Entering the bear den: CPW concludes study on human-bear interaction

To our members, followers and supporters. Here is a conclusion and update to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife bear study, here in Durango. This is just one organization who has received support from Four Corners SCI via grant money.

Colorado Outdoors Online

CPW-durango-bear-research-37 CPW Researcher Heather Johnson. Photo by Nora Logue/CPW.

On a sunny March day, a group of eight crouch silently outside a bear den dug into a ridge near Durango as Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Heather Johnson literally pokes the sleeping mama bear inside.

This expedition is part of the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind study conducted over six years in southwest Colorado. It is one of the most comprehensive studies to date on human-bear interactions and the impact of urbanization on bear populations.

“This study was motivated by the increase that’s happened in human-bear conflicts in Colorado. As the state wildlife agency that manages those conflicts, we wanted to better understand what was causing those conflicts to increase, and ultimately what we should do about it,” said Johnson, a wildlife researcher.

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