Today is already the first day of December 2008. Sun bear still remains the least know bear in the world. Almost everyone know about bears. They know polar bears, grizzly bears, American black bears and giant pandas because these are the bears that they seen in the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel, movies, advertisements, bill board, news articles or any kind of mass media you can think of. A small portion of the people know Andean or spectacle bears from South American, sloth bears from India, and Asiatic black bears from Asia. However, only very few people know about sun bears. This is a sad fact.
One of the biggest reasons for sun bear remains so little known is the lack of biological studies on this species. Until now, there are only 3 ecological studies that involved trapping and radio-collaring of wild sun bear in the world. One of them is my study base in Danum Valley Field Center and Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo. I did my Master of Science (MSc) project on studying the ecology of sun bear from 1998 – 2000, and then continued the study, by looking at the effects of logging on sun bear and bearded pigs for my doctorate degree.
Here are lists of publications with PDF from my M.Sc. studies:
Other publications, reports and articles from my sun bear works:
The second person who studied sun bear and know more about sun bear than anyone on earth is Gabriella Fredriksson. She is the co-chair of the sun bear expert team of the Bear Specialist Group/IUCN, has been working for many years on sun bear conservation issues in Kalimantan, Indonesia and has been involved with the development of the first sun bear education center in the region.
Currently Gabriella is assisting with the redesign of forest and conservation management for the province of Aceh (Sumatra), in a team established by the Governor of Aceh. Aceh with 3 million ha of contiguous forest has probably the most viable habitat and populations of sun bears and many other threatened species in Indonesia (orangutans, elephants and tigers).
I found this newspaper article written some 10 years ago when she first attempted to reintroduce 5 adult sun bears into the wild: “In Borneo's Fading Jungles, a Grim Tale of Wildlife.”
Here is a list of her publications on sun bears: