Effects of Vegetation Composition and Land-use Variables on Bait Station Visitations by Black Bears

Bait stations have proven effective in monitoring black bear (Ursus americanus) population changes. However, little research has been conducted to investigate influences of habitat characteristics on bait station visitations. Vegetation (N = 20) and land-use (N = 3) variables were evaluated at bait stations visited (N = 27) and not visited (N = 25) by black bears on 2 islands in Arkansas. Overstory, midstory, and understory vegetation composition were assessed by nested circular plots centered on bait stations. Distance to nearest road and type and time since last timber harvest also were recorded for each site. Vegetative composition between visited and not visited bait stations did not differ (MRPP, P — 1.00) indicating that site-specific variables measured had no influence on probability of a bait station being visited.

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