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

Mission Statement

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, conservationists, 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

Time to Apply for an IBA Grant!

November 2, 2021

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27th IBA Conference Kalispell, MT USA

September 14, 2021

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Bear Care Group Philanthropy Officer Volunteer

August 23, 2021

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IBA Grants Program Video Now Available

October 20, 2020

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14th Western Black Bear Workshop

May 22, 2023 - May 25, 2023

Snow King Resort Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA

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6th International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop

Pathways to Progress: Connecting People, Conserving Bears

October 16, 2022 - October 20, 2022

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

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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. We thank you for your support!

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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 (SCC). In the early days, IBA was approached by the IUCN to help with the founding of a Bear Specialist Group (BSG). As the relationship evolved, BSG became a separate unit and now appoints its own members. However, IBA and BSG maintain a close working relationship, prepare a joint newsletter, and IBA provides many benefits to the BSG. These benefits include complimentary IBA membership, access to IBA grants, funds and support for the BSG website, a dedicated BSG session and meetings at IBA conferences, and funds to support BSG operations. Today, members of the BSG are appointed by the BSG co-chairs.

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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 PublicationsBear 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