Fluctuation in the number of Asiatic black bears, Ursus thibetanus, culled in 1993–2004 was analyzed for 25 areas from 23 prefectures in Japan by cluster analysis. The areas were roughly divided into two groups, one consisting of areas west of Toyama, and the other consisting of areas east of Nagano, which was further divided into three clusters. Each cluster was composed of areas (prefectures) that were geographical neighbors except for four areas that were not merged into any clusters. It was likely that the number of culled bears in the residential area was affected by an inter-prefectural factor. These findings kept open the possibility of forecasting the increase of nuisance bears based on hardmast monitoring, although which tree species and how strongly bears depend on them are still unclear. Further monitoring on the number of nuisance bears and hardmast production level is needed.
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Vol. 31 • No. 2