Taking the focus off its tiger-centric conservation efforts, India will host the 21st International Conference on Bear Research and Management in New Delhi next week. The conference is expected to see the launch of a national action plan for the conservation and welfare of the animal.
The science of bear conservation is expected to take centrestage as scientists and bear experts from around 37 countries deliberate on topics ranging from genetic monitoring to ex-situ conservation of bears species from across the world.
Among the deliberations will be interesting stories such as the recent camera-trap records of 3 bear species in Northeast India, the ‘Hellenic Bear Register’ that has been steering conservation through a decade of genetic monitoring of brown bears in Greece, the radioactive contamination of Japanese black bears after the Fukushima nuclear disaster and development of a gene chip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and how the technique can be used for other bears.
Experts will also present results from bear sign surveys, VHF and VHF-GPS monitoring of rehabilitated orphaned brown bear cubs, use of stable isotopes to detect bear diet patterns as also a non-invasive diet analysis for brown bears in the Italian Alps using DNA barcoding and next generation sequencing.