To reduce crop damage by Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus), we developed a method to identify individual bears that damaged corn crops based on microsatellite analysis using bear DNA obtained from damaged corn. During summer 2004 in Iwate prefecture, Japan, 99 corn-bite samples were collected, of which 30 (30%) yielded sufficient DNA for 6 complete microsatellite loci. We detected that at least 21 individuals (16 males, 1 female, and 4 of unknown sex) had damaged dent corn in 5 fields. Results enabled individual identification of bears from the samples, but more accurate analysis is needed. Moreover, the sex ratio of nuisance individuals was extremely biased to males compared to that of bears killed through control programs.
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Vol. 19 • No. 2