was captured instead). The FWC did not reset traps in any of these 3 cases, creating

confusion in the public' s perception of the FWC's attempts to provide a remedy for the conflict.









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION AND MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Data on the fate of translocated nuisance bears are important for the management of

Florida black bears. Additionally, information regarding the efficacy of translocation as a

management tool to reduce or eliminate problem bear behaviors at the location of conflict is

paramount for the long-term prevention or mitigation of human-bear conflicts. Through this 3-

year study I have provided data on nuisance recidivism, movements, and survival on translocated

nuisance bears, and have interviewed complainants to assess their perceptions of FWC actions.

Determining the extent to which translocated nuisance bears resume their nuisance

behaviors is imperative when evaluating the efficacy of relocation (Linnell et al. 1997).

However, identifying a free-roaming ear-tagged bear is difficult and without other identifying

characteristics (e.g., radio collar, prominent chest blaze, etc.) it is challenging to tell one ear-

tagged bear from another. Collaring each translocated bear probably increased the identification

of those that engaged in nuisances and the rate at which nuisances were reported. However, data

suggest that recidivism events were underreported. Therefore recidivism may be notably higher

that was detected during this study.

Translocation was not always successful at eliminating nuisances. Clark et al. (2002) found

that the modification of nuisance behaviors was most affective when performed on bears

captured early in their progression towards nuisance behaviors. In Florida, nuisance bears are

translocated only as a final management option; therefore by the time they are captured they may

have already become food-conditioned and/or habituated. Moving them just transferred the

problem to a new area and contributed to the high percentage of nuisance recidivism and of

subsequent recaptures. Translocating bears before they become food-conditioned or habituated

may decrease future recidivism events. For bears that are already food-conditioned or habituated,










employing other management tools, such as aversive conditioning techniques or lethal

management, may increase the success of eliminating subsequent nuisances.

Data suggest that a bear translocated greater than 64 km had a higher probability of

mortality and Rogers (1986) found that moving a bear this distance decreases the likelihood that

the individual will return to the capture location. When determining the distance a nuisance bear

will be moved, both of these factors should be considered and the preferred outcome, the

probability of mortality or return, should be chosen by the managing agency before each

individual is moved. In addition, if the preferred outcome is also that the translocated individual

remains in the release area, population density and habitat availability should be considered

when choosing a release site in order to improve release site-fidelity.

The FWC bear database suggests that human-bear conflicts continued at the site of original

conflict even after a nuisance bear was removed. In addition, most people surveyed stated that

they did not believe that removing bears solved subsequent nuisance bear conflicts. Removing

bears did not clearly prevent subsequent problems with bears. However, it is not clear if the real

issue is the continuation of artificial food being provided for bears in the area of initial

complaint. If so, the problem may be that the people in that area continually create problem

bears. Considering that the sample size of people and conflict locations surveyed was small, a

larger comprehensive study to determine the public's perceptions of nuisance bears in areas of

high human-bear conflict in Florida should be conducted. It could provide valuable information

on the beliefs and attitudes of people living in high bear-conflict areas and could influence the

implementation of alternative human-bear conflict management and education strategies.

The public view that bears can be moved to a place where they cannot get back into trouble

is not a realistic one. Today, there are precious few places in Florida where bears can be










translocated without the likelihood of further human interaction. Recent increases in human-bear

conflicts in Florida have resulted in an increase in translocated nuisance bears. Considering the

mediocre success of using translocation to eliminate further nuisance behaviors, efforts may be

better focused on community education and outreach, and other non-lethal management efforts,

to eliminate nuisance behaviors at the site of conflict. Educational programs targeted at changing

human behavior would not only be useful at reducing human-bear conflicts, but would also help

promote the coexistence of bears near communities in the long term. In addition, the creation of

regulations implementing the widespread use of bear-resistant garbage bins in areas where

conflicts are likely to occur can cultivate the proper storage of bear attractants. Where conflicts

are unavoidable, and non-lethal tools are not available, management agencies need to educate the

public to accept that lethal control may be a necessity. In this way public focus can be shifted

from managing the individual to the management of a whole population (Linnell et al. 1997).

As the human population in Florida continues to increase, habitat fragmentation and

reduction are increasing human-bear interactions throughout the state, and long-term solutions

should be sought to prevent interactions from turning into conflicts. Long-term solutions can

foster public support for bears and significantly contribute to bear conservation and management

in the state.










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Athreya, V. 2006. Is relocation a viable management option for unwanted animals? The case of
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Beckman, J. P. and J. Berger. 2003. Rapid ecological and behavioral changes in carnivores: the
responses of black bears(Ursus americanus) to altered food. Journal of Zoology 261:207-
212.

Blanchard, B. M. and R. R. Knight. 1995. Biological consequences of relocating grizzly bears in
the Yellowstone ecosystem. Journal of Wildlife Management 59:560-565.

Bradley, E. H., D. H. Pletscher, E. E. Bangs, K. E. Kunkel, D. W. Smith, C. M. Mack, T. J.
Meier, J. A. Fontaine, C. C. Niemeyer, and M. D. Jimenez. 2005. Evaluating wolf
translocation as a nonlethal method to reduce livestock conflicts in the northwestern
United States. Conservation Biology 19:1498-1508.

Brady, J. R., and D. S. Machr. 1982. A new method for dealing with apiary-raiding black bears.
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife
Agencies 36:571-577.

Clark, J. E., F. T. van Manen, and M. R. Pelton. 2002. Correlates of success for on-site releases
of nuisance black bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wildlife Society
Bulletin 30: 104-111.

Comly, L. M. 1993. Survival, reproduction, and movements of translocated nuisance black bears
in Virginia. M. S. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg,
Virginia, USA.

Conover, M. 2002. Resolving human-wildlife conflicts: the science of wildlife damage
management. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Craven, S., T. Barnes, and G. Kania. 1998. Toward a professional position on the translocation
of problem wildlife. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26: 171-177.

Dillman, D. A. 1978. Mail and telephone surveys: the total design method. John Wiley & Sons,
New York, USA.

Dobey, S., D. V. Masters, B. K. Scheick, J. D. Clarck, M. R. Pelton, and M. E. Sunquist. 2005.
Ecology of Florida black bears in the Okeefenokee-Osceola ecosystem. Wildlife
Monographs 158:1-41.

Egbert, A. L. 2001. Nuisance black bear policy. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.










Fischer, J. and D. B. Lindenmayer. 2000. An assessment of the published results of animal
relocations. Biological Conservation 96: 1-11.

Griffith, B, J. M. Scott, J. W. Carpenter, and C. W. Reed. 1989 Translocation as a species
conservation tool: status and strategy. Science 245:477-480.

Hall, E. R. 1981. The mammals of North America. John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA.

Hellgren, E. C., D. W. Carney, N. P. Garner, and M. R. Vaughan. 1988. Use of breakaway cotton
spacers on radio collars. Wildlife Society Bulletin 16:216-218.

Kaplan, E. L. and P.Meier. 1958. Nonparametric estimation from incomplete observations.
Journal of the American Statistical Association 53:457-481.

Kurten, B. and E. Anderson. 1980. Pleistocene mammals of North America. Columbia
University Press, New York, USA.

Lawless. J. F. 1982. Statistical models and methods for lifetime data. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
New York, New York, USA.

Linnell, J. D., R. Aanes, J. E. Swenson, J. Odden, and M. E. Smith. 1997. Translocation of
carnivores as a method for managing problem animals: a review. Biodiversity and
Conservation 6:1245-1257.

McCown, J. W., P. Kubilis, T. Eason, and B. Scheick. 2004. Black bear movements and habitat
use relative to roads in Ocala National Forest. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

McLaughlin, C. R., C. J. Baker, A. Sallade, and J. Tamblyn. 1981. Characteristics and
movements of translocated nuisance black bears in northcentral Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Game Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.

McLean, P. K. and M. R. Pelton. 1990. Some demographic comparisons of wild and panhandler
bears in the Smoky Mountains. International Conference on Bear Research and
Management. 8:105-112.

Mech, L. D. 1995. The challenge and opportunity of recovering wolf populations. Conservation
Biology 9:270-278.

Millspaugh, J. J. and J. M. Marzluff, editors. 2001. Radio tracking and animal populations.
Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Noss, R. F., H. B. Quigley, M. G. Hornocker, T. Merrill, and P.C. Paquet. 1996. Conservation
biology and carnivore conservation in the Rocky Mountains. Conservation Biology
10:949-963.

O'Bryan, M. K. and D.R. McCullough. 1985. Survival of black-tailed deer following relocation
in California. Journal of Wildlife Management 49: 115-1 19.










Rogers, L. L. 1986. Effects of translocation distance on frequency of return by adult black bears.
Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:76-80.

Simek, S. L., S. A. Jonker, B. K. Scheick, M. J. Endries, and T. H. Eason. 2005. Statewide
Assessment of Road Impacts on bears in six study areas in Florida from May 2001-
September 2003. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee,
Florida, USA.

