John B. Wooding

Interactions of Humans and Manatees in Crystal River, Florida

Manatee/human interactions were observed at a freshwater spring in Crystal River, Florida, in January and February 1997 to evaluate the contrasting needs of manatees, an endangered species, with the values of tourists and the tourist industry. Tourists interested in swimming with manatees heavily used the site, and in some instances, the tourists displaced manatees. A temporary sanctuary, off-limits to humans, was created at the spring during the 1997-1998 winter season.

Litter Size and Age of First Breeding of Florida Black Bears

We estimated litter size and age of first reproduction of female black bears in Florida from the examination of 139 female reproductive tracts. Corpora lutea occurred in 81 of the tracts. The number of corpora lutea per tract, a close approximation of litter size, averaged 2.6 (range: 1-4). Most (75%) female bears bred initially when 2.5 years old, and the remainder at 3.5 years. Litter sizes and age of first breeding of female black bears in Florida are comparable to those found in other productive areas of eastern North America.

Distribution of Black Bears in the Southeastern Coastal Plain

Black bear (Ursus americanus) distribution and habitat quantities were estimated for the Coastal Plain region of the southeastern United States. Bears are imperiled in the southeastern Coastal Plain primarily because of habitat loss. Accordingly, this paper focuses on bear habitat in the region. Resident bear populations are scattered across the Coastal Plain. They occupy an estimated 67,791 km2. The current distribution, a consequence of habitat loss, represents a 93% range reduction from historic levels. The greatest quantity of habitat supporting resident populations occurs in Florida (...

Trap and Release Apiary-raiding Black Bears

From December 1980 to June 1988,66 nuisance black bears (Ursus americanus) were captured and released at beeyards to create an aversion to beeyards. In most instances, bear depredations at a beeyard stopped after a bear was trapped, handled and released at the site. Of 63 bears released with tags, 14% were recaptured 1-3 times after causing additional apiary damage. These repeat offenders were mostly adult males. Two bears that continued to raid apiaries after being traped 3-4 times in a year were relocated when it became apparent that these bears were not deterred by trapping. When used...

Black Bear Roadkills in Florida

From 1976 to 1986,99 black bears (Ursus americanus) killed by motor vehicles were collected from roadsides throughout Florida. Males (N = 66) were killed approximately twice as frequently as females (N = 30). Males of dispersal age were killed more frequently than bears in other age classes. Seasonal peaks in roadkills occurred in May-July and in October-December. Strategies aimed at reducing the number of road-killed bears include driver education, bear crossing signs, and underpasses in new highway construction projects which allow bears safe passage.

Activity and Movements of Coyotes in Mississippi and Alabama

Daily activity, home-range size, and seasonal and dispersal movements of 13 coyotes (Canis latrans) were studied in eastern Mississippi and western Alabama using telemetry techniques. Coyotes were most active and traveled the greatest distances between 1800 hours and 0600 hours. The highest movement rates occurred near sunset and sunrise. Mean distances traveled during 12-hour full-night periods were greatest for adult females (9.5 km) followed by adult males (8.6 km) and juveniles (5.6 km). Average distance traveled by all coyotes during full-night periods was shortest during fall (5.3 km...