The Bear Conservation Fund of the International Association for Bear Research and Management supports work to understand and sustain bear populations by funding projects through IBA’s competitive grants program.

Our mission


Through its integrated relationship with the Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission, identify priorities in bear research and management and recruit project proposals to the IBA Research and Conservation Grants Program that address these priorities.


Support innovative solutions to bear conservation dilemmas that involve local communities as well as national or regional governments and, to the extent possible, address their needs without compromising bear conservation, recognizing that conservation is most successful where human communities are stable and can experience benefits from conservation efforts.


Form partnerships with other institutions to achieve conservation goals, where partnerships could provide additional funding, knowledge of geographical areas, or expertise in scientific or non-scientific sectors.
Since 1993, the Bear Conservation Fund has provided seed money for bear conservation projects utilizing a competitive grants process and scientific review. That’s over $1,000,000 provided to 182 bear conservation grants on all 8 bear species in 38 countries.

In 25 years of grant making the BCF has found:

  • A small amount of well-placed money can really serve to reduce human-bear conflict and create a better life for those living in proximity to bears as well as assure stability for the bear populations.
  • A small amount of well-placed money can launch the career of world-class young conservationists, especially when they are brought into the IBA’s network, supported and encouraged.
  • A well trained and empowered bear biologist is our best product, because those young people, dedicated to a bear and a community, have a big impact for bears, wildlife and wild lands regionally and nationally.
  • A small amount of well-placed money can launch a community-based conservation effort for bears that is self-sustaining and inspires like efforts elsewhere.
  • Successful conservation efforts for bears often result in the creation of parks, preserves and wildlife corridors.
  • A small amount of well-placed money can give us techniques to explore the world of bears more effectively.
  • A small amount of well-placed money provides scientific exchange and brings expertise where it is needed to conserve bears.

Interactive Map

Click the button below to see an interactive map of where our BCF grants have been used to date
(Opens in a new window)
View Interactive Map
Our special thanks to donors who contributed to the Bear Conservation Fund through Feburary, 2017 go to the following:
ABR, Inc.
Anchorage Museum Association- book sales commission
Jorge Andromidas
Arkay Foundation
Lauren Attanas
Bear Tooth Theatre Pub & Grill, Anchorage
Susan and Riley Bechtel
Bill Bivins
Stewart Breck
Allan Brody
Christine Clark
Tony Colonnese
Laurie Ferguson Craig
John Glover
David Graber
Dale and Mary Lee Guthrie
John Hechtel
Steve Heimel
Grant Hilderbrand
Elisabeth Holmgren
Homer Bear Fund
Neville Jacobs
John Sheldon Bevins Memorial Foundation
Jeffrey Jorgenson
Nora Kelly
Diana Kendrick
Mary Keirstead
Cindy Levy
Judith & Lester Lieberman
Little Rock Zoo
WR Lloyd Jr.
Flash Lubitsh-White
Cristian Marsella
Alan Mitchell
Betsy Noyce
Karen Noyce
Joshua and Kellie Peirce
Mike Pelton
Ioan-Mihai Pop
Louise Price
In memory of Fred Dean, Harry & Pat Reynolds
Cheryl Rosa
Charley Rowland and Kara Aley
Amy Ruf
Ann and Wayne Russ
Jason Schmitt
Michael Schneider
Lorraine Scotson
Richard Seger
Patty Sowka
Sally Stahmann, Stahmann Farms Inc
Helen Stahmann
Joyce Stahmann
Catherine Stevens
Sandy Stevens
Jon Swenson

And other generous donors who would like to remain anonymous.

The Bear Conservation Fund would like to thank an anonymous donor who has provided a special $30,000.00, two year award for a conservation and research project on a “tropical bear,” those being Andean, sloth, sun and Asiatic black bears. A series of conservation initiatives supporting these bear species have been launched as a result of project development for this award.

The Bear Conservation Fund would also like to thank the Anchorage Bear Committee and the Anchorage Downtown Community Services for a special grant of $9,293.00 from the sponsorship of bear statues for an Anchorage “Bears on Parade” to be used for travel grants. The power of academic exchange and networking for students and other young international bear biologists at our international conferences cannot be underestimated.

Thank you!