Minimizing human-caused mortality by providing alternative solutions to human–bear conflicts is important for the conservation and management of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) populations. We found a positive correlation (P < 0.05) between the number of nuisance bears killed and a beechnut (Fagus crenata) crop failure index in 5 of 7 zones in the Tohoku region of Japan. In areas where bears are highly dependent on beechnuts as food in autumn, we suggest that agencies could issue warnings about nuisance bears in years of crop failure using the current monitoring network of beechnut production. This system could be a valuable method not only to reduce human–bear conflicts but also to enhance public consciousness of bear conservation and management.
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Vol. 68 • No. 4