Supporting scientists, managers and conservation

From humble beginnings in 1968, the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) has grown into a thriving community of bear biologists, managers, technicians, educators, and conservationists. We have approximately 500 members in over 40 countries, and receive assistance from donors, partner organizations and non-members as well.

IBA impacts bear conservation through conferences, publications, grants, and our website. Our efforts focus on supporting our members’ work and helping train the next generation of bear professionals. Please help us to help bears by making a donation to IBA, your support is vital to the continued success of our organization.

We’ll be rolling out new features to our brand new website over the coming weeks, so please check back soon for updates.

John Hechtel – IBA President


Species: Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Giant Panda)

Location: Minshan Mountains, China (33°38’N 103°36’E)

Wild Population: Estimated 1,864 individuals

IUCN Status: Vulnerable (VU)

Our Mission
We advance scientific understanding and global conservation of the world’s eight bear species.
Our Vision
We envision a world where all eight bear species can thrive and coexist with humans.

Credit: VCG

What's happening at IBA...

Conference registrations are now open

Registration for the 2024 conference is now open! IBA members automatically receive discounted registration fees and all registrations before May 31st 2024 will receive an additional early-bird discount.

Early registrants will also have an opportunity to attend the 2024 Edmonton IBA Conference for FREE with our registration raffle! If you have registered for the conference and booked your accommodation at one of our two partner hotels by January 31st 2024, your name will automatically be entered into a random draw and the lucky winner will receive one free conference registration. The winner will be notified within 2 days of the draw and also announced here on our conference website.

Capacity for the 2024 conference is limited, so click below to see ticket pricing, learn more about what’s included and secure your spot now.

Click here to visit the conference website!

Conservation Candy and IBA work together to help bears

IBA has teamed up with Conservation Candy to raise money and awareness for bear conservation with everyone’s favorite candy, gummy bears. Donating at least 10% of their annual net-profits to IBA, Conservation Candy is a small, independent, mission-driven company dedicated to making vegan, USDA Organic treats free of palm oil and corn syrup. Each package is made with post-consumer recycled materials and features a unique bear fact to educate consumers in hopes of bringing them closer to the animals we’re helping to protect. Visit the Conservation Candy website to get your gummy bears to help bears around the world!

From its establishment in 1968, the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) has been the leading organization for those involved in bear research, conservation and management. A big part of that success is due to our annual conference, where members and non-members have an opportunity to socialize and share research across a variety of bear-related fields.

It is with great pleasure that we advise the 28th IBA conference will be held in September 2024 in Edmonton, Alberta, under the theme “Co-existing with Bears on Dynamic Landscapes.”

Please click on the button below to visit our new dedicated conference website, where you can register, submit abstracts and learn more about the program.

Credit: Sepp Friedhuber


IBA is an non-profit professional society with members from over 45 different countries who dedicate their time to protecting bears. Small and large donations alike collectively fund IBA’ programs including grants for frontline work for bears, our peer-reviewed journal (URSUS) and global conferences. Please consider supporting our work by donating today.


Species: Ursus maritimus (Polar bear)

Location: Northern Beaufort Sea, Canada (77°24’N 120°15’W)

Wild Population: Estimated 26,500 individuals

IUCN Status: Vulnerable (VU)

Membership in the IBA benefits bear researchers, managers, students and conservationists alike. The IBA offers connectivity with peers, professional meetings, publications, and updated information and news pertaining to bears and bear projects worldwide. Membership entitles you to receive International Bear News, and access to our peer-reviewed journal Ursus. It is the most comprehensive publication dedicated specifically to bear research and management. Other membership benefits include various discounts during our international conferences, and voting privileges.


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. We thank you for your support!

Credit: Joe Riis

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

Sloth Bear Researcher, India

The IBA Research and Conservation Grant provided vital startup funds for my PhD research that helped me to meet with collaborators and laid the foundation toward the success of this project, which is examining the effect of climate change on polar bear behavior.


Anthony Pagano

Polar Bear Researcher, USA

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 with the help of IBA funds.


William McShea

Wildlife Ecologist, USA


Species: Ursus arctos (Brown bear)

Location: McNeil River, Alaska (59°07’N 154°16’W)

Wild Population: Estimated 110,000 individuals

IUCN Status: Least Concern (LC)

Credit: sarkophoto

© 2024 International Association for Bear Research and Management.
We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live, work and research across the earth. We recognise their continued custodianship and connection to the land, waters and community. We resepct and honour Elders past, present and emerging. Our hope is that we move forward with open minds listening and learning from their wisdom and knowledge.

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Please Bear with us!

Our new website is under construction. Click the green button below to view our work in progress

The International Association for Bear Research and Management is currently building a new website packed with features for both the public and members alike. We’re working hard to get these ready for you and will continue to add new material as it becomes available. For now, please excuse the dust while our new website gets constructed.