The Bears

Why Bears Matter

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Captive bears

Bear bile farms, circuses, dancing bears, bear baiting and animal collections are threatening wild bear populations.  You can help fight this exploitation and support the organisations and individuals who are rescuing bears worldwide.

Habitat loss and human-bear conflict

Destruction and fragmentation of bear habitat, for housing development, mining, forestry, agriculture, etc. is increasing the risks of confrontation between bears and humans.  and usually there is only one winner.... and it isn't the bears.

Climate Change

The threat to polar bears of the shrinking winter ice-cap is pretty obvious.  But climate change also affects other bear species.


In this mixed-up world hunting is not always bad news for bear species as a whole.  However, money talks and many bear hunts are unsustainable, and unregulated.


Bears are illegally killed for "sport" (trophy poaching), for their pelts, for body parts or because they are seen as a threat or nuisance.  Live bears, usually cubs, are poached for use in bear bile farming, to be used as dancing bears or as pets.

Transport systems (road and rail)

Roads and railways are a source of both direct and indirect mortality for bears. Whilst a number of bears are killed after being in collision with a motor vehicle or train, many more die because of the adverse, indirect effects of roads and railways.

Each of the threats included in the above categories originates from human beings.  Only by changing human attitudes to bears and to the habitats in which they survive can be begin to address the threats they face at our hands.


Where to next?
Forward to Captive bears
Back to Mexican grizzly bear

Page updated 20 August 2015