You have to fly by bush plane to reach Katmai National Park. On the coast, most planes take off and land right on the beach. Although the grizzly bears in the area have gotten used to airplanes, planes do generate quite a bit of temporary noise pollution while taking off and landing that can disrupt bears’ ability to use hearing while hunting for salmon. Other animals such as foxes use their hearing to hunt rodents.
The impact of day trippers viewing bears should be taken into consideration as tourism continues to grow in Katmai National Park. There are great benefits to bear viewing – seeing grizzlies in the wild is the best way to break stereotypes about their behavior. Every tourist that visits soon realizes that grizzlies are not monsters, but rather intelligent and predictable animals. However, turning a beach into a runway may have negative consequences.