Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Major Professor

Michael R. Pelton

Committee Members

Boyd L. Dearden, Ralph W. Dimmick


The black bear (Ursus americanus) population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP or Park) is an important renewable natural resource to the Southern Appalachian region. It is valuable as an attraction to Park visitors who annually spend millions of dollars in areas surrounding the Park; it is valuable as a yardstick against which to compare exploited bear populations in adjacent areas, and, perhaps most importantly, it is valuable as a symbol of Eastern wilderness which is being rapidly diminished by human exploitation of he environment. In order to effectively manage this resource, it is necessary to gain a thorough understanding of the population dynamics of the species. Basic to the understanding of any wildlife population is a knowledge of the number of individuals present, and of their distribution within the habitat.

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