Sullivan, B. K., M. A. Kwiatkowski and G. W. Schuett. 2004. Translocation of urban Gila
Monsters: a problematic conservation tool. Biological Conservation 117:235-242.

Swihart, R. K., N. A. Slade, and B. J. Bergstrom. 1988. Relating body size to the rate of home
range use in mammals. Ecology 69: 393-399.

Willey, C. H. 1974. Aging black bears from first premolar tooth section. Journal of Wildlife
Management 38:97-100.

Wolf, C. M., B. Griffith, C. Reed, and S. A. Temple. 1996. Avian and mammalian
translocations; update and reanalysis of 1987 survey data. Conservation Biology 10:1142-
1154.

Wooding, J. B., N. L. Hunter, and T. S. Hardinsky. 1988. Trap and release apiary-raiding black
bears. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies 42:333-356.

Wooding, J. B. 1993. Management of the black bear in Florida, a staff report to the
commissioners. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee, Florida,
USA.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Kimberly Maureen Annis was born on 15 June 1974 in Pittsford, New York. Until the age

of 11, she grew up in a lively neighborhood full of adventures and fun, after which she moved

with her family to West Bloomfield, Michigan. As a present for her 11Ith birthday, she received

horseback riding lessons and has firmly immersed herself in the world of equines ever since.

After graduating from West Bloomfield High School in 1992, she again moved with her parents

back to New York. She received her Associate of Arts degree at Monroe Community College in

1997. After discovering a passion for wildlife, she enrolled at the State University of New York

College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1997 and received her Bachelor of Science

degree in environmental and forest biology in 2000. After traveling the country to gain

experience working in the wildlife field, she came to Florida in 2002 to work for the Florida Fish

and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a field biologist studying the Florida black bear. In

2004, she began her graduate work with the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at

the University of Florida. Throughout her graduate career, she continued to work with the

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was fortunate to learn and benefit from

the many exceptional biologists with whom she worked. She received her Master of Science

degree in wildlife ecology and conservation in December 2007. She currently lives in Libby,

Montana, where she works for the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks division of wildlife managing

grizzly and black bears in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem.





PAGE 1

1 THE IMPACT OF TRANSLOCATION ON NUISANCE FLORIDA BLACK BEARS By KIMBERLY MAUREEN ANNIS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

PAGE 2

2 2007 Kimberly Maureen Annis

PAGE 3

3 Toto, I dont think were in Kansas anymore. Dorothy on being translocated to Oz from Kansas by a tornado, The Wizard of Oz

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Without the help and support of the followi ng people, agencies and organizations, this project would not have been possible. Fundi ng and logistical suppor t was provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Cons ervation Commission (FWC), Un ited States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Jennings Scholarship, and Florida Wildlife Federation. I thank my FWC supervisor Walt McCown whose, skills, support, friendship, and encouragement have improved my life, and this th esis, beyond words. I would also like to thank everyone who helped follow the bears throughout the study, especially Ka therine Isaacs, Clint Peters, Alex Pries and Heather Sc ott, whose dedication in driving all of north-central Florida to track traveling bears was invaluable. I am especi ally grateful for all of the FWC biologists and Bear Response Agents, most notably Mike A bbott, Fred Bohler, Andrea Boliek, Joe Bozzo, Susan Carroll-Douglas, Mike and Kathy Connoll y, Dr. Mark Cunningham, Jerry Flynn, Paul Kubilis, Mike Orlando, Brian Scheick, Greg Staffo rd and Tom Shupe. I sincerely thank the FWC bear section leader, Stephanie Simek, who started the whole proj ect rolling and helped me get my hands on it. I also thank my pilot Ron To water for the hundreds of hours searching hundreds of miles in a hot airplane for lost bears. His enjoyment of circling Florida from high above is inspiring. Special thanks go to my best friend Liz La bunksi, who, from hundreds of miles away, was always there to make me laugh, let me cry, and al ways supported me during the best and worst of times. I could not have made it through graduate school without our weekly, sometimes daily, phone conversations. I also thank my office mates in Building 150, Margo Stoddard, Kate Williams, Arjun Gopalaswamy, Dan Dawson, Jason Martin, Kelly Bryam and Evan Adams for

PAGE 5

5 their continued friendship and encouragement. I am forever in debt to Dave and Rebecca Telesco who provided the encouragement and advice I need ed to attempt graduate school in the first place. Much of my gratitude goes to my family, esp ecially to my sister Rebecca, who was always there for me during the long hours I spent tracking bears. I am deep ly thankful to my mother and father, who have ardently supported my many year s working with wildlife and to my brother Jamie for his continued encouragement. I greatly appreciate my advisor and committee chair, Melvin Sunquist, who believed in my abilities and was always willing to share his advice, enthusiasm, and wisdom. And last, but not least, I thank my committee members Perran Ro ss and Mark Hostetler for their suggestions, advice and comments on my drafts.

PAGE 6

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................11 2 STUDY AREA AND METHODS.........................................................................................18 Study Area..................................................................................................................... .........18 Methods........................................................................................................................ ..........18 Captures and Translocations............................................................................................18 Monitoring..................................................................................................................... ..20 Data Analysis.................................................................................................................. ........20 Nuisance Recidivism................................................................................................20 Returns and Movements........................................................................................... 22 Survival....................................................................................................................22 Survey.......................................................................................................................24 3 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......28 Nuisance Recidivism.......................................................................................................28 Returns and Movements..................................................................................................30 Survival....................................................................................................................... .....31 Survey......................................................................................................................... .....31 4 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ....41 Nuisance Recidivism............................................................................................................ ..41 Returns and Movements.........................................................................................................42 Survival....................................................................................................................... ............44 Survey......................................................................................................................... ............45 5 CONCLUSION AND MANAGE MENT RECOMMENDATIONS.....................................47 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..50 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................53

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Questions asked to survey respondents..............................................................................27 3-1 Initial capture and translocation data of nuisance Florida black bears moved to the Ocala National Forest from peninsular Florida May 2004December 2005.....................34 3-2 Recapture and retranslocation data of nui sance Florida black bears captured a second time during the study May 2004December 2006.............................................................35 3-3 Types of nuisance activitie s bears engaged in before a nd after translocation to the Ocala National Forest........................................................................................................38 3-4 Causes of mortality for translocated nui sance black bears in north-central Florida May 2004December 2006................................................................................................39

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Florida black bear populations within Flor ida, as documented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm ission (FWC) in 2005.........................................................15 1-2 Number of bear related phone calls by population in Florida as reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife C onservation Commission 1978....................................16 1-3 Numbers of bear translocations by popul ation in Florida as reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1999.................................................17 2-1 Location of the Ocala bear population centered in the Ocal a National Forest in northcentral Florida................................................................................................................ ....25 2-2 The 3 sites where translocat ed bears were released with in the Ocala National Forest in north-central Florida May 2004December 2005.........................................................26 3-1 Capture locations of nuisance Florida black bears in peninsular Florida translocated to the Ocala National Forest May 2004December 2005 and of subsequent recaptures May 2004December 2007..............................................................................36 3-2 All locations of translocated nuisanc e bears post-release in Florida May 2004 December 2006..................................................................................................................37 3-3 Annual survival curve estim ate for nuisance bears translocated to the Ocala National Forest in Florida > 64 km (black) and < 64 km (red) May 2004December 2006...........40

PAGE 9

9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science THE IMPACT OF TRANSLOCATION ON NUISANCE FLORIDA BLACK BEARS By Kimberly Maureen Annis December 2007 Chair: Melvin E. Sunquist Major: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Despite the widespread use of translocation as a tool to eliminate nuisance bear behaviors and reduce human-wildlife conflicts, questions re main concerning the efficacy of the technique. The bear population centered in Floridas Ocala National Forest (ONF) is surrounded by several rapidly growing human communities and has the highest rate of human-bear conflicts and subsequent nuisance bear translo cations in the state. The objectiv e of this study was to determine the fate of translocated nuisance bears in Florid a and to evaluate the e ffectiveness of removing nuisance bears from the area of human-bear c onflict. I assessed th e nuisance behaviors, movements, and survival of 41 translocated nuisance bears, surveyed 25 home and business owners where bears were removed, and evaluate d the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions bear database for th e reoccurrence of human-bear conf licts at the site of original conflict after bears were removed. Nearly half of all translocat ed bears engaged in a nuisance event at least once post-release and 34% engaged in nuisance events more than once. A higher percentage of males than females continued nu isance behaviors. Thirteen bears returned to capture sites and the average translocation distan ce of this group was shorter than those that did not return. An additional 32% remained within ONF and 37% left ONF, but did not return home. Annual survival estimates were lower for female s than for males but were not significantly

PAGE 10

10 different (P = 0.40). Survival estimates for males were comparable to those reported for resident bears in ONF. Nineteen survey respondents stated they continued to have bear conflicts within 1 year of a bear being removed fr om their property and 7 of thes e respondents had a conflict occur in less than a month. The database revealed that the FWC received a call complaining of another bear conflict within a year at 12 of the 25 capture locations. No one from the remaining 13 locations called the FWC to complain of future conflicts, however the surv ey revealed that they continued to have conflicts but did not report them to the FWC.

