IBA Grants Program

Research and Conservation Grants Awarded for 2016

The Research and Conservation Grants Committee (RCGC) is pleased to announce the awarding of $76,000 to eleven exciting research projects on bears around the world with awards ranging from $3,808 to $9,924 per project.  The approved projects include important research on 5 species of bears (Brown, Andean, Asiatic, Sun and Sloth Bears) in 9 countries. The RCGC received 25 proposals requesting a total of $186,082 for various research and conservation projects. 

Here is a sample of all the projects we were able to fund this year.  Shyamala Ratnayeke will assess the influence of landscape characteristics on population genetic structure of sun bears in Malaysia as part of a two year project.  The committee granted funding to 3 studies on the Andean Bear; Dana Morin (population density and connectivity), Sam Steyaert (marking behavior), and Maria Viteri (genetics).  Yeshey Wangdi will receive funding to study the distribution and relative abundance of Himalayan black bears and Sloth Bears in the Southern Trans-boundary Region of Bhutan.  Several studies of bear-human conflict/coexistence were also funded for 2016.  These included funding to l'Orso Salviamo for consolidating the Genzana Bear Smart Community (Italy), Muhammad Waseem to study mitigating human-bear conflict through development of joint rapid response mechanism in Mansehra District, Pakistan, Patel Nandita for an assessment of  human-bear interactions in Gujarat, India, and Fracesc Girò who will develop a mediation project in order to improve the acceptance and cohabitation of brown bears and humans in the Pyrenees.  Anne Loosen received funding to look at grizzly and black bear habitat use in a multi-use landscape in Alberta, Canada, and Liya Pokrovskaya will examine conservation and behavioral ecology of the  Kamchatka brown bear in Russia.  So, you can see that the RGC was able to fund a diversity of bear projects on different bear species all across the world!

The total of $ 76,000 awarded to the grant recipients was made available by the BCF, which included $12,500 from the Homer Fund (limited to proposals eligible for the Homer Fund), $ 2,000 from an anonymous donor ($ 1,000 of which targeted to Andean bears, and $ 1,000 to SE Asian bears), and $ 500 from the Little Rock Zoo (targeted to Sun bears).

The RCG committee is very grateful to the 25 investigators who sent proposals for consideration this past year and urges bear researchers and biologists to submit worthy projects for next year!

The Bear Conservation Fund (BCF) is a program of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA), created to manage funds for IBA’s grants programs. Donations to the BCF come from annual charitable distributions of the John Sheldon Bevins Memorial Foundation and the Homer Bear Conservation Fund, an IBA donor-advised endowment, as well as from generous individual donors and zoos. The Bear Conservation Fund was initiated in 2004 to expand a 12-year conservation grants program funded by the Bevins Foundation. Now, each year the BCF brings in approximately $80,000 that supports 6-10 Research & Conservation grants, 1-4 Experience and Exchange Grants, several Conference Travel Grants, and a small grant to the Action Fund of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group.

About the IBA Grants Program

History

The John Sheldon Bevins Memorial Foundation was established following the death of bear researcher John Bevins. He, along with a fellow biologist and their pilot, disappeared during a polar bear monitoring flight over Alaska's Arctic Ocean on October 11, 1990. The Foundation was established by John's widow, Dr. Julia Bevins. The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) was named as recipient of a portion of the earnings from Foundation deposits to memorialize John Bevins' dedication to bears and improved bear management.  It has been upon this generous gift that the current IBA Grants Program was established.

For 12 years the IBA Grants Program provided funds for research and conservation projects through the Bevins Foundation, and also included travel grants for IBA conference attendees. Since that time, the Travel Grants Program has grown through seed monies allocated by the IBA Council to Conference Organizing Committees, and continues to grow today.

The Bear Conservation Fund
Julia Bevins at (907) 223-3483.

The Grants Program Today

The overall grants program has grown significantly both in the amount and number of grants awarded.  In addition, the program's scope has broadened, and three different categories have since been established: 1) Research & Conservation Grants, 2) Experience & Exchange Grants, and 3) Travel Grants.

Grants Program History PDF>>>

Grant Awards through 2014 PDF>>>


The John Sheldon Bevins Memorial Foundation was established following the death of bear researcher John Bevins. He, along with a fellow biologist and their pilot, disappeared during a polar bear monitoring flight over Alaska's Arctic Ocean on October 11, 1990. The Foundation was established by John's widow, Dr. Julia Bevins. The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) was named as recipient of a portion of the earnings from Foundation deposits to memorialize John Bevins' dedication to bears and improved bear management.  It has been upon this generous gift that the current IBA Grants Program was established.

For 12 years the IBA Grants Program provided funds for research and conservation projects through the Bevins Foundation, and also included travel grants for IBA conference attendees. Since that time, the Travel Grants Program has grown through seed monies allocated by the IBA Council to Conference Organizing Committees, and continues to grow today.

The Bear Conservation Fund

Julia Bevins at (907) 223-3483.

 
The Grants Program Today

The overall grants program has grown significantly both in the amount and number of grants awarded.  In addition, the program's scope has broadened, and three different categories have since been established: 1) Research & Conservation Grants, 2)Experience & Exchange Grants, and 3) Travel Grants.