The Northern Forum


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Core meeting of the Brown Bear Working Group

Khanty-Mansiysk, Khanty-Mansiysk AO, Russia

Postponed till the last week of March 2013.

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IBA/IUCN conference in New Dehli (India)

November 2012



8th workshop of the Brown Bear Working Group

Orsa, Dalarna, Sweden

August 15-19, 2011  

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8th workshop

Links to materials and documents

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Core Meeting of the Working Group

August 23-28, 2010

Terney, Primorye (Russia)







BBWG Training

May 21 - June 8, 2010

Kodiak, Alaska



Report by Larry Van Daele


7th workshop of the BBWG

August 10-17th, 2009

Sakha Republic (Yakutia) - Russia


The 7th workshop of the Brown Bear Working Group was held in Yakutsk and Neriungri in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The participants held town hall meetings with local authorities, industrial developers and the local population to look at measures needed to mitigate bear-human encounters, which are becoming more frequent and more dangerous as the Republic is embarking on an ambitious development program. The workshop also served to assess the status of the genetic study of Pacific brown bears: sample gathering will be done in all regions, and efforts are presently underway to find suitable laboratories in each country to ensure that the results of the study are homogeneous. The next core meeting of the working group will take place in 2010 in the Primorye region of the Russian Far-East, and it is foreseen that the 2011 workshop will be held in Vologda, Russia.


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7th workshop

Links to materials and documents

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6th workshop of the BBWG

August 1st-8th, 2007

Central Alaska (USA)


The 6th workshop of the Brown Bear Working Group focused on bears of Central Alaska, since their habitat, size and characteristics are similar to those in numerous other regions of the Northern Forum. The workshop participants spent several days in Denali Park and Fairbanks to study these bears, learn about management practices in the region and cooperate on the various activities of the Working Group.


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6th workshop

Links to materials and documents

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Core meeting of the Working Group: 

October 10-12, 2006

Sapporo, Hokkaido (Japan)


A core meeting of the Brown Bear Working Group took place in Sapporo, Hokkaido October 10-13, 2006, just after the International Bear Association conference. The meeting served to assess the preparation of a CD-ROM on North Pacific Brown Bears planned to be released in 2006, review the requirements and needs to conduct a genetic study of all brown bear populations around the Pacific Rim and discuss the various cooperation items the BBWG is involved in. The delegates also paid a follow-up visit to the Noboribetsu Bear Park, where they found that the seven cubs born this year are now housed in a new enclosure where the public is not allowed to feed them.  


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 Onuma Park (Hokkaido)


Since the last workshop, the Working Group has published a Russian version of the Audubon booklet "Living in Harmony with Bears". The booklet was published in Yakutsk, Russia, and is available by contacting Vladimir Vassiliev at



5th Workshop

August 6-14, 2005

Sapporo, Hokkaido (Japan)


The 5th Workshop of the Brown Bear Working Group took place August 6-14, 2005, in Sapporo, Hokkaido (Japan) to coincide with the 9th World Mammalogical Congress, where the participants made presentations at the Asian Bear Workshop. Besides the indoor workshop, the delegates also toured Hokkaido to assess the brown bear situation on the island and human-bear interraction issues. 



5th workshop

Links to materials and documents

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4th Workshop

August  2002

Kodiak and Katmai, Alaska (USA)


The 4th workshop of the Brown Bear Working Group  took place at the end of August 2002 in Alaska to address the various concerns of the regions regarding brown bear management. The workshop was attended by delegates from Kamchatka, Koryak, Sakhalin, Sakha, Chukotka and Hokkaido, who had the opportunity to visit bear sites in Kodiak and Katmai National Park. The Northern Forum Secretariat published a mini-CD in December 2002 with the proceedings and all the materials from the meeting, which was distributed to all the participants. 



 4th workshop

Links to Materials and Documents

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The Working Group



In March 2004, a meeting of the Brown Bear Working Group took place in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic (Russia), attended by representatives from Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Alaska, Hokkaido and Sakha. The outcome of the meeting was the ratification of a Charter for the Brown Bear Working Group as well as the outline of the working plan for the Group until 2006. Public education is one of the priorities defined by the group, and funding will be sought to publish materials on brown bears and safety in bear country.




The project was started in 1998 when a consensus was reached among Northern Forum members regarding the need to develop wildlife management programs among regions, and a brown bear project was deemed essential by the participants.


A second meeting was held in Rovaniemi, Finland, to share experiences and knowledge and define a workplan.


In 2000, regional representatives met in the Kamchatka Oblast of the Russian Federation (the 3rd meeting of the Brown Bear Working Group) to finalize the development of the Northern Forum's "Brown Bear Management Report". This report, published by the Hokkaido Prefecture in March 2001, includes chapters on poaching, public information and education, bear population management, bear viewing, and is accompanied by summaries of the status and management of brown bear in northern regions.
Bear viewing, hunting, poaching, and the development of effective public policy to manage these activities are areas of special concern in all regions, but are particularly crucial around the North Pacific Rim, home to the two largest sub-species of brown bears, the Kodiak and the Kamchatka bears. Integration of public opinion and enhancing public participation sustainable management practices are vital issues throughout the Russian Far East. Increasing pressures of poaching, hunting and recreational bear viewing in Kamchatka, Magadan, Chukotka and Sakhalin, are compromising the ability of managers to mitigate impacts on bear populations. New management plans are needed to accommodate changes in government structure and economic freedom in these areas.