Human Bear Conflict:
an international issue   

Human Bear Conflict (HBC) is a major international animal welfare problem, affecting all eight bear species and giving rise to economic, social, political and conservation challenges for humans. This website deals with HBC’s consequences for animal welfare.

There are a number of factors that can cause or contribute to HBC*. Those causes of greatest current concern to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) are:

  1. people moving into an area inhabited by bears
  2. the availability of human resources to bears (such as crops and other food)
  3. human tolerance of wildlife decreasing, due to a variety of factors, in areas where people and bears have been co-existing.

Regardless of the cause of conflict, WSPA advocates responses that are effective, humane, holistic and result in sustainable change in all HBC scenarios.

* In 2010 WSPA is seeking expert advice to determine a comprehensive list.

What is Human Bear Conflict? (HBC) >>

A bear seeks food in human rubbish
A bear seeks food in human rubbish © Ozgun Emre Can

Seeking humane solutions

WSPA has been engaged with Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) work since 2003:

  • Researching conflict scenarios and producing information about the fundamental principles of reducing to Human Bear Conflict to inform decision-makers.

    Principles of Human Bear Conflict reduction (WSPA, 2009), a document prepared by wildlife experts (including IUCN specialists) and social scientists to inform governments and specialised non-government organisations. Read more and download document >>
  • Sharing information and working in partnership with government wildlife authorities and bodies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), informing decisions on conflict reduction programmes.

    Initiating, funding and monitoring practical projects to prevent and/or reduce Human Bear Conflict in partnership with affiliated organisations, including animal welfare organisations. Read more >>

bears in water