Radars Helping with Bear Conservation Efforts a.k.a Bear-Dar

March 19, 2024 by
John Johannnesmeyer

Canada is home to many of the world’s largest bear species. Polar bears abound in the province of Manitoba, black bears forage and hunt in Alberta, and grizzly bears roam through British Columbia. All these bears have different habitats, different habits, and different survival needs. What they all seem to have in common is that they are increasingly interacting with humans. 

Calgary and Banff communities encountered so many black and grizzly bears last fall that Canada authorities put out an advisory in October urging Banff townsite residents to remain vigilant for potential bear encounters at any time. Similarly, the residents of Churchill, Manitoba, the “Polar Bear Capital” of the world, are on track to break the current record for polar bear encounters and sightings in a single year. 

While experts caution that there is no universal solution to prevent these encounters, one scientist sees promise in a new radar technology as a tool for promoting peaceful coexistence between humans and bears.

Geoff York, senior director at Polar Bears International, has spent four years testing an AI early warning radar system by Spotter Global. This radar system is capable of remotely detecting polar bears and alerting people to their presence. Following recent improvements, Director York anticipates that the technology will soon be available to partners across the country after completing its final pilot year. 

York affectionately calls the Spotter radar system, Bear-dar. While emphasizing the importance of personal awareness in avoiding conflicts with bears, he believes that incorporating new tools and technologies can enhance safety measures and help conservation efforts. The development of Bear-dar leverages compact radar technology originally designed for military and critical infrastructure defense applications by Spotter but Director York has adapted it for wildlife monitoring purposes through extensive AI training efforts.

See the full article link below. The photo in the article shows the use of three Spotter Globals radars mounted on a mobile platform and mentions our AI application that identifies polar bears and notifies people of potential threats.  As the article points out this can also be used to spot other types of bears.

To learn more about this wonderful story CLICK HERE.

John Johannnesmeyer March 19, 2024
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