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Andrés Ordiz, Ole-Gunnar Støen, Solve Sæbø, Veronica Sahlén, Bjørn E. Pedersen, Jonas Kindberg and Jon E. Swenson Lasting behavioural responses of brown bears to experimental encounters with humans Journal of Applied Ecology 50

Article first published online: 31 JAN 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12047

We provide experimental evidence on the effect of human disturbance on a large carnivore. The lack of aggressive reactions to approaching observers reinforces the idea that European brown bears generally avoid people, although bears can respond aggressively if they feel threatened (e.g. when wounded). However, the movement patterns of the bears changed after disturbance. Separating large carnivores and people temporally and spatially is an important goal for conservation and management. Conserving the shrub cover that provides concealment to the carnivores and keeping people away from the most densely vegetated spots in the forests is a way to avoid encounters between carnivores and people, therefore promoting human safety and carnivore conservation.

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