With support from Conservancy donors, Yosemite has made major strides in recent years to protect one of the park’s most recognizable animals: black bears. Wildlife-management tools, including bear-proof food-storage lockers and monitoring devices, have led to a massive reduction in annual bear-related incidents in the park, from 1,600 in 1998 to fewer than 100 in 2016.

To ensure the continued success of Yosemite’s efforts to keep bears wild and visitors safe, this grant supported much-needed improvements to key technologies used to monitor and protect the park’s black bears. New GPS collars and hand-held data-collection devices replaced older, outdated models, allowing wildlife managers to gather invaluable real-time information about bear habitat and behavior.

The bear team also developed a new website: KeepBearsWild.org. The site, which includes time-delayed GPS maps and key tips, such as the importance of proper food storage, driving slowly on park roads, and staying a safe distance away from wildlife, is designed to educate the public about bears while helping wildlife managers monitor and protect an iconic Yosemite species.

By advancing Yosemite’s wildlife-management technology, your gifts helped write the crucial opening lines of another successful chapter in the story of the park’s black bears. Thank you for supporting your park!

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park.


Ryan Matthew Leahy


Project Notes

Seeing a wild bear in its natural habitat is one of the most exhilarating aspects of my job. I'm over the moon when I see wild bears doing wild things.