PAGE 11

11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Vast tracts of land are required to maintain viable populations of la rge-bodied carnivores and expanses of non-fragmented landscape are n eeded to encompass even a single home range (Noss et al. 1996). Since the 1800s, human persec ution coupled with the conversion of native habitat has resulted in the elim ination of large carnivores thr oughout much of their former range (Mech 1995). In most of the United States, large carnivores continue to pe rsist only in protected public lands or in areas with relatively li ttle economic importance to humans. As human population densities continue to increase, the inte nse development of land resources has resulted in humans being in close proximity to remaining wildland areas and in close proximity to large carnivores, causing a recent rise in human-carnivore conflicts. Translocation is the intentional capture and tran sport of a wild animal from one location to another and is utilized to introdu ce, reintroduce or augment wildlife into new or former ranges. Historically, translocation is used to introdu ce popular game species for hunting opportunities and more recently used to restore endangered and threatened species throughout North America (Conover 2002). However, translocating wildlife is expensive and is often unsuccessful (Griffith et al. 1989, Wolf et al. 1996, Fischer and Li ndenmayer 2000). Translocated animals can experience high rates of post-release mortalit y (OBryan and McCullough 1985, Blanchard and Knight 1995), do not stay where released, or may attempt to return to former homes (Comly 1993, Sullivan et al. 2004, Bradley et al. 2005). Becau se of such complications, translocation is frequently subject to intense ev aluation and public scrutiny, especially when used for imperiled species. Wildlife residing in residential and suburban ar eas are a leading cause of human-wildlife conflicts in North America today (Conover 2002). In these areas, food resources, such as

PAGE 12

12 garbage, are often readily available to wild life and are a source of negative human-wildlife interactions. Despite this conflict, there is little public toleranc e for the lethal management of nuisance wildlife, especially for large carnivores; therefore, translocation is often used as an alternative. Translocation has been employed for at least 40 y ears as a standard method to remove problem animals from areas where human-w ildlife conflicts occur (Linnell et al. 1997). The stressful and negative experience of capture and translocation is thou ght to cause the animal to avoid further contact with humans, and movi ng it to a new location is thought to prevent it from returning to the area of original conflict. The public perception of this technique is that the animal is moved to a more natural habitat and th at it will live happily ever after (Craven et al. 1998). However, when human-derived food re sources have contributed to the nuisance situation, simply removing an individual generall y does not eliminate the problem (Linnell et al. 1997, Athreya 2006). Fossil records indicate that American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) have been present in North America for approximately 3 million years and that they once ranged throughout all of North America (Kurten and Anderson 1980). Like mo st large-bodied carnivores, black bears also need large areas of land to maintain viable home ranges; however, the conversion of native habitat for human use and intensive, unregulat ed hunting resulted in the extirpation of many populations by the early 1900s. Unique ly, the black bear has an abil ity to live in close proximity to humans. As human developments proliferate in areas adjacent to remaining bear habitat human-bear conflicts have steadily increased an d the deterrence of human-bear conflicts has recently become an important aspect of many stat e management agencies in the United States. The Florida black bear ( U. a. floridanus ) is one of 3 recognized subspecies of the American black bear. Historicall y, it ranged throughout all of Flor ida and into southern portions

PAGE 13

13 of Mississippi, Alabama, and Ge orgia (Hall 1981). However, by th e 1970s the Florida black bear had dwindled to an estimated 300 bears and were eliminated from approximately 83% of their former range (Wooding 1993). It was listed in 1974 as a state threatened species (Wooding 1993) and currently remains listed throughout Florid a, with the exception of Columbia and Baker counties and the Apalachicola National Forest. Ecologically and aesthetically the Florida black bear is a major vertebrate com ponent of Florida, being only one of two native large carnivores that remain in the state (Dobey et al. 2005). There are 8 bear populations in Florida (Sim ek et al. 2005) (Figure 1). The Ocala bear population is one of the densest bear populations (McCown et al. 2004) and is also adjacent to some of the most rapidly growing human communiti es in the state (Simek et al. 2005). It far exceeds all other bear populations in the state in the number of public reports concerning bears submitted to the FWC (Figure 1) and number of annual nuisance bear translocations (Figure 1). The success of using on-site releases with nuisance apiary-raiding bears in Florida has been well documented (Brady and Maehr 1982, Wooding et al. 1988), but there has been no documentation of the success in using translocati on to eliminate future nuisance behaviors. In addition, there has been little da ta collected on previously transl ocated bears to determine their fate after release. Reviews of wildlife translocat ion studies concluded that translocation failed to suitably solve human-wildlife conflic t issues, especially in bears (Linnell et al. 1997, Fischer and Lindenmayer 2000). In addition, Linnell et al. (1997) reported that using translocation to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts commonly lacked long-term goals. Given the common use of translocation in Florida and the lack of previous data, further examination of this management tool is certainly justified, especially for a thr eatened species such as the Florida black bear.

PAGE 14

14 The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of translocating nuisance Florida black bears and to evaluate the effectiveness of using translocation as a management tool to reduce nuisance bear problems at the area of orig inal human-bear conflict. My objectives were to determine 1) whether translocated nuisance bears continued to engage in nuisance behaviors, 2) whether they returned home, 3) if they exhibi ted higher annual mortality rates than those of resident bears in the ONF, 4) whether the location of initial conflict continued to experience bear problems, 5) the attitudes about translocating nuisance bears, and 6) subsequent bear-conflict complaints at the site of initial conflict af ter a specific bear was captured and removed.

PAGE 15

15 Figure 1. Florida black bear populations with in Florida, as documented by the Florid a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissi on (FWC) in 2005.

PAGE 16

16 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000A p alac hico l a Bi g C y p ress Chassahowi t zka E glin G lades/ H ighlan d Ocala O sc eo l a St. Jo hn s Figure 1. Number of bear relate d phone calls by population in Florida as reporte d by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservati on Commission 1978.

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17 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70Apalac h i c ola Bi g Cyp res s Ch a ss ah o w it z ka Egli n Gl ades/Hi g hlan d s Oc ala Os ceola St J o hn s Figure 1. Numbers of bear transl ocations by population in Florid a as reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1999.

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18 CHAPTER 2 STUDY AREA AND METHODS Study Area Nuisance bears were captured by the FWC in counties within peninsular Florida and translocated to the ONF for release. Captur e locations were characterized primarily by concentrated areas of residen tial neighborhoods and suburban sprawl adjacent to large tracts of forested lands and occurred at both private re sidences and businesses. The ONF is located in north-central Florida along an an cient sand dune ridge bordered by th e St. Johns River to the east and by the Ocklawaha River to the north and west (Figure 2). The 174,019 ha forest contains 4 major plant communities 1) swamps and marshes al ong the rivers, 2) pine flatwoods between the rivers and the central ridge, 3) dune -like interior ridge of sand pine ( Pinus clausa ) and scrub oak species ( Quercus sp. ) with ponds and seasonal wet prairies throughout, and 4) mixed hardwood swamps associated with large permanent lake s. The climate in north-central Florida is characterized by hot wet summers with abundant rainfall and cool dry winters. Annual precipitation averages 1364 mm with 55% of ra infall occurring from June-September of each year (Ayedelott et al. 1975). Methods Captures and Translocations From 01 May 2004 to 31 December 2005 nuisance b ears were live-trapped in culvert traps by agents of FWCs Nuisance Bear Response Program or by FWC biologists. A culvert trap is a large metal cylinder, approximate ly 2.2 meters long and one meter in diameter, with a drop door located at the entrance a nd a release device attached to a lock ing cable at the far end. Bears enter and take bait off a locking cable, which releas es the door, trapping the animal inside. Culvert traps are trailer mounted for transport. An apiary -raiding bear was captured in an Aldrich spring-

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19 activated foot snare set up next to a bee-yard after he would not enter a culvert trap. Bears that were in trees in urban areas were darted and re moved from the tree. All bears were translocated to the ONF in culvert traps for handling. The FWC policy that addresses the translocatio n of nuisance bears states that a captured bear may be relocated away from the capture s ite to bear habitat within the range of its population, or, if it is believed that the bear will continue nuisance behavior within the range of its population, it may be released within the range of a different population (Egbert 2001). Accordingly, the FWC also determined when a capt ure effort would take pl ace. Bears entered the study when the FWC determined the captured bear w ould be translocated to the ONF for release. The FWC translocated all bears the farthest pos sible distance from their capture site while meeting 2 criteria: 1) bears were released in one of the 3 approved release locations within ONF, and 2) consecutive releases at the same location were avoided. To maintain continuity for this study, 3 specific sites with shade, cover and near by water were chosen within the 3 FWC release locations (Figure 2). Bears were immobilized with a 1:1 mixture of Tiletamine hydrochloride and Zolezepam hydrochloride (Telazol) administered at approximately 46mg/kg of estimated body weight with a CO2 charged low-impact dart pistol. Bears were fitted with radio-collar transmitters equipped with motion and mortality sensors (Telonics Inc ., Mesa, Arizona). Untrea ted leather-breakaway connectors were used to secure each collar (He llgren et al. 1988). Bears were uniquely marked with lip-tattoos and numbered red, round ear-tags fo r identification. These ear tags differed from the tags the FWC normally uses so the bear could be identified as a research animal from a distance. A premolar tooth was extracted for age estimation using cementum annuli analysis (Matsons Laboratory, Milltown, Montana, Wille y 1974). All bears were handled according to

