Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Richard J. Hoch, Ph.D., AICP

Second Advisor

Robert P. Sechrist, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mark Tement, M.S.

Fourth Advisor

Joseph W. Bencloski, Ph.D.

Abstract

An increase in mange observations in Pennsylvania's black bear population has caused concern in the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Little is known about how Pennsylvania black bears contract and spread mange. Millions of Pennsylvania's residents have established homes in rural and forested areas, reducing habitat and increasing impervious land cover. A reduction in habitat forces wildlife into closer proximity and increases the occurrence of disease and parasite transmission. This research examined the presence of an aspatial and a spatial relationship between black bear mange and impervious land cover within Pennsylvania at two scale levels over 2001 to 2006. Results determined there were no significant aspatial relationships present between the variables. Spatial analysis suggested the relationship varied across space and changed between scales. This research was intended to contribute to the sparse literature on black bear mange and to aid in the management of mange in Pennsylvania's black bear population.

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