NPO picchio Wild Bear Mt.Asama
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Bear Management
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  About Asiatic Black Bear
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Goals:
  • Increase public safety
  • Reduce and prevent bear conflict problems such as property damage, agricultural damage, and accidents involving people
  • Reduce management killing of bears as a result of conflicts.

  • A dog specially trained for managing bears
    We are conducting a new, innovative bear management program which uses bear damage prevention tools such as bear proof dumpsters and electric fences. We also actively educate bears using highly trained dogs. In our program, there are the following components for solving human-bear conflicts.

    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 manner.
    Working on individual bears

    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.
    A dumpster, not bear proofed

  • Patrolling garbage collection sites:
  • 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.
    Bear proof dumpster
  • Electric fences:
  • 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
    About Asiatic Black Bear

    4. Research

    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.

  • Scat analysis:
  • 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

      Udo shoots Japanease raspberry Japanese oak acorns
      (Aralia cordata) (Rubus parvifolius) (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 autumn.

    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.
    Hosting IBA Conference in Karuizawa


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