Monitoring the genetic health and structure of Grizzly bear populations in British Columbia to inform ecotourism and resource management

Grizzly bears represent a valuable economic, ecological, cultural and symbolic resource for British Columbia. In order to preserve this resource the current population of brown bears needs to be monitored to ensure the health of the population. One marker of health is the genetic health of the population. Genetic monitoring can also tell us important information about how related different bear populations are and how well these populations are adapted to their ecosystem. This study will use genetic markers to look at this population structure and adaptation of bears across the unique and varied landscape of British Columbia. We will additionally use genetic markers to investigate a recent island colonization by brown bears outside of all current bear population units. This information is crucial to the conservation initiatives of our partner Raincoast International and its Ecotourism partners.

Faculty Supervisor:

Chris Darimont


Lauren Henson


Raincoast Conservation Foundation


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Natural resources


University of Victoria



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