28th IBA Conference

Edmonton, Alberta

15th - 20th September 2024


Population: 1,418,118

Venue: Edmonton Convention Center

Local Bear Species: Black bear (Ursus americanus) and brown bear (Ursus arctos)

Airport: Edmonton International (YEG)

Visitor Information: Visit ExploreEdmonton.com

Visa Information: Visit the IRC Canada Website

Credit: Jeff Wallace


From its establishment in 1968, the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) has been the leading organization for those involved in bear research, conservation and management. It is with great pleasure that on behalf of our conference organizing committee, I welcome you to the 28th IBA conference this September in Edmonton, Alberta, under the theme “Co-existing with Bears on Dynamic Landscapes.”

Our program will be packed with engaging presentations, important talks from indigenous speakers, scientific posters, and ample opportunities to connect with peers and experts in the bear world. This includes the return of our ice breaker evening and Friday banquet dinner, where stories and experiences can be shared face-to-face once again.

A special thank you to our many sponsors including the “Forest Resource Industry Association of Alberta”, “fRI Research” and ‘Explore Edmonton’, for their unwavering support. We’re thrilled to announce a unique accommodation deal, where a portion of your stay in Edmonton is generously channeled back to the IBA. Please ensure you use the booking links on this website to book your accommodation to make your stay eligible. Further information can be found in the accommodation section.

I hope you will join us in Edmonton for a memorable event, and let’s delve deep into the evolving landscapes we share with bears.

Gord Stenhouse – 2024 IBA Conference Chair

Thank you to our Sponsors

Conference Registration

Conference Attendee Numbers

Capacity for the 2024 conference is limited, so click below to see ticket pricing, learn more about what’s included and secure your spot now.

As a benefit for attending the conference, all registered conference attendees  will get an Edmonton transit pass with their registration package for the use of both buses and LRT service while at the conference.

Credit: Bob Bush


The conference organizers have secured very favorable discounted hotel rates for IBA Conference attendees for the 28th IBA Conference. There are two hotels that are all within easy walking distance (5 or 10 minutes) of our conference venue (the Edmonton Convention Center). Book your room by 14 August 2024 to receive this incredible discounted rate for conference attendees!

Edmonton has a unique and very important program with our downtown hotels that are hosting guests to major conferences in the city. This program offers a cash rebate to IBA if our attendees use the hotels we have selected as our preferred accommodation providers. To receive full benefits of this program, our attendees need to stay in these hotels and use the booking links below. The number of hotel nights we use will be tracked and if our targets are met, IBA will be eligible to receive up to $40,000 CAD as a cash rebate. This rebate can then be used to support IBA programs and operations, which benefits all members. This is truly a win/win situation, but is only possible if all conference attendees participate! 

Please consider using one of the selected conference hotels we have identified to help IBA!

Note: It is very important that conference attendees use the links below to book their accommodation to be eligible for this scheme. Bookings via third-party sites (Expedia, Booking.com etc.) cannot be counted towards IBA’s total hotel nights. You must book your hotel through this website and by 14 August 2024 to secure the discounted rates.

Chateau Lacombe Edmonton

Address: 10111 Bellamy Hill Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1N7
Price: $119 CAD/night
Walking time to conference venue: 10 min (700 m)

Marriott Westin Edmonton

Address: 10135 100 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0N7
Price: $184 - $204 CAD/night
Walking time to conference venue: 5 min (300 m)

stay at our partner hotels and help iba raise up to $40,000!

Credit: Brandon Mattice

Credit: Sepp Friedhuber

Abstract Submissions

All abstracts have been reviewed and selected for the conference scientific program. It is shaping up to be a great program with a lot of interesting topics from around the world! Thank you to everyone for responding to confirm you attendance and presentation so we can begin putting together the conference program. The scientific committee is currently working on the detailed schedule and will be available on the website once finalized.


