Because what’s good for bears is good for people and the planet

The film below is for everyone interested in bears and preserving wild spaces. It shows why we do what we do and was produced in partnership with Wildlife Media. 

Bears are keystone, or umbrella, species.  Each  population of bears is of great significance to the wider ecosystem in which it lives.  If steps are taken to protect a bear population’s habitat then the whole related environment and the animals and plants within it also benefit.

Bear Conservation is a non-profit organisation advocating and campaigning for the welfare, conservation and protection of bears and their environments, both in captivity and the wild.

Our vision is a world where bears are given the necessary protection and space to live out their lives in their natural habitats.

We provide accessible, accurate and comprehensive sources of information on all things “bear” to help those who want to learn more about them and help us to achieve our vision.

Bears are in trouble and need our help

Click on the links below to explore the main sections of our website.

Bear Photo photography tours
Tambako the Jaguar CC BY-ND 2.0
West Virginia DNR

Bears in the wild

There are eight species of bear, most with a number of subspecies. This section contains information on every species and subspecies together with links to the latest information on their distribution.

Bears in captivity

Bears are highly intelligent, wide-ranging animals and can suffer badly in captivity.  In this section we look at bears kept for entertainment and sport; in zoos, “collections” and sanctuaries; and in bile farms.

Threats to bears

Bears face a number of serious threats, each originating from human beings.  Only by changing human attitudes to bears and their habitats can we begin to address the threats they face at our hands.

Get involved

This section has resources, ideas and information to help you become an advocate for bears, plus links to our current projects and to other organisations working for bears. 

The human threat

Bears face a number of threats including loss of habitat, hunting, poaching, capture and climate change.  These once abundant animals are now largely confined to the forested and mountainous regions of the world; areas with little or no human population.

Mostly, people seem to love bears but find it hard to co-exist with them.  As a result bear populations pose significant management problems for national and local governments and for land owners and managers.

Encroaching civilization has lead to the destruction of bear habitat and bear populations on a huge scale.  While there are some hopeful signs, in many areas the situation is getting worse, exacerbated by climate change, human population growth, environmental pollution and increasing land values.

Climate moving south Canadian black bear_0
Calypso Orchid/Creative Commons
Copyright: CIFR
Carol Vinzant - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Climate crisis

Bears live in the front line of  climate change. It affects all bears, not just polar bears, the places they live and the world we all share.

Habitat loss

Bears are facing human encroachment into their habitat, be it in the form of housing, industry, logging, agriculture, road-building or tourism.  


Most people will only ever see a live bear in a zoo. Through our “Bear Watch” project we are working to improve the lives of captive bears.


From how to behave in bear country to essential reading and downloads, from bear watching to how to get in touch with us, you’ll find it here.

Dguendel – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

To find out more about Ice Clear Vision, our major project to document fully all the world’s captive polar bears and the facilities in which they are kept, click on the link below.

Six of the eight bear species are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable to extinction.  The other two species of bear, whilst not threatened globally, face local and regional threats and challenges.

The future of bears can only be ensured through positive action to conserve habitats, reduce conflicts with humans, clamp down on poaching and ameliorate the effects of climate change.  Research and management projects are undoubtedly important, education and the promotion of tolerance and goodwill towards bears even more so.

Bears matter, not only as keystone species but also as an important part of the world in which we live.  A world without bears would be a poorer, sadder place. 

Page updated 27 March 2022