The declared goal of any bear conservation efforts is to prevent the extinction of all remaining bear species and their natural habitats. As such, your job as a bear conservation volunteer will be to support these efforts. In what follows, you can learn more about what it means to be a bear conservation volunteer abroad. Moreover, you can find out what some of the threats that wild bears face are. If you are serious about volunteering in this field, the following information is thus going to prove to be very useful.
What threats do bears face?
In order to understand why your bear conservation voluntary work is much needed, we would now like to take a look at some of the threats that bears face. Depending on whether we are talking about the polar, brown bear or grizzly bear population, these bears find themselves confronted with somewhat different threats. Nevertheless, most bears worldwide now face some type of danger or threat. In particular, the following threats are making it hard for bears to sustain themselves:
- Illegal und unregulated hunting/ poaching
- Global warming/ climate change
- Overharvest / habitat losses
In China as well as in other parts of Asia, the demand for bear parts continues to be high. In these regions, bears are often still being hunted in order to turn their body parts into trophies or to use them for medicinal purposes. In turn, your job as a bear conservation volunteer will be to help put an end to this trend. In addition, commercial fishing along with excessive salmon poaching are some of the other factors that are putting the brown bear and grizzly bear populations at risk in many places.
While there are quotas for how much trophy hunting of bears is permitted in many countries, these quotas are hard to enforce. Most of the time, local rangers simply do not have the time and/ or resources to stop illegal hunting. This is yet another reason why your bear conservation voluntary work is so vital for the survival of various species of wild bears. Keep in mind that the following factors are further threatening the natural habitats that bears once used to inhabit:
- Gas exploration
- Oil exploration
- Mineral exploration
- Uncontrolled tourism
Which bears are in danger?
Out of the eight bear species that exist in the world, six of these species are already in danger of becoming extinct. While brown bears and American black bears are not listed on the endangered species list yet, the following bear species need your help. As a bear conservation volunteer abroad, you are asked to do your part in order to ensure their survival.
- Giant Panda
- Spectacled Bear
- Polar Bear
- Sun Bear
- Sloth Bear
- Asiatic Black Bear
Your tasks as a volunteer in bear conservation
If you are fairly certain that you want to volunteer in bear conservation, you will likely be interested in finding out what this work is going to consist of. As a bear conservation volunteer, you might be asked to do office work. In addition, you will probably be taking care of wounded or orphan bears if you work at a bear sanctuary. This includes feeding bears, cleaning their cages, and helping with vet treatments. Yet another important aspect of bear conservation is education. As such, you might be required to educate the local population or tourists so that they can do their part to save various bear species from becoming extinct. Moreover, bear conservation volunteers might take part in various bear-rescue missions. Tracking and monitoring the local bear population will likely be one of your other tasks along with data input. As you can see, there is much that you can do to care for wild bears and their continued wellbeing! Now it is up to you to decide, which of the following countries you want to travel to as a volunteer: