25th Conference

The city of Quito is honored to host the 25th Internacional IBA Conference “New frontiers for bear research and conservation in the tropics”. This event, in addition of bringing together the scientific and conservation community that investigate and are focused on the eight species of bears in the world, with special interest on the ones that live in the tropics, will also be held in South America for the first time.

This fact provides an excellent opportunity for students, researchers and conservationists of the 8 bears species to share their work, efforts and experiences.

The conference is divided in different sessions, including a special one in Spanish about the Andean Bear; with simultaneous translation. Participants can expose their work in two ways: oral and posters. The conference will also offer different workshops on topics that are of current interest.

Conference Sessions Include:

  • Bears of the world: distribution and conservation status
  • Bear ecology and behavior
  • Investigación y conservación del oso andino
  • Population estimation and spatial analysis
  • Genetics and Physiology
  • Human-Bear Interactions
  • Public outreach and community participation on bear conservation
  • Ex situ conservation
  • Bears and climate change
  • BSG – Is bear conservation advancing?


The Twenty-fifth International Conference on Bear Research and Management; to be held in Quito from 12th to 17th November is an initiative co-organized by the Secretariat of the Environment, which, based on its policies, will implement a set of good environmental practices that will guarantee a sustainability approach to the event for the active involvement of the participants in activities that respect the natural resources and the great biodiversity of Quito.

The conference will be an event that will manage its carbon footprint. It will measure its impact on emissions that contribute to climate change, reduce them with the implementation of a guide to sustainable events; and finally forest plantations under the “Adopt a Tree” campaign of the Secretariat of the Environment of the Municipality of Quito will offset emissions that cannot be reduced.

The conference will be an example of a sustainable event that respects nature and climate; value added that will contribute to its potential for dissemination of results, and will continue with the initiative to position Quito as a sustainable event destination, which was evidenced during Habitat III.

The Twenty-fifth International Conference on Bear Research and Management will be a sustainable event: low carbon footprint, free of plastic, low consumption of paper, use of recycled materials, and sustainable mobility.

The Venue

Hilton Colon Quito set at the heart of La Mariscal district, on Quito’s bustling and touristic Amazonas Avenue is happy to host the 25th International Bear Conference from November 12th to November 17th.

The hotel is situated within walking distance of colonial old town, declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1978 and 15 minutes from the financial district.

Wake up and enjoy the panoramic views of the city, surrounded by “The Avenue of the volcanoes”, the great architecture of the historic center, the recognized “The virgin in Panecillo Hill” and the modern city. If you want to look on some of our traditional customs, across from the hotel you will find “El Ejido” Park, the most popular in the city due to the art exhibits from national artists who expose their work every weekend.

The hotel has assigned Santa María Tower for all meetings and lodging.

  • Main conference: Salon Shyris
  • Simultaneous conferences: Floreana and Fernandina
  • Poster sessions: Gran Bartolome
  • Sponsor stands: Smart Zone and Foyers

Special Events

YAKU - The water museum ("water in Quechua")

Located in the traditional neighborhood of El Placer on the slopes of Mount Pichincha, Yaku is a space that fosters education and water conservation, as well as a strategic site to contemplate the dazzling landscapes of Quito.

Yaku will be hosting venue for the Ice Breaker in which all participants will be welcomed to the 25th International Conference for Bear Research and Management on November 12th, 2017.

Join us for the opening cocktail, with a breathtaking view.

Centro Cultural Metropolitano

The Metropolitan Cultural Center will host the closing event of the conference, situated in the heart of old colonial Quito, lies this magnificent historical building that held important institutions and events since its creation in the 16th century.

Join us and be part of the “Ecuador Four Worlds” experience, through great company and a variety of food from all regions of Ecuador.


The potential agenda for the 25th International Conference for Bear Research & Management is listed below; a downloadable version of the agenda with the topic-specific sessions will be available to download on this platform shortly.

Day 1 (Sunday, November 12th)

  • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Registration & Information desk
  • 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM – IBA Council Meeting
  • 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Icebreaker

Day 2 (Monday, November 13th)

  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Registration & Information desk
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Workshop
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Opening and Scientific Sessions
  • 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM – BSG session
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Public event

Day 3 (Tuesday, November 14th)

  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Registration & Information desk
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Workshop
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Scientific Sessions
  • 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Poster session
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Public event

Day 4 (Wednesday, November 15th)

  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Mid conference Field Trip
  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Scientific Committee Session
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Public event

Day 5 (Thursday, November 16th)

  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Registration & Information desk
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Workshop
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Scientific Sessions
  • 5:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Silent Auction
  • 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Student meeting
  • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Public event

Day 6 (Friday, November 17th)

  • 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Registration & Information desk
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Workshop
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Scientific Sessions and Closure
  • 7:30 PM – 12:00 PM – Gala Dinner

* The poster exhibit will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm.

