Bears of the World was born from the idea of two friends who were wondering about the lack in the scientific literature of a book on all the species of the bears of our planet.
This book demonstrates why the study of human-bear interactions, and stakeholder perception and involvement, are crucial for bear conservation and management, with detailed examples and case studies from all the continents inhabited by bears.
The urgency of conservation actions that need to be put into practice is also highlighted in the different regions of the world, mainly for lesser known bear species in developing countries. Additionally, and despite the long-term interest in bears, as well as the many groups working on bears for decades and the large literature on these species around the world, a comprehensive and very detailed book on all the bear species in the world had never been published before.
To make this idea a reality, we started by contacting more than 250 people among the best bear biologists in the world. Many of them replied enthusiastically to our invitation, saying that such a book was long overdue and would be very much welcomed. Of course this positive feedback gave us further motivation to move forward with this project, in which 200 authors ultimately participated, many of them having spent their entire lives studying bears. The authors come from 33 countries spread across five continents, and work at very diverse institutions, such as Bear Specialist Group and Polar Bear Specialist Group (IUCN SSC) and IBA (International Association for Bear Research and Management).
At the present time eight bear species are recognized, from the very popular polar bear, giant panda, brown bear and American black bear to the less known species such as the Andean bear, sun bear, sloth bear and Asiatic black bear.