RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION GRANTS AWARDED FOR 2017
The Research and Conservation Grants (R&CG) Committee received 34 proposals for the 2017 granting cycle, including 10 scaled-down versions of proposals submitted for the special multi-year Tropical Bear Grant offered for the first time this year. Proposals involved 7 bear species, comprising brown bear (9 applications), American black bear (1), both brown and American black bear (2), Polar bear (2), Andean bear (6), Asiatic black bear (2), sloth bear (2), Sun bear (6), Asiatic black and sloth bear (1), Sun and Asiatic black bear (1), and sloth, sun and Asiatic black bears (1). The main areas of focus in proposals included: surveys of distribution, occupancy, or development of habitat-relationship models (9 proposals); population assessments, monitoring, or estimation of vital rates (7); ecological and behavioral assessments (6); landscape genetics and connectivity studies (3); assessment of genetic diversity and taxonomy (2); damage prevention, conflict resolution and education programs (2); human dimension surveys (2); and assessment of captive sun bear populations (1). Thank you to all applicants for their keen interest in bears and their excellent proposals. Unfortunately, the total funding request of all application (US $ 241,398.00) far exceeded available funds and, as usual, the committee had to work hard to make a final selection according to evaluation criteria used also in previous years and originally set up by Dr. Fred Dean.
Based on the total funds made available this year for the regular Research and Conservation Grants by the Bear Conservation Fund (US $ 94,928), the committee was able to approve 14 projects (download table here), ranging in cost from US $ 3,000-10,000; 3 of these received full or partial funding from the Homer Bear Conservation Fund (IBA's internal donor-advised endowment that funds some R&C proposals each year that meet specified criteria). All grant recipients are asked to turn in technical reports by the end of the calendar year (progress report) and at the end of the project (final report), as well as to contribute popular articles to International Bear News. Recipients are also encouraged to submit technical manuscripts to Ursus and to present their results at IBA conferences. Thus, keep an eye on all these sources, including this web site, for any updates regarding the granted projects.
The RCG committee is very grateful to the 34 investigators who sent proposals for consideration this past year and urges bear researchers and biologists to submit worthy projects for next year!