Coexistence : the human/grizzly bear interface in a rural community of British Columbia
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SubjectAction research; Community participation; Grizzly bear; Human-wildlife coexistence; Human-wildlife conflict; Linkage area
Environmental Education is becoming increasingly important as human populations expand into wildlife habitat, often resulting in human/wildlife conflicts. Meadow Creek British Columbia has experienced a long history of conflicts with grizzly bears resulting in significant bear mortalities. This qualitative research investigates human attitudes and behaviours relating to human/grizzly bear coexistence in this area. Twenty eight participants with diverse values contributed to in-depth interviews and a focus group that revealed perceived barriers and potential solutions to human/grizzly bear coexistence. Results show increased attitudes of tolerance since mid-2000s and that on-going support is needed to enable bears and humans to coexist. This research suggests coexisting with grizzly bears in Meadow Creek may serve to improve the linkage function of this area, making coexistence important to local grizzly populations. This work may be a useful study for communities in areas of high human/bear conflicts or in linkage areas between threatened populations of wildlife.
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