Alberta BearSmart Program – Overview

This public awareness program aims to reduce conflict between bears and people.

About the program

BearSmart is a public awareness program for people visiting, living or working in bear territory.

Programs goals include:

  • empower Albertans with the information to make safe decisions when in bear territory
  • help bear populations survive by educating people on:
    • preventing bear encounters
    • responding appropriately in bear encounters
  • reduce property damage caused by bears

More about BearSmart

To help kids learn how to be BearSmart, see:

Why BearSmart is necessary

Human activities have become more frequent in bear territory. As a result, bear habitats have become more fragmented and encounters between bears and humans more common.

Encounters between bears and people may have unfortunate consequences for both the bears and people involved.

Bear attacks

Though quite rare, bear attacks can injure or even kill a human. If this happens, the bear will likely be found and destroyed.

Forced bear relocation

Bears become used to human camps, garbage dumps, residential areas, ranches and farms when they learn these locations can provide easy meals. Once a bear gets used to an area that is also frequented by people, the chances of a bear-human encounter increase.

Moving and collaring problem bears does not always solve the problem:

  • The bear may return to the area it was removed from, and continue its problem behaviour, or it may continue the problem behaviour in the area where it was relocated.
  • Relocating the bear can place it in the territory of another bear that may lead to the death of the relocated bear.
  • Relocating a bear is costly and places a heavy demand on personnel and equipment.


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