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20 the University of Florida protocol for the use of live vertebrates (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol # D653). Monitoring Instrumented bears were located 1 to 3 times per week from the air using a Cessna-172 aircraft equipped with wing-strut mounted 2-el ement yagi antennas, and by ground triangulation using a 3-element, hand-hel d, yagi antenna (Telonics In c., Mesa, Arizona) and a Communications Systems Inc. receiver. Gr ound triangulations were made using > 3 compass bearings obtained within a 30-mi nute interval to minimize location error as a result of a bears movement. Ground locations were collected duri ng both day and nighttime periods. I selected 17-hours as the minimum time interval between locations for biologi cal independence among locations (Swihart et al. 1988). Aerial locations were collected on specific bears approximately once per week during daytime hours. However, extr eme movements, severe weather and lack of funding often restricted aerial locations to 1 per month. The total number of days monitored post-rele ase began with the first translocation for bears that were recaptured and retranslocated during the study. Recaptured bears, which remained in the study, were re-released at their or iginal release site in the ONF. I used SAS (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, N.C.) for a ll statistical analysis and all analysis significance was assessed at = 0.05. Data Analysis Nuisance Recidivism Information on nuisance activities prior to capture was compiled for all bears entered into the study by using nuisance bear reports genera ted through the FWC bear database (a public record database used to document all public calls about bears thr oughout the state), and by

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21 interviewing homeowners, complainants, FW C Bear Response Programs Agents, and FWC biologists. Once instrumented and released, bears that engaged in nuisance events were identified using 1) radio telemetry, 2) vi sual sightings and descriptiv e confirmation, and 3) FWC law enforcement officers and biologists. Nuisance events were recorded if the event could be verified as occurring within a known 24-hour time period and nuisance events that occurred in intervals > 17 hours were included in the analysis. Nuisance behaviors were identifie d as 1) utilizing any human-food resource (i.e., househol d garbage, dumpsters, etc), 2) utilizing pet or wild-bird food, 3) causing apiary or other propert y damage, 4) entering, or the atte mpted entry of, a home, and 5) any show of aggression or territoriality with in or around human dwellings, especially during daytime hours. Public sightings of radio-collared b ears passing through residential or urban areas, or bears in trees that were not also associated with any of the above-described behaviors were not classified as nuisances bu t were recorded th roughout the study. Logistic regression was used to test the asso ciation between nuisance recidivism (yes or no) and sex (male or female), age class (sub-adult < 3yrs old, adult > 3yrs old), weight (continuous, kg), distance of translocation, and m onth of translocation. Rogers (1986) indicated that a high percentage of black bears return to their capture ar ea when translocated < 64 km. However, the relationship of nuisance recidivism a nd distance of transloca tion has not previously been studied. Therefore, I test ed both continuous (i.e., total di stance in km) a nd categorical (< 64 km or > 64 km) distances of translocation for analysis. Month of tran slocation was used to designate the season in which th e translocation occurred, where months 1 represented winter, months 5 represented summer, and months 9 re presented fall. Logistic regression was also used to estimate the probability of recidivism when 2 of the variables were combined. For

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22 example, combining age with sex would test if adult male bears were more likely to exhibit recidivism than sub-adult males, adult females or sub-adult females. Returns and Movements A translocated bear coming within 1 home-range diameter of the cap ture location, at any time during the study, was considered a successful return. In a study previously conducted on resident bears in the ONF, the reported annual home ranges for males and females were 94.3 km2 and 20.48 km2, respectively (McCown et al. 2004). A ssuming home ranges were circular, a return was judged successful when a male bear wa s located within 11 km and a female bear was within 5 km of their cap ture site, at any time during the study. ArcGIS 9.0 was used to calculate the distance between 1) capture and release site, 2) release site and pos t-release locations, 3) capture site and post-release locations, 4) distance to capture site, and 5) total travel distance. Similar to determining nuisance recidivism, logistic regression was used to test for differences in whether a return differed by sex, age class, weight, grouped distance of translocation, and month of translocation. It was al so used to estimate the probability of a return when 2 of the variables were combined. For exam ple, combining age with sex tested if adult female bears were more likely to return home th an sub-adult females, adult males or sub-adult males. Survival Since the event of interest is the probability that death will occur following the treatment (i.e., translocation), I used the da y of translocation as the starting date (i.e., day 1) for all bears, regardless of the calendar date they entered the study, and counted forward to the first day mortality was detected, the last da y of location (if radio contact was lost or collar drop location), or 31 December 2006 if the animal was still in radio contact.

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23 Annual survival rates we re calculated using the Kaplan-M eier analysis, where a survival rate is estimated for each consecutive time period and then compared between samples across each period (Kaplan and Meier 1958). Because the analysis has no underlying assumption of constant survival, it allows for the addition of animals throughout the course of the study and permits animals with lost signals, or dropped coll ars, to be censored while still providing an unbiased estimate of survival. While the Kaplan-M eier analysis does not re quire animals to enter the study at the same time, newly radio-tagged an imals are assumed to have the same survival function as animals previously radio-tagge d during the study (Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001). The estimated annual survival rate of translocated bears was compared to that of resident bears radio-monitored in ONF from 1999 through 2003 (McCown et al. 2004). Estimates were calculated to compare differences in survival of translocated bears between sex, age class, grouped distance of translocation, and whet her nuisances did or did not occur. Nonparametric tests, log-rank or Tarone-Ware (Lawless 1982), were used to test the null hypothesis that survival curves of translocated bears would not differ between sex, age, distance of translocation, and nuisance recidivism. The log-rank test is commonly used to compare survival curves and is the most powerful test statistic when two hazard functions are proportional to each other. However, when survival curves cross the log-rank test may fail to detect a difference (Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001). In this case the Tarone-Ware test statistic has been shown to be more powerful at detecting diffe rences than the log-rank test (Lawless 1982, Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001) and was used in cases where hazard functions were disproportionate. I determined the cause-specific mortality of tr anslocated bears. All deaths suspected of being illegal kills were investigated by FWC Law Enforcement. Carcasses were necropsied to

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24 determine cause of death if it was not otherw ise obvious (e.g., vehicle collision) by the FWC state wildlife veterinarian at the FWC Wildlife Re search Laboratory in Gain esville, Florida, or in the field where the carcass was discovered. Survey I conducted a telephone survey of homeowner s and businesses who experienced bear conflicts resulting in the capture and transloca tion of a bear monitore d during this study. An FWC bear database was used to obtain contact in formation that was collected during the initial complaint. Twelve open-ended questions were asked of all respondents to determine their perceptions regarding the effectiveness of using translocation to eliminate their specific nuisance bear problem (Table 21). The survey was cr eated using the total design method (Dillman 1978) to ascertain the beliefs and behaviors of the interviewees based on th eir experiences with nuisance bears before, during, and 1 year after a bear(s) was captured and removed from their property. Surveys were conducted during April and May 2007 and ranged from 17 to 36 months after the specified bear(s) wa s removed. In addition, utilizi ng the FWC bear database, I quantified the number and types of complaints the FWC received from the capture location, and adjacent neighbors, prior to capture and for 1 year after a bear was captured and removed.

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25 Figure 2. Location of the Ocala bear popul ation centered in the O cala National Forest in north-central Florida.

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26 Figure 2. The 3 sites where transl ocated bears were released w ithin the Ocala National Forest in north-central Florida May 20 04 December 2005.

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27Table 2-1. Questions asked to survey respondents. Order # Question 1 If I could just jog your memory for a moment and ask if you can recall what bear probl ems you were having, prior to the FWC capturing and removing the bear. 2 At the time you were experiencing bear problems were you aware of your neighbors experiencing any problems? 3 When you contacted the FWC about the prob lem what kind of advice were you given? 4 Did you try and follow the advice the FWC gave? 5 Did you request that th e bear be removed? 6 Do you feel that the FWC removed the correct bear? 7a Did you continue to experience bear problems after the bear was removed? 7b If so, were the bear problems you experienced similar to those before the bear was removed or were the problems different? 7c How soon did your problems reoccur? 1 day 1 week 1 month 6 months 1 year 8 Are you aware of your neighbors experiencing any bear problems after the bear was removed? 9 Since (date bear was removed) do you continued to at tempt to follow the advice that the FWC gave you? 10 Do you feel that the advice the FWC gave you solved your problem? 11 Do you feel that removing the bear solved your problem? 12 Aside from the type of assistance you have received from the FWC, can you think of anything el se the FWC should do about nuisance bears?

