Project Title

Public Opinions on Managing Black Bear Populations in Southeast Oklahoma

Major

Programming and Management Natural Resources/Outdoor Rec

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Michael Bradley

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

As black bear populations increase in Southeast Oklahoma, opinions vary on practical ways to manage the growing numbers. Focusing specifically on counties in southeast Oklahoma, the study asked visitors to rate their views on properly managing the bears; using the Likert scale ranging from unacceptable in all cases (1) to acceptable in all cases (5). The survey presented participants with several options such as: controlled hunting, relocating disruptive bears, or simply not interfering with the population. The mean result was calculated for each statement. On average, visitors ranked capture and relocate urban bears as 4.23, regulated hunting as 3.88, and leave bears alone as 3.79. This information will help managers of black bears in Southeast Oklahoma to understand the public’s perception of managing the bears. The methods used in this research are ANOVA, descriptives, and cross-tabulation to measure views on varying back bear management options. ANOVA was used to determine differences between urban and rural populations and their views upon acceptable black bear management. A qualitative analysis was also used to identify what may cause the difference between views on black bear management. Lastly, Cross-tabulation was used to determine the relationship, if any, between interactions with black bears and favorability of hunting as an appropriate black bear management options.

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

086

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Public Opinions on Managing Black Bear Populations in Southeast Oklahoma

As black bear populations increase in Southeast Oklahoma, opinions vary on practical ways to manage the growing numbers. Focusing specifically on counties in southeast Oklahoma, the study asked visitors to rate their views on properly managing the bears; using the Likert scale ranging from unacceptable in all cases (1) to acceptable in all cases (5). The survey presented participants with several options such as: controlled hunting, relocating disruptive bears, or simply not interfering with the population. The mean result was calculated for each statement. On average, visitors ranked capture and relocate urban bears as 4.23, regulated hunting as 3.88, and leave bears alone as 3.79. This information will help managers of black bears in Southeast Oklahoma to understand the public’s perception of managing the bears. The methods used in this research are ANOVA, descriptives, and cross-tabulation to measure views on varying back bear management options. ANOVA was used to determine differences between urban and rural populations and their views upon acceptable black bear management. A qualitative analysis was also used to identify what may cause the difference between views on black bear management. Lastly, Cross-tabulation was used to determine the relationship, if any, between interactions with black bears and favorability of hunting as an appropriate black bear management options.