About Edmonton

Situated on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton is the vibrant capital city of Alberta, Canada. Renowned for its rich cultural scene, the city effortlessly blends urban sophistication with rustic charm. Edmonton International Airport (YEG) serves as the primary hub for visitors, with over 20 airlines operating, ensuring seamless connectivity to various destinations across the globe. Visa information for international travellers can be found using the link below. 

While in Edmonton, attendees can explore the famed West Edmonton Mall – North America’s largest shopping centre – or dive deep into history at Fort Edmonton Park. The city is also home to the modern Art Gallery of Alberta, the sprawling Edmonton Valley Zoo, and the Muttart Conservatory’s architectural pyramids filled with diverse plant life. For culinary enthusiasts, a plethora of restaurants offer everything from traditional Canadian delicacies to global flavors.

For a more serene experience, the Edmonton River Valley stretches over 22 times the size of New York’s Central Park, offering picturesque trails and recreational areas. The Royal Alberta Museum also provides a deep dive into the province’s cultural history, and a vibrant selection of theatre and live music is also on offer. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2024 IBA conference.

The Edmonton International Airport is about 30 km (30-minute drive) away from downtown Edmonton. Here are some options for you to get into the city:

  1. Taxi or cab – Alberta Co-op Taxi or Edmonton Taxi – approximately $60 CAD depending on time of da
  2. Uber – Uber – approximately $50 CAD depending on time of day
  3. Public Transit – Route 747, a bus service from the airport to Century Park Station (where you can also catch the LRT).  – approximately $5 CAD

Credit: Brandon Mattice

Conference Schedule

This draft schedule is subject to change and will be updated accordingly. 

Download detailed draft PDF

14th September 2024: Council Meeting

09:00 – 16:00: IBA Council Meeting
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

14th September 2024: Council Meeting
15th September 2024: Workshops

08:00 – 16:00: IBA Workshops
(Chateau Lacombe Hotel)

Noon: Registration Opens
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

17:00 – 21:00: Conference Icebreaker
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

15th September 2024: Workshops
16th September 2024: Day 1

07:00 – 08:00: Conference Breakfast
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

08:30 – 16:30: Conference Opens
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

16th September 2024: Day 1
17th September 2024: Day 2

07:00 – 08:00: Conference Breakfast
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

08:30 – 16:30: Conference Day 2
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

12:00 – 13:30: Student Mentor Luncheon
(Craft Brew House)

16:30 – 18:00: IBA Members Meeting
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

17th September 2024: Day 2
18th September 2024: Field Trips

08:30: Field Trips
(Departing from Edmonton Convention Centre)

18th September 2024: Field Trips
19th September 2024: Day 3

07:00 – 08:00: Conference Breakfast
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

08:30 – 16:30: Conference Day 3
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

12:00 – 13:30: BSG Business Meeting
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

16:30 – 20:00: Poster Session
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

19th September 2024: Day 3
20th September 2024: Day 4

07:00 – 08:00: Conference Breakfast
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

08:30 – 16:30: Conference Day 4
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

17:30 – Late: Banquet and Dance
(Edmonton Convention Centre)

20th September 2024: Day 4

Credit: BlackHawk Aeronautical Solutions


The IBA conference committee has agreed to present three scientific/technical workshops for its members and conference delegates on the first day of our conference. The intent of holding these workshops for our membership is to promote the sharing of the latest techniques, methodologies, and conservation topics that support global conservation efforts for the world’s 8 species of bears.

Workshop 1

Bear Capture and Handling Best Practices

Full Day Workshop, starting at 09:00

This lecture and lab-based workshop will focus on current best practices as it relates to bear capture and handling in North America. This workshop will be presented by two highly skilled and experienced Alberta based wildlife veterinarians: Dr. Nigel Caulkett and Dr. Owen Slater. This workshop will finish in time for attendees to walk to the ice-breaker reception.

