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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 and management problems to governments, local authorities, wildlife biologists, land managers, park personnel, tribal councils, and private land owners. The public endures hardships caused by bears; the public wants bears to survive. Management responsibility for the bears and their habitats rests with numerous national and local agencies and councils. Encroaching civilization, involving 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, 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 and management problems faced by agencies and governments.