New York environmental officials are conducting a black bear survey in an effort to set appropriate population levels of the animal for various parts of the state.
Questionnaires are being sent this fall to about 11,000 randomly selected landowners across the state in both rural and urban areas in an effort to get a better handle on the public perception of the black bear population.
The questionnaire asks about positive and negative experiences people have had with the bears, their perception of population trends, and views on the potential benefits of and disadvantage s to living among the animals.
The potential impact of wildlife on people is a key part of decision-making in wildlife management.
Western New York has had several bear encounters recently in heavily populated areas, including this summer in Amherst where police determined the animal was a danger before shooting it.
The Center for Conservation Social Sciences at Cornell University is a partner in the survey.