WSU scientists and students work with both free-ranging and captive bears. Because it is necessary to weigh the bears regularly, draw blood samples, and provide special diets, not all of the research can be done in the wild. Research with captive bears permits a more in-depth understanding of bear biology.
- Studying heart function during hibernation leads to an understanding of how the heart can adapt to stressful conditions
- Understanding how muscles can remain strong during the inactivity of hibernation
- How bears maintain bone integrity while hibernating may provide insight to treatments for osteoporosis
- Developed and refined methods to estimate the amount of fat in the living bear
- Developed and refined methods to quantify the diets of wild bears from hair or bone samples
- Quantified the interaction between people, bears, and salmon in Alaska
- Quantified the importance of various foods to Yellowstone grizzly bears
- Grizzly bears assist in moving marine-derived nutrients into terrestrial plant communities
- Assisting the public in understanding the relationships between food resources and the characteristics of bear populations
Watch a Video Overview of WSU Bear Research
Scientific Publications by bear center personnel or outside investigators using the captive bears at WSU.