Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type


Committee Chair

D. E. Samuel

Committee Co-Chair

W. E. Michael

Committee Member

W. E. Michael

Committee Member

W. N. Bradshaw

Committee Member

J. F. Clovis


The black bear (Ursus americanus Pallas) has occupied wild, inaccessible and sparsely inhabited areas throughout recent historic times. Their wariness, low population number s and secretive habits have made this species difficult to study, therefore, considerable speculation and misinformation has arisen regarding their activities. Until the advent of radio-telemetry and its r eady availability to researchers there was little chance to study individual free-roaming animals for any extended period of time.

The present study was initiated with the objective of describing black bear habitat in the Cheat Mountain area of West Virginia, and determining which factors influence usage of an area by bears. It was carried out as part of a radio-telemetry study of bear movements by the Wildlife Resources Division of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. From the information gathered during this study it should be possible to set up some guidelines for use of bear range by people, and to decide which human activities should be restricted on such areas. If this can be done we can hopefully ensure that bear will have a place in the future of West Virginia wildlife.