Workshop 2

Engagement with Indigenous knowledge in polar bear research in Canada’s north

Half Day Workshop, starting at 09:00

This workshop will explore how Indigenous knowledge has been mobilized in polar bear research for decision-making and management in past, what approaches are being utilized currently, a discussion of how effective these approaches are, and what opportunities we may identify for improvement.

Workshop 3

UnBEARable or BEARable captivity? Perspectives and solutions for wild bears entering lifetime keeping

Half Day Workshop, starting at 13:00

The aim of this workshop is to address the timely issue of wild problem bears coming into captivity. Our discussion will focus on the recent cases of Italian authorities forced for an option of placing problem bears at sanctuaries. This workshop will finish in time for attendees to walk to the ice-breaker reception.

Field Trips - Deadline to Sign up is 1 August 2024

IBA Conference – A lot of work and some good play!

We have 3 different field trips to choose how to spend your Wednesday during the conference. Space is limited, so make sure to reserve your space now.

Important! Due to contract requirements, there will not be any on-site sign ups for the field trips. To secure your spot, you must sign up for a field trip by 1 August 2024. If the spaces or a trip are not filled, we will have to cancel field trips. Sig up now to secure your spot and avoid field trip cancellation.

Buffalo hide for Fort Edmonton Indigenous Peoples Experience


Nested on 158 acres of wooded parkland in Edmonton's river valley, Fort Edmonton Park takes you on an iconic journey through the city's incredibly rich history. From pre-European contact to the Fur Trade through to the Roaring Twenties, Fort Edmonton Park offers Edmonton's original immersive experience. This is a full day tour where you will experience Fort Edmonton’s Indigenous Peoples Experience, tour the Fort and buildings from 1846 and the Mikiwap Tipi Experience.


Sitting on 512-acres of land, comprised of river lot titles from the original Métis settlers to the region in the late 1800s, the crossing is designed to engage and excite visitors through an exploration of Métis cultural experiences. Métis Crossing strives to represent and share elements of Métis culture; pride of culture and respect (with self-identification), family reconnection and reconciliation, sacredness of place and empathy and acknowledgement. This is a full day tour where you will choose activities to fill your day. Transportation and lunch are provided to all participants.

Participants identifying plants


Experience the rolling hills, glassy lakes, and star-filled skies of Elk Island National Park, a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve just 35 minutes east of Edmonton. Look for herds of bison, elk or one of more than 250 bird species that call this special place home. This is a full day tour where you will experience a Bison Backstage Tour and have time for a guided hike through Elk Island National Park.

Credit: Tobias

Silent Auction for IBA Student Group

During the Friday night banquet dinner, IBA will hold it’s traditional silent auction. All proceeds benefit the IBA Student Group. Past auctions have proven to be great fun with some friendly competition for items donated from conference attendees. If you would like to donate an item for the auction, please complete the form sent to your email. You may donate multiple items, but please fill out one form per item. Table space is limited for auction items, so please complete your donation form as soon as possible. Please note: IBA cannot accept any items that are prohibited by local, state/provincial, or federal law, including those that fall under CITES. We will not accept donations of any animal or plant, or any part or derivative of an animal or plant. There are a few exceptions to this, like a wool sweater for example. You can email Jennapher Teunissen van Manen if you need clarification.

Sponsors & Vendors

The IBA Conference in Edmonton provides an important and unique opportunity to meet with and interact with the researchers, scientists and managers who are at the forefront of bear conservation and management around the world.  As a conference sponsor your support will be aiding the IBA membership and support the IBA goals approximately 500 members in over 40 countries made up of bear biologists, managers, technicians, educators, and conservation practitioners with a mission to advance the scientific understanding and global conservation of the world’s 8 bear species. Sponsor support will be displayed prominently throughout the conference in a variety of formats.

The conference also provides opportunities for vendors to meet with current and new users of the various products and materials that are vital to bear conservation and research efforts, thus allowing face to face discussions while allowing attendees to see the latest developments in the field.

If you are interested in these opportunities, please contact the conference chairman.

Registered Vendors

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