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

Massachusetts Project

Massachusetts Residents' Attitudes Toward Black Bears and Black Bear Management

January 2016 - December 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

The black bear (Ursus americanus) population in Massachusetts is growing in size and expanding in range, and bears are becoming increasingly more common in suburban areas of the state. As the Massachusetts’ black bear population increases and expands, it continues to push into areas where the general public is largely inexperienced with bears. A statewide survey, conducted in collaboration with Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and Responsive Management, Inc., will be used to assess Massachusetts residents' attitudes toward black bear and black bear management. Results of this study will provide a more detailed understanding of Massachusetts’ residents’ opinions on the bear population, experience with bears, and opinions on black bear management options. These results will be used by MassWildilfe to make informed management decisions regarding black bears and will help MassWildlife gain a better understanding of the current challenges facing black bear management in the third most densely populated state in the country.