Date of Award

Fall 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Wildlife

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Peter J Pekins


This study evaluated translocation of nuisance and rehabilitation of orphan black bears as management strategies in New Hampshire. Bears were fitted with GPS collars to measure survival, movement, habitat selection, and conflict activity until denning. Survival of nuisance bears was high (73%) the first year, and they exhibited low return rates (28%) with only adults homing; homing declined as distance increased. Bears selected for both natural and human-dominated habitats, and most (55%) were documented in subsequent conflicts indicating that translocation does not eliminate nuisance behavior; some were harvested. Rehabilitated orphan bears had high survival (86%) in 2011 and were not involved in conflicts, but in 2012 none survived and all caused minor conflicts. Conflict rate was believed to be related to availability of natural forage. Translocation of nuisance bears and rehabilitation of orphan bears represent viable management strategies; however, reducing anthropogenic food sources would reduce the need for both.