Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Distance-related human–wildlife conflict presents a serious challenge in parks and protected areas across the world. Finding ways to alleviate distance-related human–wildlife conflict is hampered by both the difficulty of studying human–wildlife interactions in the field as well as the dearth of existing methodological tools. The purpose of this study is to investigate factors of group size, distance from bison (Bison bison), and use of wildlife viewing equipment on visitor proximity preferences in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, USA). Researchers collected data via intercept-surveys during summer 2015. The data were analyzed with repeated measures ANOVA to explore how these factors influenced acceptability ratings of distances between people and bison. Results indicate that people who always used a smartphone camera felt it was more acceptable to stand closer to bison than people who never used a smartphone camera. The discussion offers several practical applications for reducing human–bison conflicts as well as directions for future research.