Bears at Risk

Photo of Bear Brigade sumbol

"Bears are a peaceable people,
and mind their own business."
- John Muir

Control of bears is possible without killing.
We work to protect both bears and people by preventing unwanted encounters and promoting nonlethal methods for handling bears.

Preventing Contact with Bears Is Best Solution

Preventing Contact at Home: We Can Help

When bears come out of their winter sleep they are serious about quickly consuming calories. This is often the time when conflict occurs between people and bears. Every spring and summer Predator Defense receives calls from people who live in bear country who have inadvertently created food sources such as birdseed, garden compost, pet food left outdoors, and unsecured garbage containers.

In most situations we can direct people over the phone how to eliminate the food source. In some situations, however, we go in the field and help people by showing them how to make their residence less inviting to bears. On occasion we have driven bears off by using loud noises. Once food sources are not available, bears almost always move on.

How to Avoid Encounters on Trips through Bear Country

For helpful hints on how to avoid encounters while in bear country—including planning for your trip, setting up camp, storing food, and handling encounters should they happen —see our handy guide called, "How to Avoid Bear Encounters: Respect Bears in Their Home."

Bears in the News

Yellowstone Grizzly Bear to Lose Endangered Species Protection - New York Times, June 22, 2017

Bear Deaths in Oregon Could Be Avoided - Eugene Weekly, July 24, 2008

When Bears Steal Human Food, Mom's Not to Blame - Science Daily, adapted from materials provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society, May 10, 2008

Data on Bear Deaths

Trends in Bear Deaths in Oregon, 1992-2009
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Other Groups Working to Save Bears

Wind River Bear Institute

- A successful program that has been saving bears with its use of the Karelian bear dogs since 1996