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

Massachusetts Project

Using Aerial surveys to estimate trends in brown bear population dynamics at Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

September 2021 - August 2025


Participating Agencies

  • National Park Service

Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska hosts one of the world’s largest protected populations of brown bears (Ursus arctos), their habitat, and critical food sources. To monitor this population Katmai collected counts of bears as they fed at salmon streams for decades. Using these stream counts to make inference about the status and trend of bear population or make effective management decisions is complicated by a host of challenges associated with index count data. We will improve inference from these legacy data by using replicate surveys to estimate detection probability. We will then use the legacy stream counts to examine bear population dynamics by combining them with other data in an integrated population modeling approach.

Presentations Presentation Date
Skora, L.C. and T.L. Wilson. Flying low and slow: estimating brown bear (Ursus arctos) density using aerial distance sampling in Katmai National Preserve, Alaska. Contributed oral presentation. International Statistical Ecology Conference. Swansea, United Kingdom. 2024. July 2024