Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KODIAK: International Brown Bear Group Proposes Genetics Study
Alaska Region, September 27, 2005
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The fifth Northern Forum Brown Bear Workgroup meeting was held in conjunction with the ninth International Mammals Congress and the first Asiatic Bear workshop in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, from August 6 ? 13, 2005. Participants discussed the status of brown bears in Hokkaido, Kamchatka (Russia) and Alaska. The group developed a proposal to investigate the genetic diversity of and relationships among brown bear populations in the North Pacific Rim. Participants agreed that public education and avoiding conflict situations created by attractants were important issues. They also addressed coordination of import/export procedures; orphaned cubs; zoo cooperation; and translation of scientific and educational materials.

A focus of the group is understanding not only bear populations in each region, but also each region's human traditions and cultures. To accomplish this, hosts provide a blend of lectures, field trips and immersion in local culture so each member can better appreciate the diverse challenges and opportunities faced by their colleagues. The next meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Association of Bear Research and Management meeting in October 2006 in Karuizawa Town, Nagono, Japan.

Kodiak Refuge annually supports the Brown Bear Working Group through the Service's Challenge Cost Share and Area V programs. This year's grants funded participation by Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game's Kodiak Area Biologist Larry Van Daele, who chairs the working group, and Mike Kiehn, Senior Anchorage Wildlife Inspector from the Service's Office of Law Enforcement.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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