Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Estimate black bear population size in Arizona

January 2011 - January 2014


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Large carnivores that are difficult to capture and observe are inherently difficult to obtain accurate population size estimates, yet sport hunting harvest limits require effective population estimates. We aim to utilize data from hair snags to estimate black bear population size in two select, isolated mountain ranges (one in the sky island region and one in the White Mountains of Arizona). Partners on this study were Arizona Game and Fish Department. We used this data from two study areas in Arizona, along with harvest data, to develop a cost-effective method to sample all black bears in Arizona, and develop a feasible strategy to implement annually to provide accurate abundance estimates on which to base black bear harvest levels for the state.