In recent years, Taiwan's black bears have frequently appeared along the Jiaming Lake National Trail. In August last year, the images of black bears entering the mountain cabin several times without being afraid of the human is still vivid in people’s mind. The likelihood of human-bear conflict caused by human activities is increasing. Therefore, twice the Taitung Forest District Office has invited experts and scholars to conduct on-the-spot investigations and set up various actions for prevention of human-bear conflict. The construction of the black bear monitoring and notification system is also started promptly, and the system was launched in late June of 2019. At the evening of July 20, 2019, the warning system has performed its function and effectively stopped the Taiwan black bear from entering the mountain cabin.
The "Black Bear Warning System" uses UHF radio signal to instantly transmit the captured images to the computer base station, and then immediately sends an email to the administrator via the Internet. On the evening of July 20, 2019, at 6.48 p.m., an email was received with a photo of a black bear captured by a camera trap 100m away from the cabin. When the mountain cabin administrator received the notification, he reminded the hikers to be alert when going out, as well as cleaning up food and kitchen waste, in order to reduce conflicts caused by human-bear contact. One and a half hour later, the black bear was detected again 30 meters away from the cabin; the administrator has prepared to operate the noise deterrent process immediately and has successfully driven away the Taiwan black bear. The administrator then reminded the hikers to be alert when going out, as well as cleaning up food and kitchen waste, in order to reduce conflicts caused by human-bear contact.
This system uses UHF radio communication and solar panel charging and could be controlled from the foothill office through internet. It carries out long-term monitoring of wildlife around the mountain cabin to understand of the biota of the region. This can also save a lot of manpower, and we have no longer need to spend days to collect "delayed" presence information of black bears. At present, the system is first applied to the surrounding areas of Xiangyang Mountain Cabin that has frequent human activities to avoid the occurrences of human-bear conflict. When the system has detected a black bear, it can immediately perform the warning function, and the mountain cabin administrator will conduct the preventive management operation process immediately.
Director Liu Chiung-Lien of Taitung Forest District Office said that the "Black Bear Warning System" can send out alerts immediately and, in advance, detect black bears that are drawing close to the mountain cabin. This is conducive to the early response of the situation, heightening people’s alertness, reducing human-bear conflict, and improving the safety of hikers. In the future, it is planned to extend the coverage of the system to Jiaming Lake Mountain Cabin. However, this system is only a part of dealing with the human-bear conflict. The follow-up actions should be coordinated with other related measures such as mountain cabins, food waste management system, and hiking guides to truly establish a hiking environment where people and bears can coexist.