The IBA Quito conference will provide several workshops that will be held pre, during and post conference. The themes selected for the workshops are regarding the ultimate techniques and approaches that bear biologists are using around the world for the study and conservation of bears.

Invited Speakers

The conferences scientific committee has chosen to invite three speakers. Speakers are well known scientists that in the last years have been working and are continuing their research regarding themes related to the 25-international bear conference which are: tropical bears, climate change and human bear conflicts. Their names will be updated soon and you will be able to find their biography in this section.

Dave Garshelis

IUCN Bear Specialist Group & Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Grand Rapids, MN USA

Lack of knowledge on the four tropical bears is killing them

Conservation often entails a trade-off between conducting more research and implementing actions. For the four tropical bears (Andean, Asiatic black, sun, and sloth), we already know (or think we know) the main general threats (which vary by species and region): (a) habitat loss and degradation; (b) poaching; (c) human–bear conflicts; and (d) small isolated populations.

Is it time to start emphasizing action over research? It is tempting to argue that these bears are disappearing as we continue to squander valuable time, effort, and expense researching them. Here I argue the converse. Understanding threats (limiting factors) is often mainly a matter of supposition, based on circumstantial evidence and assumptions. Moreover, even if the threats are known, we rarely understand the driving forces behind those threats (e.g., motives and circumstances); solutions rely on a full understanding of the nature of the problem. Equally important, effective solutions often require adaptive management — an iterative stepwise learning process where actions are modified after evaluating outcomes.

Evaluating outcomes means ascertaining whether the threat has been alleviated and the population has responded appropriately (increased, or the decline subsided). Since we have almost no quantified measures of threats for the tropical bears, very few reliable baseline measures of population size and trend, incomplete knowledge of isolation or even existence of some populations, and inadequate monitoring tools, it seems unfeasible to implement meaningful adaptive species conservation. We still need more research to foster evidence-based decision-making, as well as more researchers to be knowledgeable advocates for the conservation of these species. Just a few key people can catalyze the “critical transition” to effective conservation.

Miha Krofel

Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana; Večna pot 83, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Interspecific Interactions: An overlooked side-effect of bear management

Interspecific interactions are one of the key factors in the evolution and ecology of animal communities. However, managers, conservationists and decision-makers rarely consider potential side-effects of bear management on other species. As the largest terrestrial scavengers with superb olfactory abilities, bears are one of the most important dominant scavengers and kleptoparasites in the Holarctic region. In this way several bear species frequently come in interactions with other predators and scavengers. Besides, bears perform several ecological roles ranging from seed dispersal to predation and directing nitrogen flow, thus affecting range of species from various guilds and ecosystems. At the same time, bears are usually actively managed through culling, reintroductions, translocations, and provision of anthropogenic food. Until recently, it was poorly understood how management of bears affect their interactions with other species and even more rarely were these aspects considered in the management decisions. An overview will be given on documented interspecific interactions involving bears and how various bear management measures could affect these interactions. As a study case, interactions between the brown bear and the Eurasian lynx in Slovenia will be presented, focusing on side-effects of intensive bear management on the endangered apex predator. Lynx are under strong pressure of kleptoparasitism by brown bears, resulting in a substantial loss of food for the lynx, which the predator is unable to compensate by increased hunting effort. This pressure is indirectly amplified by bear management measures, especially zone-specific culling and supplemental feeding of bears, which increased local bear densities and shortened bear denning period. Based on recent advances in the field, we call attention to the importance of considering interspecific interactions in bear-management decisions and generally in management of strongly-interacting species.

Francisco Cuesta

Head of the Biodiversity department of CONDESAN, associate professor in the area of social and global studies at Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and associate researcher at the University of Amsterdam.

Environmental change impacts on the Andean biodiversity

The tropical Andes is one of the regions with the highest degree of exposure and sensitivity to global environmental changes. The combined effects between land-use land-cover change (LULCC) and climate change creates an unprecedented pressure on the biodiversity of this region. Here, we summarize some of the latest findings and thinking on these threats, explore the consequences for the montane ecosystem, and outline options for ecosystem based adaptation measures.


