If you go down to the woods today: spatially explicit models of black bears in Alaska

David L Miller (CREEM), joint work with Earl Becker (Alaska Department of Fish & Game)

Work within the state of Alaska’s Department of Fish & Game has allowed for the estimation of black and brown bear abundances but only on a relatively coarse spatial scale (bears per thousands of square kilometres). We develop a spatially explicit model of bear abundance using a density surface model approach. Using double observer aerial line transect data collected over 2001-2003, we build maps of abundance (and uncertainty) and relate estimates back to biologically meaningful covariates.