Study of effects of selective hunting on a bear population through pva simulation

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2008
Ağzıtemiz, Mehmet Melih
Management of big wildlife such as bears can be a difficult task, especially in the face of human-wildlife conflict and demands of the hunting industry. The Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) population at Yusufeli County (Artvin, northeastern Turkey) has recently been the focus of scientific, social and economic concerns. This study population of c. 140 individuals occurs within 800 km2 of forested and alpine land. Legal hunting of male bears was allowed in 2007 after an interval of four years. This study aims to find out through a population viability analysis the level and frequency of trophy hunting this population can tolerate for the next 50 years. A matrix model with six age-classes for each sex was constructed using observed and literature-based parameter values. RAMAS Metapop was used to simulate four different scenarios where numbers of hunted bears and hunting frequency changes. The model was highly sensitive to maximum growth rate and adult survival. Interval extinction probabilities for the next 50 years ranged between 0% and 26% depending on the scenario. Viable scenarios (with an extinction probability < 0.05) were only possible with either no trophy hunting or hunting of 4 subadult/adult males and 1 adult female every other year. Legal and illegal hunting jointly impact the bear population in a strong way, and when they occur simultaneously every year, they lead to extinction in the long run. Avoidance of illegal killing and a close supervision of trophy hunting are crucial in the management of this bear population.

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Citation Formats
M. M. Ağzıtemiz, “Study of effects of selective hunting on a bear population through pva simulation,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.