Abstract: Simek, S.L. 1995. Impacts
of forest land management on black bear populations in the
central Adirondacks. M.S. Thesis, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, 232 pp.
Black bear (Ursus americanus) population parameters were studied in relation to land ownership in the centra Adirondack Mountains of New York. Emphasis was placed on obtaining data relevant for developing population models that would account for the landscape diversity in the central Adirondacks. Black bear physical condition, movements, reproduction, survival and juvenile dispersal were investigated. Bears in the central Adirondacks exhibited movements similar to those observed in other studies. Bears moved in relation to food resources and consequently utilized both private and public landscapes throughout the year. Mean daily distance traveled by adult females varied within each year. Seasonal and mean elevation use was examined. Mean annual home ranges (minimum convex polygon) varied for each sex, age class and season. Adult males had significantly larger annual home ranges (x =11.3 km2, n=14) than adult females (x =4.6 km2, n=32) (p<0.01). Juvenile males had significantly larger fall home ranges (x=32.2 km2, n=3,p=0.01) and females (0.50, 95% 0.31-0.69), juveniles (0.67, 95% 0.44-0.88) and cubs (0.80, 95% 0.55-1.0) were estimated using Kaplan-Meier product limit estimation. Additionally, the Kaplan-Meier staggered entry estimate was used to calculate comparison rates for adult females (0.86, 95% 0.50-1.0). Reproductive rate, birth interval and age of first reproduction were calculated using radio-collared females and examination of cementum annuli layering. Family break-up and dispersal were documented suing 4 family groups.
Vehicle collisions were documented as the leading cause of non-hunter mortality. The highest number of non-hunter mortality incidents occurred during August. a hunter survey showed that equal numbers of bears were harvested on private and public land. A greater number of male bears were harvested on private land than public land while more females were taken on public land than on private (1989-1993). The survey indicates that land ownership did no affect bear hunting mortality. Population parameter data were incorporated into traditional population models using Lincoln-Peterson estimates Lewis-Leslie Matrix and RAMAS-stage (Ferson 1991) computer program. Using the STELLA II (High Performance Systems, Inc., Hanover, NH 03755) modeling program a bear ecology model was created. This method of ecosystem modeling offers an understanding of indirect effects often not studied or considered in more traditional modeling methods.