Human–Bear Conflicts Workshop: Strategies and Priorities

Human-bear conflicts (HBC) are increasing worldwide, and pose a growing threat to some bear populations. The Bear Specialist Group is organizing a workshop to be held on the day prior to the start of the IBA conference in Quito (12 Nov), at the conference venue, with these two goals:

  1. Strategizing for a manual to mitigate HBC around the world
  2. Setting priorities for future HBC initiatives

We welcome you to join us if you are especially interested and knowledgeable of HBC issues from any place in the world. Participants do not have to be members of the BSG. The workshop is limited to 50 participants. We seek participants who want to engage and share ideas.

The workshop will consist of 2 half-day sessions:

HBC mitigation manual

Types of bear conflicts vary enormously around the world, and so do the feasible methods of mitigation. In some countries or regions, damage to corn and livestock are the primary issues (e.g., Andean bears), in other places bears damage beehives or orchards, ransack homes, or attack people. Likewise, even for a given category of conflict, potential solutions vary by local socio-economics, culture, and other circumstances. Here we plan to strategize how to capture this variation in a meaningful way to create a manual of mitigation methods that is useful to people working in the field as well as to governments. First we will hear a selection of short presentations on situations from around the world. Next, we will split into small working groups so participants can become actively engaged in sharing experiences, ideas, and group brainstorming. Groups will reconvene to report and compare their thoughts on creating a useful manual. We will also be seeking people to continue in the effort to actually create the manual over the next year.

Prioritization of HBC initiatives

The BSG is presently engaged in setting priorities for bear conservation. In part this was motivated by potential funders who would like to ensure that resources are allocated to the most needed situations and most effective causes. In terms of HBC initiatives, researchers and practitioners often seek funding to try to solve local problems, and many of these initiatives are replicated in some form place to place. Here we seek to set priorities for how to address HBC issues in the context of improving the status of bears while providing for human safety concerns. Again, we plan to split in small groups so everyone has a chance to express their views on where we should be focusing our future efforts.

Sign Up

This workshop is held by the support of the conference planning committee and the funding of the Grizzly Bear Foundation.

Taller de introducción a la ocupación como herramienta para el monitoreo de poblaciones de osos andinos

El monitoreo del estado de la población de una especie y los factores que la afectan es información fundamental para el desarrollo de planes de manejo y conservación, lo que permite evaluar tanto la necesidad de realizar intervenciones de manejo, así como el éxito de las intervenciones que se están llevando a cabo. Los modelos de ocupación se han utilizado como una herramienta para la investigación, el monitoreo y el manejo adaptativo de las poblaciones de vida silvestre, incluyendo los grandes mamíferos. La información sobre los factores que determinan tanto el proceso de observación (detección) como la ecología de las especies (ocupación y dinámicas relacionadas) nos permiten hacer predicciones sobre los cambios potenciales en los rangos distributivos de las especies en diferentes escenarios relacionados con los factores determinantes y las intervenciones de manejo. Esto conduce a toma de decisiones mejor informada para la gestión de la población y la subsecuente evaluación de la eficacia de las acciones de gestión específicas.

En el marco de la XXV Conferencia Internacional sobre Investigación y Manejo de Osos, la Alianza para la Conservación del Oso Andino, el Laboratorio Cornell de Ornitología y la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja organizan el taller de dos días titulado: “Introducción a la ocupación como herramienta para el seguimiento de las poblaciones de osos andinos”. El taller se enfocará en el diseño, implementación, análisis y uso de programas de monitoreo de ocupación de osos andinos. Animamos a la asistencia de profesionales de organizaciones gubernamentales y no gubernamentales involucrados o interesados en la conservación de osos andinos.

Día 1

  • Introducción al monitoreo andino
  • Por qué monitorear las poblaciones de osos
  • Introducción a los modelos de ocupación
  • Aplicación de modelos de ocupación a poblaciones de osos andinos
  • Mejores prácticas para el diseño de proyectos de monitoreo de ocupación de osos andinos

Día 2

  • Introducción al análisis de los datos de ocupación
  • Modelos de una sola temporada e inferencias
  • Modelos de varias estaciones e inferencia
  • Extensiones y aplicaciones
  • Estudios de caso: relacionando las probabilidades de ocupación de las poblaciones de osos de Andrea con la toma de decisiones para la conservación.

Fecha y Horario

18 y 19 de noviembre de 2017 de 09H00 a 17H00


El taller se realizará en las instalaciones de la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja en Quito (Calle 6 de diciembre y Alpallana).


25 participantes. Se requiere que cada participante lleve su laptop. Se entregará certificados de participación.

