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Public perceptions of risk associated with human-bear conflict

Bear-o-Meter sign posted in agricultural field with arrows indicating risk of bear conflict

Human-black bear conflict

Attitudes toward bears are a function of, among other things, perceived risk. Risk perception may influence people’s beliefs, attitudes, and support for different black bear management goals and approaches. Understanding risk perception, therefore, is an important component of anticipating the effectiveness and impact of various human-related wildlife management and conservation strategies.

This research was designed to explore, characterize, and confirm variables influencing risk perception associated with negative human-black bear interactions.

Based on inquiry conducted in collaboration with Cornell University and and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, this research involved the design, implementation, and evaluation of a risk communication campaign designed to improve the efficacy of bear management and help local residents cope with living with black bears.

Mass media effect on the operating environment of a wildlife-related risk communication campaign.

Gore, M. L. and B.A. Knuth (2009). Journal of Wildlife Management, 73(8): 1407-1413.

Evaluating a conservation investment designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict. 

Gore, M. L., Knuth, B. A., Scherer, C. W., and P.D. Curtis. (2008).  Conservation Letters, 1(3): 136-145.

Factors influencing risk perception associated with human-black bear conflict.

Gore, M. L., Knuth, B. A., Curtis, P. D., and J. E. Shanahan. (2007). Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 12(2): 133-136.

Campground manager and user perceptions of risk associated with human-black bear conflict: implications for communication. 

Gore, M. L., Knuth, B. A., Curtis, P. D., and J. E. Shanahan. (2007).  Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 12(1): 31-43.

Education programs for reducing human-bear conflict:  indicators of success?

Gore, M. L., Knuth, B. A., Curtis, P. D., and J. E. Shanahan. (2006).   Ursus, 17(1): 75-80.

Stakeholder perceptions of risk associated with human–black bear conflicts in New York’s Adirondack Park campgrounds: implications for theory and practice.

Gore, M. L., Knuth, B. A., Curtis, P. D., and J. E. Shanahan. (2006).  Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34 (1): 36-43.

Effects on risk perception of media coverage of a black bear-related human fatality.

Gore, M. L., Siemer, W. F., Shanahan, J. E., Schuefele, D., and D. J. Decker.  (2005).  Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33 (2): 507-516.

Black Bears: A Situation Analysis on Baiting and Hounding in the United States, with relevance for Maine.

Gore, M. L.  (2003).    Prepared for Maine Environmental Policy Institute: Hallowell, ME.