Wind River Bear Institute

Bear incident response and landowner outreach, with help from canine conservationists.

Wildlife service dog and biologist

Wind River Bear Institute PROJECT BRIEF

Sometimes humans aren’t the best resource for preventing conflicts between bears and humans. For millennia, guardian dogs have kept livestock herds safe from predators across the world, and trained service dogs can also help wildlife experts locate and diagnose bear conflicts after they occur.

In the emerging grizzly crossroads of the Bitterroot Valley, the Wind River Bear Institute and its team of Karelian bear dogs offer both incident response to haze bears from conflict areas and landowner outreach to help prevent conflicts and spread the use of guardian dogs, a time-tested coexistence method. In 2022, the Institute conducted these bear-aware education efforts and responded to 25 conflicts.

Wind River Bear Institute at a Glance

  • Conflict prevention specialists utilizing team of Karelian bear dogs
  • Provide incident response to help locate problems and haze bears away from areas
  • Landowner consulting to limit attractants and spread use of guardian dogs
  • Working in Bitterroot Valley, an emerging crossroads between NCDE and Bitterroot ecosystems