The Effects Municipal Growth and Development Have on the Black Bear (Ursus americanus) Population of Sussex County, New Jersey

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Kathy Flanagan


anthropogenic factors; black bears; forest habitat conditions; land development; new jersey; nuisance black bears; sussex county; travel corridors; vehicular accidents


Anthropogenic factors, urban development, and land use acreage affect black bears (Ursus americanus) inhabiting Sussex County, New Jersey. Review of Sussex County's growth plans and land use maps determined the county does not adequately conserve forested land. Results determined municipal land use acres were related to human population counts, while urban development patterns were predicative of forest habitat classification and size. Nuisance black bear complaints were related to municipal populations and land use acres, but not significantly related to community characteristics. Vehicular accidents involving black bears were related to municipals' square miles and the number of roadways fragmenting forested habitats. Recommendations from the results include continuing research and implementing strategic management plans to protect the local black bear population and community.

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