Project overview: Upgrade successful bear monitoring and tracking technology, including GPS collars, and continue educating the public through the ongoing maintenance of

How your support helps: 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 a high of 1,584 in 1998 to just 21 in 2019.

This year: To ensure the continued success of Yosemite’s efforts to keep bears wild and visitors safe, this grant will support much-needed improvements to key technologies used to monitor and protect the park’s black bears. New GPS collars and monitoring boxes will replace older models that have undergone multiple refurbishments but are coming to the end of their life cycles. These tools are essential to the success of the project, allowing wildlife managers to gather invaluable real-time information about bear habitat and behavior.

In 2022, Conservancy funding will also allow for continued maintenance of, which has amassed around half a million page views since its launch in 2016. The site includes time-delayed tracking of select black bears fitted with GPS collars (“Bear Tracker”) and key tips, such as the importance of proper food storage, driving slowly on park roads, and staying a safe distance away from wildlife. It has proved to be incredibly popular and valuable for outreach, education, social media awareness, and data visualization, helping wildlife managers and the public monitor and protect an iconic Yosemite species.

Want to learn more about bears in Yosemite? Visit the donor-funded Keep Bears Wild website. See recent bear movements, read about bear activity in the park, and learn how to protect this iconic animal.

Project partner: Yosemite National Park

Ryan Matthew Leahy

Wildlife Biologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

"This project is designed to maintain and bolster three successful initiatives generously funded by Yosemite Conservancy donors. Continued investment in highly effective bear tracking tools will continue to educate the public and keep Yosemite's bears wild."