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28 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS Forty-one bears (33 male [M], 8 female [F]) were captured (Table 3) and translocated to the ONF; 5 (4M, 1F) were recaptured and transl ocated to ONF a second time and 2 males were recaptured and translocated to the Apalachicol a National Forest, removing them from the study (Table 3). Including recapture s, 48 captures occurred in 22 to wns within 10 Florida counties (Figure 3); 36 bears were capture d at private residences, 4 at businesses, 4 in trees within residential communities or urban areas, 3 in cam pgrounds (1 private and 1 public), and 1 at an apiary. Including recaptures, the number of cap ture locations was 31 private residences, 3 businesses, 4 trees, and 2 campgrounds. The average age of bears was 4 years (range 1 years). In to tal, I collected 2,456 locations (mean 61 locations/bear range 8 locations/bear) (Fig ure 3). Nuisance events and visual sightings comprised 138 of all locatio ns. Bears were tracked for an average of 297 days (range 26 days). The median distance bears were transloc ated from their capture site was 56.11 km (mean 81.90, range 30.75.34 km). Nuisance Recidivism At the time of capture 12 different nuisan ce activities were identified (Table 3). Bears seeking food in household garbage was the primary nuisance activity that triggered complaints to the FWC, followed by bears in dumpsters, at bird feeders and entering screen porches. Nineteen bears engaged in more than one type of nuisan ce activity (e.g., household ga rbage and bird seed). Two male bears were captured fr om trees in residential areas, but had not engaged in nuisance activities at the capture loca tion. Using nuisance histories at each capture location and homeowners description of the bears, 8 of th e 41 captured bears (6M, 2F) were identified as incidental captures and were not believed to be the bears in itially targeted by the FWC.

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29 Ninety-six nuisance events were recorded pos t-release, but only 73 could be used in analysis. Of 96 nuisance events, the public reported 63 to the FWC. The remaining 33 events were either witnessed by myself, or a technician or were reported directly to me by the public while I was in the vicinity of where the nuisance occurred. Seventeen males and 2 females (46%) engaged in nuisance activities at least once postrelease. Fourteen males (34%) engaged in nuisa nce activities more than once and 1 male was involved in more than 10 nuisan ce events. A higher percentage of males than females exhibited post-release nuisance behaviors (89% and 11%, respectively) w ith an equal distribution among sub-adults and adults (10 sub-a dults, 9 adults). Three bears (2M, 1F) returned home and engaged in nuisance activities at least once and an additi onal male engaged in nuisances at least twice upon return. The median time to the first nuisan ce recidivism event was 143 days and ranged widely from 7-359 days. Feeding from house hold garbage remained the primary nuisance activity that bears engaged in post-transl ocation, with bird feeders a close second. Seven bears (17%) were recaptured by the FWC due to continued nuisance behaviors. Three males and 1 female were recaptured at loca tions outside of the ONF and were translocated back to their original release site within th e ONF. Two males were recaptured inside the ONF and translocated to the Apalachicola National Fo rest, removing them from the study. One male was recaptured inside the ONF and was euthanized due to his repeated attempts at home-entry. Only 3 bears were translocated during the winter season and no nuisance events were recorded after their release. Since the sample size for winter translocations was small it made the test for seasonal affect questionable. The test remained questionable even when seasons were grouped in to 2 categories, fall a nd summer, shifting the months of translocation for winter bears

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30 into the nearest next season. Th erefore the affect of season was removed for all remaining analysis. In the first logistic regression analysis I used the distance of transl ocation as one of the predictor variables (i.e., continuous). However, dist ances of translocations were irregular and left large gaps between measurements. The distance of 64 km has been used as a benchmark for determining successful or unsu ccessful translocati ons (Rogers 1986, Linnell et al. 1997, Conover 2002) based on whether or not a be ar returned home. Since no pr evious nuisance studies have examined the effect of distance of translocati on on nuisance recidivism, I chose to run a second logistic regression analysis usi ng the 2 distance criteria of < 64 km or > 64 km, to see if there were differences between categorical and continuous distance variables. Males were more likely to engage in nuisances than females ( 2 = 3.775, df = 1, P = 0.05). Nuisance recidivism did not differ between age groups ( 2 = 1.26, df = 1, P = 0.26) but heavier bears ( 2 = 4.15, df = 1, P = 0.04) and b ears translocated > 64 km ( 2 = 5.67, df = 1, P = 0.02) were more likely to engage in nuisances. Returns and Movements Thirteen bears (8M, 5F) (32%) returned to thei r capture area after release; females returned at a higher rate (63%) than males (24%). The av erage distance translocated for the bears that returned was 49 km (range = 31-80 km) and the time to return varied from 13-242 days. Bears that returned had a shorter average distance of tr anslocation than those be ars that did not return. The probability of a bear returning home did not differ between age groups ( 2 = 0.95, df = 1, P = 0.32). Females were more likely to return home than males ( 2 = 6.28, df = 1, P = .01), heavier bears were less likely to return ( 2 = 5.65, df = 1, P = 0.02), a nd bears translocated < 64 km were more likely to return ( 2 = 7.51, df = 1, P = 0.006). Data did not suggest that age group, weight or distance influenced the probability of a return for either a male or a female.

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31 Of the 28 bears that did not return, 12 rema ined in ONF, 10 left, and 6 left but later returned to ONF. The average distance traveled by bears that did not return was 244 km, with 4 (3M, 1F) traveling between 517 and 872 km. Of th e 4 bears recaptured an d retranslocated to ONF, the 3 males remained within the ONF for th e remainder of their monitoring period, but the female left the ONF within 9 days. Survival Eight bears (6M, 2F) died post-release and human s directly or indirect ly caused 7 of these deaths (Table 3). This includes a male bear whose collar was found in a creek at a bridge crossing and is presumed to be dead. Alt hough no carcass was found, I presume the bear was illegally killed due to the su spicious circumstances in whic h the collar was discovered. The annual survival estimate for transloc ated males was 0.75 (95% CI: 0.52.88) and 0.80 for translocated females (95% CI: 0.20.97). There was no significant difference in annual survival estimates between sexes ( 2 = 0.31, df = 1, P = 0.57), age groups ( 2 = 0.41, df = 1, P = 0.52), or nuisance recidivism ( 2 = 0.51, df = 1, P = 0.47). A significant difference in estimated survival was detected for distance of translocation ( 2 = 4.84, df = 1, P = 0.02). Bears that were translocated > 64 km had lower annual surviv al (0.45, 95% CI: 0.09.77) th an those that were translocated < 64 km (0.88, 95% CI: 0.59.97) (Figure 3.). Annual survival estimates for resident males (0.76, 95% CI 0.48.00) (McCown et al. 2004) were similar to that of tr anslocated males. Annual surviv al estimates for translocated females were somewhat lower than that of resident females (0.93 95% CI 0.835.00) (McCown et al. 2004), however differences may be due to th e small sample size of translocated females. Survey Of the 40 locations where bears were capture d or recaptured, 25 people were contacted by phone and agreed to be interviewed. Attempts we re made to contact a ll locations, but 11 could

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32 not be contacted due to disconne cted phones or because the person no longer lived at the address. At one business and one campground little was re membered about the specific conflict in question but the respondents were able to answer other parts of the survey as appropriate. There was no available contact information for one locati on where a bear was captured from a tree and a respondent could not recall any information at another location where a bear was also captured from a tree. The person listed in the FWC b ear database as the primary complainant was interviewed in all but 3 cases. In these cases the spouse, s on and employee, who were also involved in the specified nuisan ce event, were interviewed inst ead. Those respondents that were able to recall the specified nuisance situati on and subsequent capture did so in detail and supported the information collected by the FWC at the time of the conflict. Twenty-one respondents were aware of their neighbors having bear problems similar to their own at the time they called they FWC w ith a complaint. Prior to the FWC beginning a trapping effort 18 respondents stated that they tried to follow the advice the FWC gave them in response to their situatio n. Fourteen respondents stated that th ey specifically requested that the FWC remove the problem bear while 6 stated that the FWC removed the bear without being requested to do so. Twenty-one felt that the FWC removed the correct bear (i.e., the bear identified as causing the primary problem), but 19 stated that they continued to have problems even after the bear was removed. The immediat e problem was solved for 10 respondents when a specific bear was removed, even though they cont inued to have conflicts after the removal. In 5 cases the FWC reported that they did not capture the corr ect bear and made an effort to re-set the trap to catch th e correct bear twice. Four homeo wners felt that the FWC did not catch the correct bear; the FWC acknowledged this in one instance, but in no case was a trap

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33 reset. At 3 locations trapping efforts targeted multiple bears and efforts were made by the FWC to catch and remove all bears. According to the records in the FWC bear database 12 of 25 respondents called the FWC back within 1 year to report another bear conf lict. Seven locations repor ted having bear conflicts within 1 day to 1 month, 3 locations reported a conflict within 1 to 6 months, and 2 locations reported a conflict within 6 months to 1 year. Of the 13 that did not report another bear conflict, 7 stated that they continued to have bear conf licts even though they did not report them to the FWC. Survey respondents were asked if they could identify something more that they would like the FWC to do about their bear c onflicts. There was a variety of different answers, but 2 primary suggestions were that they wanted the FWC to re spond more quickly to a b ear conflict and that they would like help with preventing garbag e from being available to bear throughout their neighborhood. Other responses included 1) taking homeowners bear problems more seriously, 2) less primary assistance provided by phone or through brochure mailings, 3) follow up with homeowners to ask if problems continued, 4) provide bear resistant trash cans, 5) provide assistance with changing to bear-resistant dumps ters, and 6) open a bear hunting season. Two respondents stated they would not call the FWC back if they ha ve another bear conflict. One stated that she saw the FWC as bear catchers and that she would not rat out another bear. This was after she discovered that the bear remo ved from her property was later illegally killed.

