BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

BearWise® is the black bear program you can trust for sound information and smart solutions that help homeowners, businesses and communities coexist with bears.

From the BearWise Article Bank

How to be BearWise

bears getting into trash and birdseed

Action plan for a BearWise year

Remember all that stuff you meant to take care of before spring? Bear alarm clocks will be going off soon, so now’s the time to put those plans into action. Here is a quick reminder list of things that could attract bears. Your goal: clean up, lock up and store ...
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The Bear Facts

black bear cubs in den, about 7 to 8 weeks old (Emily Carrollo, Pennsylvania Game Commission)

January / February is birthday time for bears

The fact that bears mate in summer and give birth seven or eight months later might make you think that bear pregnancies aren’t all that different from human ones. But even though bears mate in summer, they’re not officially pregnant until late fall. Nevertheless, they give birth a few short ...
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Six At-Home BearWise Basics

Never Feed or Approach Bears

Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Learn More

Secure food, garbage and recycling

Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage. Learn More

Remove bird feeders when bears are active

Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears. Learn More

Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors

Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove bowls afterwards. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it. Learn More

Clean & Store Grills

Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out. Learn More

Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity

See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts. Learn More

Did you know that black bear is a species; common colors include black, brown and cinnamon.

Do you spend time outdoors…

…hiking, walking, cycling, jogging, camping?

Read how to Be BearWise Outdoors.

A black bear sow and her two cubs stand in a forest clearing - Ontario, Canada

BearWise Educational Materials

The Black Bear Comeback

Black bears once roamed over all of America’s forested lands. But after European settlement, their numbers and habitat dwindled. Thanks to new attitudes and enlightened conservation and management efforts, black bears are making a dramatic comeback over much of their historic home range. Now that bears are returning to areas they used to call home, it’s up to people and communities to learn how to peacefully coexist with these amazing animals.

BearWise shares ways to prevent conflicts, provides resources to resolve problems, and encourages community initiatives to keep bears wild.

BearWise logo-trademarked

The BearWise® program was developed by black bear biologists and is supported by State wildlife agencies. Read more About BearWise.

The BearWise® name and logos are registered trademarks of AWARE, America’s Wildlife Association for Resource Education

Top photo courtesy of Pat Gaines