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SCI Foundation sponsored and participated in the 24th International Conference on Bear Research & Management last week in Anchorage, Alaska. Biologists from five projects supported by SCI Foundation shared their research findings and discussed the potential management implications with scientists from around the world.
The conference was officially opened with a blessing by Eklutna Chief Lee Stephen, which was followed by a performance from the Athabaskan Friendship Dancers. A welcome to Anchorage from Mayor Ethan Berkowitz followed. He thanked the conference organizers and attendees for coming to Anchorage and highlighted the diversity that the city offers; there are many different cultures and over 100 different languages are spoken. Anchorage is also a community that regularly interacts with bears, and almost every resident has a bear story.
More than 100 different projects were presented over the course of the conference, covering sustainable harvest, predation, habitat quality, bear genetics, human-bear conflict, and issues specific to polar bears. The conference also involved the general public by raising awareness on human-bear conflict and educating local citizens on the status of bear species globally. There were demonstrations on using bear spray, outreach from the “Bear Aware” program and other presentations geared toward the general public.
As an active member of the international scientific community, SCI Foundation’s conservation work with bears was featured at the conference. The Foundation currently funds and directs projects focused on bears in eight US states and Canadian provinces. Research facilitated by SCI Foundation is helping to restore bear populations, understand their impact on prey species, and inform management decisions.
Partners presenting at this year’s conference included the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Kodiak Brown Bear Trust, Mississippi State University Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, and University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences, representing the Alberta Grizzly Bear, Michigan Predator-Prey, Missouri Black Bear, Sitkalidak Island Brown Bear, and South Rockies Grizzly Bear projects.
The conference provided SCI Foundation an opportunity to showcase its work on bear science and interact with biologists from the international bear conservation community. It also raised awareness about the Foundation’s mission and other worldwide conservation efforts.
Learn more about the International Conference on Bear Research & Management here.Twice a week, SCI Foundation informs readers about conservation initiatives happening worldwide and updates them on SCI Foundation’s news, projects and events. Tuesdays are dedicated to an Issue of the Week and Thursday’s Weekly Updates will provide an inside look into research and our other science-based conservation efforts. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more SCI Foundation news.