1. Work on Individual Problem Bears
We individualize each bear in order to understand which bear is causing
trouble and which bear is not, and also what kind of personality each
bear has in order to deal with each individual bear in the appropriate
2. Secure Attractants
|A bear proof dumpster located in town
Prevention is the key to our bear management. If all town residents
know about securing bear attractants and nothing is left out for
bears to eat, there is no reason for them to venture into the town
in the first place. We talk to people on damage sites as to why
a bear has visited, and teach them how to secure attractants (see:
3. Public Education). With picchio's advice, many second home management
companies and private B & Bs have bear proofed their garbage
dumps and facilities. The town of Karuizawa has also started bear-proofing
the town's garbage collection sites. Bear conflict problems cannot
be solved without public understanding and cooperation.
Bear proof dumpster:
We have developed a wildlife proof dumpster of which the town of
Karuizawa bought 12 in the year 2004 and they have already shown
us how effective they can be.
Patrolling garbage collection sites:
|A dumpster, not bear proofed
In addition to making an effort to bear proof all of the garbage
collection sites and private homes, we also patrol all the garbage
collection sites early every morning starting from the early summer
until the fall. With this patrol, we collect data on which bears,
when, and how often, visit sites as well as other information. We
use this information to identify which bears are eating garbage,
and offer proposals to the town as to which garbage sites need to
be bear proofed in the following season.
For crop and apiary damages, the best way of prevention is to put
up electric fences around cultivated fields or beehives. This is
because you cannot remove these attractants and secure them inside
buildings like you can with garbage. Not to mention that the attractants
are always there. We show farmers and beekeepers the effectiveness
of electric fences and help them set and maintain them.
3. Public Education
At damage sites: We are on duty 24 hours a day.
When we get damage reports, we visit the sites and talk to the property
owners. The town office and the police also provide us with information
they receive. We teach them what has attracted the bears to their
homes and how to secure the attractants. We also explain what to
do should the bear pay them another visit.
Education outreach program: We conduct bear ecology
classes with field trips for the public as well as for schools.
Participants can experience radio telemetry and find bear signs
in the woods on our field trips. We also visit local elementary
schools to teach about bears and explain how important it is to
secure attractants. We give presentations at local meetings, symposiums,
and every time we are asked.
|Showing contents of a
bear scat in a bear ecology program
||Giving an in-class lecture
Several studies are now underway to understand the biology and ecology
of the bears that inhabit the town. Obtained data is used for better
management and public education to achieve coexistence between bears
and the residents.
Analyzing scat dropped by bears provides fruitful information about
their eating habits. Using both scat distribution and individual location
data, we can find out which food resources are essential for bears
in this area. This is important information and can be used for conservation
as well as management of the bear habitats.
Some of the food bears eat
||Japanese oak acorns
| (Aralia cordata)
|| (Quercus mongolica)
Study on Habitat and Fructification:
Nuts like acorns and chestnuts are very important for bears to
prepare for hibernation and the delivery of cubs. For this reason,
we study several different sites to see how well these nuts are producedevery
5.Hosting IBA in Karuizawa
Picchio is hosting the meeting of the International Association for
Bear Research and Management (IBA) in 2006. This is the first IBA
conference in Asia.