Research and Management of Black Bears in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1974


Transplanting nuisance bears is a common and accepted practice in many areas. Sauer et al. (1969), while studying black bears in the Adirondacks, found that homing declined sharply when nuisance bears were transferred more than 40 miles. A homing success of approximately 42 percent for bears transferred 8.7 to 66.6 miles was attributed to a homing instinct and/or familiarity with much of the Adirondack range. Transfer was not considered a practical solution to the nuisance bear problem in the region.

Erickson and Petrides (1964) found that transplanted bears in Michigan usually re-established themselves in new areas. Transfer distances varied from 2.4 to 158 miles. Definite homing behavior was shown by two individuals returning to near the point of capture from transfer distances of 96 and 64 miles.

The capture and transfer of nuisance bears was considered as a possible alternative to destroying nuisance bears at Crater Lake National Park. During the summers of 1972 and 1973 nuisance bears were captured, individually marked, and transferred distances between 6.5 and 42.5 airline miles. The 1972 data presented by McCollum (1973 ) have been revised and updated to include the 1973 data herein.