Grizzly bear (Photo courtesy of M Proctor)

Grizzly bear (Photo courtesy of M Proctor)

Where the bears go

Michael Proctor, photo courtesy M. Proctor

Michael Proctor, photo courtesy M. Proctor

Michael Proctor has come face to face with more grizzly bears that he can remember, and he always lives to tell the tale. Recognized as one of today’s leading international researchers on grizzly bears, Michael has been working to conserve threatened populations of grizzlies by creating an in-depth understanding of grizzly bear ecology and the conservation issues they face.

From his base in Kaslo, BC, Michael has been researching grizzly bear ecology and conservation since 1995. He is the lead Canadian researcher for the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, and in January 2012 released the most comprehensive study to date on western North America’s grizzly bear populations. The study involved 18 other grizzly bear scientists and included data on about 4,000 bears.

How we use the research

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we work closely with Michael to apply his research to our conservation work. He has been working with the bears on Darkwoods since 2007, and the results of his movement tracking research are helping us pinpoint key areas in West Kootenay that are frequently, and safely, used by this population of bears.

“It is amazing to me that we can
find patterns,” says Michael, "and even more
amazing when one of those patterns
turns out to be mildly useful.”

Michael is a scientific advisor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Bear Specialist Group, and works around the world on bear issues. 

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