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34 Table 3. Initial capture and translocation data of nuisance Florida black bears moved to the Ocala National Forest from peninsular Florida May 2004December 2005. ID Sex Age Date Capture location Distance moved (km) Release location N648 M 2 5/24/04 Sanford; business 49.98 Big Scrub N649 M 3 5/25/04 Sanford; business 58.86 65 Parallel N01 M 3 6/18/04 Clewiston; tree 285.37 65 Parallel N26 M 3 8/1/04 Labelle; residence 255.82 Big Scrub N02 F 3 8/23/04 Paisley; private campground 35.09 65 Parallel N03 M 2 10/7/04 Longwood; business 83.60 Lake Delancey N04 M 5 10/27/04 Apopka; reside nce 90.16 Lake Delancey N05 M 2 11/11/04 Longwood; residence 64.45 65 Parallel N06 M 2 11/15/04 Sanford; residence 50.08 Big Scrub N07 F 2 12/14/04 Deland; residence 41.89 65 Parallel N08 M 4 12/23/04 Longwood; resi dence 88.58 Lake Delancey N10 M 4 1/8/05 Longwood; residence 52.08 Big Scrub N11 M 3 3/15/05 ONF; public campground 30.75 Big Scrub N12 M 5 4/22/05 Altoona; resi dence 50.88 Lake Delancey N13 M 4 5/5/05 Umatilla; reside nce 56.99 Lake Delancey N14 M 5 5/16/05 Paisley; resi dence 56.05 Lake Delancey N15 M 2 6/28/05 Longwood; business 60.90 65 Parallel N16 M 1 7/12/05 Winter Haven; tree 119.82 Big Scrub N17 M 3 7/15/05 Bonita Spring s; residence 319.34 65 Parallel N19 M 4 7/21/05 Fort McCoy; residence 47.36 Big Scrub N20 F 2 7/25/05 Bonita Spring s; residence 319.24 65 Parallel N21 F 3 8/21/05 Deland; residence 62.19 Lake Delancey N22 M 1.5 8/26/05 Fort McCoy; residence 47.45 Big Scrub N23 F 15 8/31/05 Paisley; resi dence 55.67 Lake Delancey N24 M 4 9/9/05 Altoona; reside nce 47.40 Lake Delancey N25 F 5 9/9/05 Sanford; residence 54.37 65 Parallel N27 M 15 9/15/05 Eustis; residence 62.12 Lake Delancey N28 M 7 9/17/05 Paisley; residence 33.97 65 Parallel N29 F 9 9/24/05 Paisley; resi dence 55.73 Lake Delancey N30 M 3 10/5/05 Deland; residence 41.31 65 Parallel N31 M 3 10/12/05 Sorrento; residence 45.18 Big Scrub N32 F 4 10/19/05 Longwood; residence 67.93 65 Parallel N33 M 5 11/1/05 Apopka; reside nce 80.15 Lake Delancey N34 M 15 11/5/05 Deland; residence 41.31 65 Parallel N35 M 1 12/1/05 Debary; residence 46.98 Big Scrub N36 M 4 12/6/05 Longwood; residence 67.39 New 65 Parallel N37 M 2 12/7/05 Longwood; residence 54.65 Big Scrub N38 M 5 12/15/05 Longwood; resi dence 90.68 Lake Delancey N39 M 6 12/16/05 Longwood; residence 66.75 New 65 Parallel N40 M 3 12/22/05 Longwood; residence 54.10 Big Scrub N41 M 3 12/23/05 Longwood; residence 66.75 New 65 Parallel

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35 Table 3. Recapture and retranslocation data of nuisance Florida black bears captured a second time during the study May 2004December 2006. ID Sex Age Date Capture location Distance moved Release location N01 M 3 3/17/05 ONF; public campground NA*ANF Mud Swamp N05 M 2 11/16/05 Ocklawaha; residence 45.41Lake Delancey N16 M 2 8/17/05 Jacksonville; residence 128.77Big Scrub N20 F 2 3/2/06 Daytona Beach; tree 69.9765 Parallel N26 M 3 11/1/04 Silver Springs; residence 0none** N36 M 4 6/16/06 Green Cove Springs; tree 84.7165 Parallel N37 M 2 3/10/06 Altoona; residence NAANF Mud Swamp *NA = not applicable; bears were translocated to Apalachicola Nationa l Forest and removed from the study. **Bear was euthanized after capture

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36 Figure 3. Capture locations of nui sance Florida black bears in pe ninsular Florida translocated to the Ocala National Forest May 2004D ecember 2005 and of subsequent recaptures May 2004December 2007.

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37 Figure 3. All locations of transl ocated nuisance bears post-release in Florid a May 2004December 2006.

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38 Table 3. Types of nuisance activit ies bears engaged in before a nd after translocation to the Ocala National Forest. Nuisance Activity Pre Translocation Post Translocation Dumpster 5 1 Household garbage 20 14 In campground 1 2 Bird feeder 4 7 Pet food 3 3 Killed livestock 1 1 Apiary damage 1 0 Attempted home entry 0 1 On screened porch 4 1 Shed/garage damage 3 0 Fence damage 3 0 Digging in yard 2 2 In a tree 2 2

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39 Table 3. Causes of mortality fo r translocated nuisance black b ears in north-central Florida May 2004December 2006. Bear Sex Age Capture Death Cause Location N20 F 2 7/25/05 7/23/06 HBCa Outside ONF, I-95 Palm Coast, FL N23 F 15 8/31/05 10/5/06 Natural Outside ONF, Paisley, FL N26 M 3* 8/1/04 11/1/04 Euthanized Inside ONF, Lynne, FL N08 M 4 12/24/04 1/19/05 Illegal/unkb Outside ONF, Blackwater Creek/SR-44 N15 M 2 6/29/05 12/5/05 Illegal/Shot Outside ONF, Eustis, FL N27 M 15 9/15/05 8/17/06 Wildfire Inside ONF, Juniper Prairie W.A. N38 M 5 12/15/05 6/9/06 HBC Outside ONF, SR-20 Palatka, FL N39 M 6 12/17/05 7/2/06 Illegal/S hot Outside ONF, Bostwick, FL *Age estimated a HBC = Hit By Car b Method unknown, collar found dumped in creek at bridge crossing

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40 Figure 3. Annual survival curve es timate for nuisance bears translocated to the Ocala National Forest in Florida > 64 km (bla ck) and < 64 km (red) May 2005December 2006.

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41 CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION Nuisance Recidivism The percentage of translocated bears that co ntinued to engage in nuisance behaviors (46%) was considerably higher that those reported in other studie s (Conover 2002). However, those studies used recipient sites where the potential for continued human-b ear interaction was low (i.e., released in highly remote locations) (Linne ll et al. 1997, Conover 2002), so their lower rates of recidivism was possibly related more to the reduced potential for conflict in the release area and less with the possible effect of the transloc ation procedure. Linnell et al. (1997) found that bears released in areas with a higher potential for human-conflict, as characterized by the ONF for this study, often caused more conflict after release. The percent of recaptures as a result of nuisance behavior (17%) observed in this study was similar to the resu lts of other studies (McLaughlin et al. 1981, cited by Rogers 1986). The relationship between continued nuisance be haviors and the sex of the bear remained significant throughout all analyses. Considering that 89% of all bears that engaged in nuisance activities post-translocation were males, this relationship was not unexpe cted. It has been well documented that males predominate among bear s captured as nuisances (McLean and Pelton 1990, Clark et al. 2002, Beckman an d Berger 2003). Males also predominated among nuisance bears captured during this study and in previ ously captured nuisance b ears throughout Florida. The lack of significance of age may be due to th e equal distribution of su b-adult and adult bears that engaged in nuisance ac tivities post-t ranslocation. There was considerable difference in the results comparing the 2 distance variables. This is possibly due to the wide range of the actual distan ces of translocation (30 km) and the uneven distribution of those dist ances. Grouping distances resulted in the increased significance