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Scientific Committee

The 2017 scientific Committee is focused about “New Frontiers for Bear Research and Conservation in the Tropics”. The Committee is represented by:

  • Santiago Molina (Ecuador) (Coordinator)
  • Becky Zug (Ecuador)
  • Ximena Velez-Liendo (Bolivia)
  • Emre Can (United Kingdom)
  • Claudio Groff (Italy)
  • Diego Tirira (Ecuador)
  • Rodrigo Cisneros (Ecuador)
  • Maria de Lourdes Torres (Ecuador)
  • Frank VanManen (IBA-USA)
  • Nishith Dharaiya (India)
  • Isacc Goldstein (WCS-Colombia)
  • Diego Cisneros (Ecuador)
  • Andres Ortega (Ecuador)

The Scientific Committee’s Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Define the theme of the conference and the different sessions of presentations
  • Review and accept the abstracts and posters that will be presented and displayed during the conference
  • Develop the grid for the conference
  • Collaborate and suggest topics of interest for the development of workshops before, during and after the conference.
  • Suggest and recommend potential guest lecturers who will be keynote speakers during the conference.

Travel Grants

Travel grants will provide the opportunity for committed students from all over the world to cover part of their travel expenses to attend the conference. Travel grants are limited; if you want to apply you need to fill all the info included in the enrollment form. The winners of the travel grants will be notified via email by June 1st.

If you are from South or Central America, you will apply for travel grants when submitting your abstract on the conference website. The deadline is the same as the abstract deadline (1-May-2017).

If you are from Asia, Europe, or North America you will need to apply separately to IBA for a travel grant. Your abstract still must be submitted via the conference website no later than 1-May-2017. After submitting your abstract, you will need to download the application form from the IBA website (link provided below), fill out the required information, and email your form to: iba25travelgrants@gmail.com. Because this is a separate application process, the deadline is 15-May-2017.

Call for Abstracts

Abstract Submission Guidelines

  1. Choose presenter as your registration type to submit
  2. All abstracts must be submitted electronically. The online submission system must be used and you must choose the conference session according to your abstract theme.
  3. Abstracts must be prepared in English, the official language of the IBA with the exception of abstracts prepared for The Andean Bear Session, which must be submitted in Spanish.
  4. Abstracts should be no longer than 350 words and should not include tables or figures. They should present recent developments in bear research, management and conservation and should highlight research objectives, methods, and results. We will try to accommodate as many submissions as possible, but will ensure that the program is balanced.
  5. The same guidelines will be used for oral and poster abstract submissions with an option to indicate your preference.
  6. Once the website informs you your abstract has been successfully submitted, it will be sent to scientific committee for approval. The first week of June you will receive an answer regarding the status. The system will then generate a code which will be sent to you email, if your abstract is approved you may submit payment. If your abstract is not approved, you are offered the opportunity to present a poster otherwise you may change your status from presenter to participant.

Presenting Author Responsibilities

The presenter must be identified by the person submitting the abstract and will become the primary contact for the abstract following submission. The presenter is responsible for communicating with the co-authors regarding acceptance of the abstract and any other relevant information.

  • Call for Abstracts: December 28th, 2016
  • Submission Deadline: May 15th, 2017
  • Acceptance Letter: June 01st, 2017
  • Early Registration Deadline: July 15th, 2017
  • Conference Dates: November 12th – 17th, 2017

Oral Presentations

  • All oral presentations should last no more than 15 minutes including questions and change-over time. Session chairs have been instructed to be very strict with the time schedule.
  • All oral presentations should be preferably in PowerPoint – if you need another software for your presentation you should contact us as soon as possible.
  • All presentations should be in Windows/PC environment. Mac equipment will NOT be available.
  • The file name of the presentation should adhere to the following standards: IBA_Quito_Unique Identifier. For instance: IBA_Quito_120
  • You must hand your presentation to the technical assistant at least 24 hours before your scheduled slot.

Poster Presentations

  • The dimensions of your poster (landscape) should not exceed 36 inches in height x 46 inches in length (91cm x 116cm).
  • We will be judging student posters and there will be a “People’s Choice” Award for all posters. A poster is an illustrated Abstract, it is not meant to be a reprint of a paper – please limit your words.
  • Posters should include the authors, institution, and the institution’s location.
  • Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away.
  • Word count of limited to 800 words.
  • Suggested Font sizes:
    • Title: 120-200 point
    • Sub-headings: 48 point
    • Main text: at least 36 point
    • Graphs: 24-26 point
    • Acknowledgements: 24 point