IBA aims to understand the world’s 8 bear species through scientific research and collaboration with communities, conservationists, managers, and students across the globe.

The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) is a non-profit tax-exempt organization open to professional biologists, wildlife managers and others dedicated to the conservation of all bear species. The organization has 550+ members from over 60 countries. It supports the scientific management of bears through research and distribution of information. The IBA sponsors international conferences on all aspects of bear biology, ecology and management. Many of the conference papers are published as peer-reviewed scientific papers in the journal Ursus. The eight bear species of the world pose significant research, conservation, and management challenges to governments, local authorities,

wildlife biologists, conversationists, land managers, park personnel, tribal councils, indigenous communities, and private land owners. Encroaching civilization, through land-use conflicts and resource utilization by human beings, has resulted in the decline or disappearance of bear habitat and bear populations in portions of their ranges. Continued viability of populations, and the possible restoration of bears in certain areas, will be largely contingent upon a cooperative approach towards research, management, conservation, land use, and education, and will increase in cost as land values escalate. The IBA, an association primarily of professional biologists with an interest in bears, recognizes these difficult bear research, conservation and management challenges.

News & Events

Recipient of the 2-Year “Innovation in Community -Based Conservation for Bear” (R&C) Grant for 2018-2019 has been announced. Congratulations to Russ van Horn and his team of investigators, Fanny Cornejo, Carlos Jimenez, Nicholas Pilfold, and Megan Owen at San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

February 4, 2018

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November 2, 2017

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2018 IBA Conference in Slovenia

2018 IBA Conference

September 16, 2018 - September 21, 2018

Ljubljana, Slovenia

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May 21, 2018 - May 24, 2018

Grand Junction, Colorado, USA

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March 25, 2018 - March 29, 2018

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

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Bear conservation fund

Do you want to help support research that provides scientific information for protecting the world’s 8 bear species? Whether you want to donate $5.00 or $5,000 dollars, any amount helps! Learn more about how to protect bears through our donation program. All BCF funds go directly to research projects.
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Bear Specialist Group

The Bear Specialist Group (BSG) is one of more than 140 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, and Task Forces established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Species Survival Commission (SSC). First contacts between the IBA and the IUCN/SSC occurred in the late 1970s. Because IBA included most of the world’s active bear conservationists as its members, the SSC requested that IBA act as a parent organization for a Bear Specialist Group to work under the guidance of the IUCN. The goal of the BSG is to promote the conservation of bears and the habitats that they require across their distribution world-wide. Members of the Bear Specialist Group are appointed by the BSG co-chairs and are given access to the resources of the IBA.

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Education & Resources

The members of IBA have a rich and diverse background in all areas of bear ecology. Whether you are looking for information about basic bear biology/ecology, conservation, management, research, policy, or bear welfare, IBA is your resource providing access to bear experts around the world.

IBA PublicationsRecent Bear LiteratureBear SpeciesSafety In bear countryBear Conservation LinksPolar Bear Treaty

What is the impact of an IBA Grant?

  • “I cannot in words convey how thankful I am to IBA and the donors for the grant. This grant in one way or other brought me closer to my dream of working for the bear conservation and helped me in assessing opportunities and challenges for human-sloth bear coexistence.”

    – Nandita Patel, India

    Grant Year(s): 2015-2016
    Bear Species: Sloth Bear
    Study Area(s): Three Sloth bear sanctuaries and a protected forest of Gujarat, India; namely Jassore Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Balaram-Ambaji Wildlife Sanctuary, Polo Forest and Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • “The IBA Research and Conservation Grant provided vital startup funds for my PhD research that enabled me to meet with potential collaborators and laid the foundation toward the success of this project, which is examining the effect of climate change on polar bear behaviors and energy demands.”

    – Anthony Pagano

    Grant Year(s): 2013, 2014, & 2015
    Bear Species: Polar bears and Brown bears
    Study Area(s): southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska Zoo, Oregon Zoo, San Diego Zoo, and Washington State University

  • “The IBA grant allowed us to influence the direction of planning by the Chinese government to survey Asiatic black bears. We were able to recruit and support international participation in both their economic and ecology teams and shape the direction of surveys to provide credible information needed by both the government and the international community.  This collaboration would have been much more difficult without the IBA funds.”

    – William McShea, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

    Bear Species: Asiatic Black Bear