Identifying the risk regions of house break-ins caused by Tibetan brown bears (Ursus arctos pruinosus) in the Sanjiangyuan region, China



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Ecology and Evolution





First Page


Last Page



bear damage, house break-ins, risk assessment, risk diffusion path, Sanjiangyuan region, Ursus arctos pruinosus


Damage to homesteads by brown bears (Ursus arctos) has become commonplace in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Science-based solutions for preventing damages can contribute to the establishment of mechanisms that promote human–bear coexistence. We examined the spatial distribution patterns of house break-ins by Tibetan brown bears (U. a. pruinosus) in Zhiduo County of the Sanjiangyuan region in China. Occurrence points of bear damage were collected from field surveys completed from 2017 to 2019. The maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model was then used to assess house break-in risk. Circuit theory modeling was used to simulate risk diffusion paths based on the risk map generated from our MaxEnt model. The results showed that (a) the total risk area of house break-ins caused by brown bears was 11,577.91 km2, accounting for 29.85% of Zhiduo County, with most of the risk areas were distributed in Sanjiangyuan National Park, accounting for 58.31% of the total risk area; (b) regions of alpine meadow located in Sanjiangyuan National Park with a high human population density were associated with higher risk; (c) risk diffusion paths extended southeast to northwest, connecting the inside of Sanjiangyuan National Park to its outside border; and (d) eastern Suojia, southern Zhahe, eastern Duocai, and southern Jiajiboluo had more risk diffusion paths than other areas examined, indicating higher risk for brown bear break-ins in these areas. Risk diffusion paths will need strong conservation management to facilitate migration and gene flow of brown bears and to alleviate bear damage, and implementation of compensation schemes may be necessary in risk areas to offset financial burdens. Our analytical methods can be applied to conflict reduction efforts and wildlife conservation planning across the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau.

Open Access