Tag Archives: bear research

‘Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel’ premiers on April 20

From the Great Bear Foundation web site . . .

Chuck Jonkel film image
Chuck Jonkel film image

Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck JonkelA production of the Great Bear Foundation and Caribou Crossing

World premiere screening April 20th, 2017 at 5:00 PM
40th International Wildlife Film Festival
Roxy Theater, Missoula, Montana

Please join us for a reception to honor Dr. Jonkel at: 400 PM at the Roxy, followed by the screening at 5:00. After the film, we’ll celebrate with the launch of Great Bear Cider at Western Cider from 7:00-9:00, with 10% of the proceeds benefiting the Great Bear Foundation.

For more information, including how to order the DVD, go to the “Projects” page at the Great Bear Foundation web site and click on “Documentary Film on Charles Jonkel.”

‘Detection dogs’ used to study habitat suitability for bears

Camas the detection dog

Sometimes science is a bit… quirky. This is also a pretty interesting read . . .

A recently released study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) details a new method using “detection dogs,” genetic analysis, and scientific models to assess habitat suitability for bears in an area linking the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to the northern U.S. Rockies.

The method, according to the authors, offers an effective, non-invasive approach to the collection of data that could play a vital role in the further recovery of grizzly bears during the coming decades.

“The use of detection dogs allowed us to quantify and map key areas of habitat for black bears in the Centennial Mountains located along the Idaho-Montana border west of Yellowstone National Park,” said Jon Beckmann, WCS Scientist and lead author of the study. “Black bears are a proxy species useful for predicting likely grizzly bear habitat. With recovery, a larger grizzly bear population needs room to roam and to reconnect with other populations. The Centennial Mountains region of the U.S. northern Rockies can provide room and safe linkages— critical to connecting the bear population in the GYE area to others further north and west”.

Read more . . .

‘Walking Bear Comes Home’ preview available for viewing online

The Geat Bear Foundation is putting together a documentary about the life and work of their founder, Dr. Charles Jonkel. Chuck Jonkel is a major figure in bear research and has been associated with the North Fork for over 30 years. Here’s the GBF announcement, which includes a link to the film preview on YouTube . . .

As many of you know, the Great Bear Foundation and Salish Kootenai College Media/KSKC Public TV have been hard at work on a film project documenting the life and work of GBF President and pioneer of bear biology, Chuck Jonkel.

Walking Bear Comes Home combines archival film footage of Jonkel’s historic polar bear research in the Canadian Arctic with interviews with Jonkel, his colleagues, friends, and family, to tell the story of one of the most interesting characters in wildlife conservation, and the co-founder and President of GBF.

Chuck Jonkel’s legacy in wildlife biology and conservation is varied and far-reaching. Just to list a few of his many accomplishments, Jonkel developed the first capture-and-handling procedures for polar bears and black bears, developed the first database on Canada’s polar bears and their habitat requirements, co-drafted and signed the International Agreement on Conservation of Polar Bears, directed the Border Grizzly Project, the most comprehensive field study on the habitat requirements of the grizzly bear in the Lower 48 States, co-founded the Great Bear Foundation and the International Wildlife Film Festival, along with many, many more achievements that have helped to protect wildlife and habitat in North America and beyond.  Jonkel’s big heart, generous nature, and unique character may have made as big an impact as his research and advocacy work.

We’d like to thank all of you who have helped out with this project, whether you contributed money, photographs, film footage, stories, interviews, advice, or moral support.  We’ve been overwhelmed by your generosity and support!  We will continue to keep you posted on the progress of this project.

We screened a preview of this film-in-progress for the first time publicly on February 2, 2013 at the FLIC Cinemafest in Polson, Montana.

You can watch the latest preview here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeYPSEuQbss

For more information, or to donate to the project, please visit our website: http://greatbear.org/projects/#docfilm

This project is sponsored by the Great Bear Foundation, Salish Kootenai College Media, The Cinnabar Foundation, Humanities Montana, and numerous private donations.

Chuck Jonkel Night

As many of you know, July 31st was Chuck Jonkel Night …er, uh… the NFPA Annual Meeting at Sondreson Hall. We had a great pot luck dinner and, following the business meeting and elections and such, hosted an excellent talk by Charles Jonkel, one the world’s preeminent bear researchers (more about him here).

Chuck, as usual, drew a big crowd. We also presented him with a surprise birthday cake to celebrate his recent 80th birthday . . .

Chuck Jonkel - 80th birthday cake

Chuck is on the right; John Frederick, NFPA President, is on the left. It was excellent cake!

Dr. Charles Jonkel to speak at annual meeting of NFPA on Saturday, July 31, at Community Hall

Dr. Charles Jonkel, President and co-founder of the Great Bear Foundation was named the 2005 Conservationist of the year. The award honored his work in establishing the International Wildlife Film Festival in 1977, 30 plus years pioneering ways to improve the quality of wildlife television and, not least, for his 45 (now 50 years) of conducting bear research around the world. Also recognized were Jonkel’s roles in developing the methodology of bear research, establishing the first concepts of modern bear management and his election as President of the International Bear Biology Association.

Jonkel’s bear research efforts started in 1959 with the commercial availability of the dart gun. He has been around for an exceptionally long time and has much yet to accomplish.

Dr. Jonkel will be speaking at the annual meeting of the North Fork Preservation Association at 7:30 pm at the Sondreson Community Hall at Whale Creek, preceded by a potluck at 5pm and business meeting at 6:30 pm.

Chuck’s birthday is July 16. Join NFPA at the annual meeting and celebrate his 80th birthday.