• Sunset view of Glacier Bay and the surrounding Fairweather Mountains.

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Bear Research and Management

bear investigating a campsite
Brown bear investigating a backcountry campsite in Glacier Bay.

Bear research and management is a priority for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve because visitors greatly value bear-viewing opportunities, bears are long-lived animals with low reproductive rates, and bear-human conflicts are a rare but significant safety concern.

Glacier Bay National Park Bear Goals

  • Keep bears and human attractants (food and trash) separate to reduce conflicts and ensure bears retain their natural habits.
  • Ensure opportunities for present and future generations of visitors to view and encounter bears safely.
  • Obtain information on black and brown bears in the Park and Preserve necessary to manage bears and inform policies to minimize conflicts.
  • Preserve and perpetuate natural bear populations.

The following research projects are currently being or have been conducted to learn more about bears in the park:

Disturbance of Brown Bears by Vessels

Bear Distribution and Landscape Genetics

Blubber Bonanza: An Opportunistic Scavenger Study

Black and Brown Bear Activity at Selected Coastal Sites in Glacier Bay National Park

Gustavus Forelands Bear Population Study

International Management of Bear-Human Conflicts on the Tatsenshini-Alsek River. Poster


For more information about past and future bear research, bear management protocols, and goals of the bear program, please read our annual Bear Program Reports (below) and the Glacier Bay National Park Bear Management Plan.

2012 Glacier Bay Bear Report

Read the latest annual bear report

Glacier Bay Bear Program Annual Reports

2013 Bear Program Report NEW!
"Trials and Tribulations of the Tempestuous Teenager"

2012 Bear Program Report
"A Summer of Winter-Quest For Food"

2011 Bear Program Report
"Year of the Brown Bear: Take 2"

2010 Bear Program Report
"The Year of the Brown Bear"

Bear scratching on tree animation
Bear scratching on tree captured by wildlife camera

Did You Know?

Common Snipe

Instead of vocalizing to attract females, common snipe males have another method of drawing the attention of a potential mate. They spread their tail feathers diving downward. Air vibrates through the tail feathers creating an attractive, winnowing sound.