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42 of weight and distance. The mean weight of male bears in this study was greater than the mean weight of ONF resident males (McCown et al 2004). Bears that util ize human-food can be significantly heavier than those bears that do not (Beckman and Berger 2003), and the longer they utilize these resources the heavier they b ecome. This increases th e likelihood they are foodconditioned (i.e., dependent on a particular nonnatural food source) to human-food resources and may be more likely to seek out these reso urces even after transl ocation occurs (Conover 2002). In addition, bears that are heavy as a result of eating artificial foods may reach a weight threshold that requires the bear to continue to eat artificial foods in order to be maintained. The probability that bears translocated farthe r than 64 km were more likely to continue nuisance activities was an unanticipated result. Th e FWC resorts to the tr anslocation of nuisance bears only as a final management option; therefore the bears that were translocated may have already been food-conditioned and/or habituated (i.e., unperturbed in the presence of nearby humans). As the distance of tran slocation is increased it decrease s the likelihood that a bear will be able to return home. This may result in an increased wandering or se arching behavior and a higher likelihood that they will encount er humans and human food-resources. Marking each translocated bear probably in creased the probability that the public would report nuisances to the FWC. It is reasonable to assume that nuisance activities occurred when there was no witness, witnesses overlooked identifyi ng marks (e.g., ear tags, ra dio collar, etc.), or witnesses did not report the event. Therefore, I was only able to document a fraction of all probably nuisances, and of those, only 65% were reported to the FWC by the public. It suggests that the amount of nuisance recidi vism detected in this study is almost certainly underestimated. Returns and Movements The desired objective of translocation is that bears would remain within ONF boundaries; therefore the return of nuisan ce bears to their capture area was considered an undesirable

PAGE 43

43 outcome. Studies of translocated nuisance bears show that few remain close to their release sites and often move long distances post-releas e (Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997). Rogers (1986) suggested that th e success of translocation depende d largely on the age of the bear and the distance it was moved; sub-adults were mo re likely to remain at the release site than were adults and the optimum transl ocation distance to en sure <50% of bears from returning was >64 km. However, despite a median transloca tion distance of 56.11 km in this study, < 50% of bears returned. This may partia lly explain the significance of translocation distance to the probability of return. Few bears (4 of 13) that returned were recorded engaging in a nuisance event, suggesting that translocation may have been successful in reducing the probability of recidivism in those individuals. However, it is also possible that recidivism was simply not detected or that the public did not re port nuisance incidences to the FWC. The relationship between bears th at returned home and the sex of the bear was significant when compared against all other variable comb inations. Female bears returned at a higher probability than expected. While the small sample size of translocated females compared to translocated males may be a factor, few nuisance females are captured and translocated to the ONF each year. Therefore the small sample size and rate of return may be representative of the area. Previous studies indicated that translocated sub-adults were less likely to return home when translocated greater than 64 km (Rogers 1986). However the median translocation distance of sub-adults and adults were equal (56 km ) and less than the recommended translocation distance. Therefore the even dist ribution of sub-adult and adult be ars that returned home is not unusual and may describe the lack of si gnificance of age in the analysis.

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44 Release site selection is considered an im portant factor affecting translocation success (Griffith et al. 1989, Bradley et al. 2005). The FWC uses ONF as the recipient site for bears translocated from central Florida. However, b ears captured a second time may be translocated to a different population (Egbert 2001). Using these as the primar y criteria in determining an acceptable release site gives no consideration to population density, the extent of available habitat, or to previously translocated bear s. High population density and competition for food and space may make it difficult for a newly translo cated bear to remain where it was released. My data show that less than a third of transl ocated bears remained in ONF. While sex, weight and translocation distance play a role in determining site-fidelity, it is worth considering that population density and subsequent ha bitat availability may also be a factor affecting site-fidelity. Survival Translocated bears had similar survival estimates to that of resident bears, which suggest that translocation did not increase mortality fr om natural causes. Although there was a slight difference in annual survival betw een translocated and resident fe males, this difference may be due to the small sample size of translocated females. Previous studies have suggested that translocating sub-adult bears may simulate dispersal (Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997, C onover 2002) and sub-adults may exhibit higher site-fidelity to their release area than adults (Rogers 1986). This high site-fidelity may reduce the probability that their movements will br ing them into contact with humans, thereby reducing human-caused mortality. Therefore the lack of significance in mortality based on age group was unanticipated. However, considering th e considerable amount of human-disturbance in the ONF the probability that all bears, regardless of age class, will encounter humans may be greater than within other the bear populations in Florida (i .e., Apalachicola and Big Cypress National Forests), which are more remote.

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45 A lower estimated survival was detected for bears translocated > 64 km, which represents less than a third of all translocated bears. Extensive movements by bears across the fragmented landscape of central Florida increases the risk of mortality largely through increased exposure to roads and interactions with humans (Rogers 1986, Comly 1993, Linnell et al. 1997). Translocating bears great enough distances to reduce their likelihood of returning home may result in extensive wandering and increases the probability that they will encounter humans and roadways. I lost contact with 1 adult male during the st udy. It is possible his co llar failed during the study, however, considering his well-documented nui sance history post-translocation (he was a persistent chicken killer and had been shot in the face) the possibility exists that he was illegally killed and his collar destroyed. This scenario was documented when the collar of an illegally killed sub-adult male was destroyed. Additiona lly, a sub-adult females collar was destroyed by the vehicle that killed her. Had the illegal kill not been witnessed and reported to law enforcement, and had a road-cleanup crew not di scovered the remains of the females collar, the fate of these 2 bears would have also remained unknown. Survey An important part of determining the success of translocating nuisance bears is whether moving bears eliminated the problem at the locati on of initial conflict. More than 75% of survey respondents stated that they contin ued to have conflicts with bear s even after a bear was removed from their property. The FWC bear database indicat ed that less than half of all locations where bears were removed reported additional conflic ts within a year; however, interviews with residents revealed that 73% expe rienced additional conflicts within a year. Based on these results it appears that removing bears did not drastically eliminate subsequent conflicts with bears at the capture site.

PAGE 46

46 Forty percent of those survey ed believed that removing the specified bear solved their immediate problem. However, they also stated they continued to have bear conflicts within a year after removal. While this may seem contradictory, so me respondents may have attributed an explicit nuisance situation to a specific bear, which they felt had been captured and removed, while others may have attributed co nflicts to any bears in the area. Educating those that have human-bear c onflicts is done by the FWC during initial complaints and when the FWC conducts site visits to determine the nature and severity of the conflict. The extent to which these educational efforts by the FWC have worked is difficult to measure. More than half of all those surveyed stated that they tried to follow FWC advice on securing bear attractants (e.g., securing household garbage in bu ilding) before, or during, a capture attempt took place. However, since the FWC normally captures bears as a last resort, remedial measures by the public may not be suffici ent if the problem bear has had sufficient time to become food conditioned or habituated. Comp lainants that wait until the bear problem is intolerable before contacting the FWC often exacerbate this situation. There were 8 identified incidental captures and in 2 of those cases the FWC reset a trap and captured the targeted bear. The trap wa s reset in one case because the homeowner complained they didnt catch the right bear an d in the other case to catch a specific ear-tagged bear. However, homeowners complained in 2 ad ditional cases the right bear was not caught and in a seperate case a specific ear-tagged indi vidual was targeted but not captured (a non-eartagged bear was captured instead). The FWC did not reset traps in any of these 3 cases, creating confusion in the publics perception of the FWCs attempts to provide a remedy for the conflict.

PAGE 47

47 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION AND MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS Data on the fate of translocated nuisance bears are important for the management of Florida black bears. Additionally, information regarding the efficacy of translocation as a management tool to reduce or eliminate problem bear behaviors at the location of conflict is paramount for the long-term prevention or mitig ation of human-bear conflicts. Through this 3year study I have provided data on nuisance recidivism, movements, and survival on translocated nuisance bears, and have interviewed complainants to assess their perc eptions of FWC actions. Determining the extent to which transloc ated nuisance bears resume their nuisance behaviors is imperative when evaluating the efficacy of relocation (Linnell et al. 1997). However, identifying a free-roaming ear-tagged b ear is difficult and without other identifying characteristics (e.g., radio collar, prominent ches t blaze, etc.) it is challenging to tell one eartagged bear from another. Collaring each translo cated bear probably incr eased the identification of those that engaged in nuisan ces and the rate at which nuisan ces were reported. However, data suggest that recidivism events were underreported. Therefore r ecidivism may be notably higher that was detected during this study. Translocation was not always successful at el iminating nuisances. Clark et al. (2002) found that the modification of nuisance behaviors was most affective when performed on bears captured early in their progressi on towards nuisance behaviors. In Florida, nuisance bears are translocated only as a final mana gement option; therefore by the time they are captured they may have already become food-conditioned and/or ha bituated. Moving them just transferred the problem to a new area and contributed to the hi gh percentage of nuisa nce recidivism and of subsequent recaptures. Translocating bears befo re they become food-conditioned or habituated may decrease future recidivism events. For bears that are already food-conditioned or habituated,

