Relationship between changes in beechnut production and asiatic black bears in northern Japan

Teruki Oka*, Shingo Miura, Takashi Masaki, Wajiro Suzuki, Katsuhiro Osumi, Shoichi Saitoh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Minimizing human-caused mortality by providing alternative solutions to human-bear conflicts is important for the conservation and management of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) populations. We found a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between the number of nuisance bears killed and a beechnut (Fagus crenata) crop failure index in 5 of 7 zones in the Tohoku region of Japan. In areas where bears are highly dependent on beechnuts as food in autumn, we suggest that agencies could issue warnings about nuisance bears in years of crop failure using the current monitoring network of beechnut production. This system could be a valuable method not only to reduce human-bear conflicts but also to enhance public consciousness of bear conservation and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-986
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Bear warning system
  • Beechnut production
  • Human-bear conflict
  • Hunting pressure
  • Mast
  • Ursus thibetanus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology


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