PAGE 48

48 employing other management tools, such as aversive conditioning techniques or lethal management, may increase the success of eliminating subsequent nuisances. Data suggest that a bear tr anslocated greater than 64 km had a higher probability of mortality and Rogers (1986) found that moving a b ear this distance decreas es the likelihood that the individual will return to the capture locati on. When determining the distance a nuisance bear will be moved, both of these factors should be considered and the preferred outcome, the probability of mortality or return, should be chosen by the managing agency before each individual is moved. In addition, if the preferred outcome is also that the translocated individual remains in the release area, population density a nd habitat availability should be considered when choosing a release site in orde r to improve release site-fidelity. The FWC bear database suggests that human-bear conflicts continued at the site of original conflict even after a nuisance bear was removed. In addition, most people surveyed stated that they did not believe that removing bears solved subsequent nuisance bear conflicts. Removing bears did not clearly prevent subseq uent problems with bears. Howeve r, it is not clear if the real issue is the continuation of ar tificial food being provided for b ears in the area of initial complaint. If so, the problem may be that the people in that area continually create problem bears. Considering that the sample size of peopl e and conflict locations surveyed was small, a larger comprehensive study to determine the public s perceptions of nuisance bears in areas of high human-bear conflict in Flor ida should be conducted. It could provide valuable information on the beliefs and attitudes of people living in hi gh bear-conflict areas and could influence the implementation of alternative human-bear conf lict management and education strategies. The public view that bears can be moved to a place where they cannot get back into trouble is not a realistic one. Today, there are preci ous few places in Florida where bears can be

PAGE 49

49 translocated without the likeli hood of further human interaction. Recent increases in human-bear conflicts in Florida have resulted in an increas e in translocated nuisan ce bears. Considering the mediocre success of using translocation to elimin ate further nuisance behaviors, efforts may be better focused on community education and outreac h, and other non-lethal management efforts, to eliminate nuisance behaviors at the site of c onflict. Educational program s targeted at changing human behavior would not only be useful at redu cing human-bear conflicts, but would also help promote the coexistence of bears near communities in the long term. In addition, the creation of regulations implementing the widespread use of bear-resistant garbage bins in areas where conflicts are likely to occur can cultivate the prop er storage of bear attractants. Where conflicts are unavoidable, and non-le thal tools are not available, manage ment agencies need to educate the public to accept that lethal control may be a n ecessity. In this way public focus can be shifted from managing the individual to the management of a whole population (Linnell et al. 1997). As the human population in Florida continue s to increase, habita t fragmentation and reduction are increasing human-bear interactions throughout the st ate, and long-term solutions should be sought to prevent inte ractions from turning into co nflicts. Long-term solutions can foster public support for bears a nd significantly contribute to b ear conservation and management in the state.

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50 LIST OF REFERENCES Aydelott, D. G., H. G. Bullock, A. L. Furman, H. O. White, and J. W. Spieth. 1975. Soil survey of Ocala National Forest area, Florida. U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Region-21, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Athreya, V. 2006. Is relocation a viable manageme nt option for unwanted animals? The case of the leopard in India. Conservation and Society 4:419. Beckman, J. P. and J. Berger. 2003. Rapid ecological and behavioural changes in carnivores: the responses of black bears(Ursus americanus ) to altered food. Journal of Zoology 261:207 212. Blanchard, B. M. and R. R. Knight. 1995. Biological consequences of relocating grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Journa l of Wildlife Management 59:560. Bradley, E. H., D. H. Pletscher, E. E. Bangs, K. E. Kunkel, D. W. Smith, C. M. Mack, T. J. Meier, J. A. Fontaine, C. C. Niemeyer and M. D. Jimenez. 2005. Evaluating wolf translocation as a nonlethal method to reduce livestock conflicts in the northwestern United States. Cons ervation Biology 19:1498. Brady, J. R., and D. S. Maehr. 1982. A new method for dealing with apiary -raiding black bears. Proceedings of the Annual Conf erence of Southeastern Associ ation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 36:571. Clark, J. E., F. T. van Manen, and M. R. Pelt on. 2002. Correlates of success for on-site releases of nuisance black bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:104. Comly, L. M. 1993. Survival, repr oduction, and movements of tran slocated nuisance black bears in Virginia. M. S. Thesis, Virginia Polytech nic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Conover, M. 2002. Resolving human-wildlife conf licts: the science of wildlife damage management. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Craven, S., T. Barnes, and G. Kania. 1998. Towa rd a professional positio n on the translocation of problem wildlife. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26:171. Dillman, D. A. 1978. Mail and telephone surveys: the total design method. John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA. Dobey, S., D. V. Masters, B. K. Scheick, J. D. Clarck, M. R. Pelt on, and M. E. Sunquist. 2005. Ecology of Florida black bears in the Okeefenokee-Osceola ecosystem. Wildlife Monographs 158:1. Egbert, A. L. 2001. Nuisance black bear polic y. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

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51 Fischer, J. and D. B. Lindenmayer. 2000. An assessment of the published results of animal relocations. Biological Conservation 96:1. Griffith, B, J. M. Scott, J. W. Carpenter, and C. W. Reed. 1989 Translocation as a species conservation tool: status a nd strategy. Science 245:477. Hall, E. R. 1981. The mammals of North America. John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA. Hellgren, E. C., D. W. Carney, N. P. Garner and M. R. Vaughan. 1988. Use of breakaway cotton spacers on radio collars. Wildlife Society Bulletin 16:216. Kaplan, E. L. and P.Meier. 1958. Nonparametric estimation from incomplete observations. Journal of the American St atistical Association 53:457. Kurten, B. and E. Anderson. 1980. Pleistocen e mammals of North America. Columbia University Press, New York, USA. Lawless. J. F. 1982. Statistical models and met hods for lifetime data. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New York, USA. Linnell, J. D., R. Aanes, J. E. Swenson, J. Odden, and M. E. Smith. 1997. Translocation of carnivores as a method for managing problem animals: a review. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:1245. McCown, J. W., P. Kubilis, T. Eason, and B. Scheick. 2004. Black bear movements and habitat use relative to roads in Ocala National Fo rest. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA. McLaughlin, C. R., C. J. Baker, A. Salla de, and J. Tamblyn. 1981. Characteristics and movements of translocated nuisance black bears in northcentral Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Game Commission, Ha rrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. McLean, P. K. and M. R. Pelton. 1990. Some de mographic comparisons of wild and panhandler bears in the Smoky Mountains. Interna tional Conference on Bear Research and Management. 8:105. Mech, L. D. 1995. The challenge and opportunity of recovering wolf populations. Conservation Biology 9:270. Millspaugh, J. J. and J. M. Marzluff, edito rs. 2001. Radio tracking and animal populations. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA. Noss, R. F., H. B. Quigley, M. G. Hornocker, T. Merrill, and P.C. Paquet. 1996. Conservation biology and carnivore conservation in th e Rocky Mountains. C onservation Biology 10:949. OBryan, M. K. and D.R. McCullough. 1985. Surviv al of black-tailed de er following relocation in California. Journal of Wildlife Management 49:115.

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52 Rogers, L. L. 1986. Effects of translocation distan ce on frequency of return by adult black bears. Wildlife Society Bulletin 14:76. Simek, S. L., S. A. Jonker, B. K. Scheick, M. J. Endries, and T. H. Eason. 2005. Statewide Assessment of Road Impacts on bears in six study areas in Florida from May 2001September 2003. Florida Fish and Wildli fe Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA. Sullivan, B. K., M. A. Kwiatkowski and G. W. Schuett. 2004. Translocation of urban Gila Monsters: a problematic conservation t ool. Biological Conservation 117:235. Swihart, R. K., N. A. Slade, and B. J. Berg strom. 1988. Relating body size to the rate of home range use in mammals. Ecology 69: 393. Willey, C. H. 1974. Aging black bears from first premolar tooth section. Journal of Wildlife Management 38:97. Wolf, C. M., B. Griffith, C. Reed, and S. A. Temple. 1996. Avian and mammalian translocations; update and reanalysis of 1987 survey data. Conservation Biology 10:1142 1154. Wooding, J. B., N. L. Hunter, and T. S. Hard insky. 1988. Trap and releas e apiary-raiding black bears. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 42:333. Wooding, J. B. 1993. Management of the black be ar in Florida, a staff report to the commissioners. Florida Game and Fresh Wate r Fish Commission, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

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53 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kimberly Maureen Annis was born on 15 June 1974 in Pittsford, New York. Until the age of 11, she grew up in a lively neighborhood full of adventures and fun, after which she moved with her family to West Bloomfiel d, Michigan. As a present for her 11th birthday, she received horseback riding lessons and has firmly immersed herself in the world of equines ever since. After graduating from West Bloomfield High School in 1992, she again moved with her parents back to New York. She received her Associate of Arts degree at Monroe Community College in 1997. After discovering a passion for wildlife, she enro lled at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1997 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental and forest biology in 2000. After traveling the country to gain experience working in the wildlife field, she came to Florida in 2002 to work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commi ssion as a field biologist studyi ng the Florida black bear. In 2004, she began her graduate work with the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. Throughout her gradua te career, she continued to work with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conser vation Commission and was fortuna te to learn and benefit from the many exceptional biologists with whom she wo rked. She received her Master of Science degree in wildlife ecology and conservation in December 2007. She currently lives in Libby, Montana, where she works for the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks divisi on of wildlife managing grizzly and black bears in th e Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem.


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