Considered a father of bear biology, Dr. Charles Jonkel has been a biologist and researcher for over 50 years. His work ranges from researching brown, black and polar bears to arctic ecology, teaching conservation-based field courses to the general public, university classes, and wildlife research techniques.
Dr. Jonkel holds a wildlife degree and an MSC in wildlife biology from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in zoology with a wildlife emphasis. Dr. Jonkel’s Ph.D. research was on the ecology and biology of black bears in the spruce fir forests of western Montana.
As the result of his successful work on black bears, the Canadian government sought him out to lead their groundbreaking research on polar bears, one of the first field studies ever conducted on wild polar bears. He and others set up the Polar Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), creating a framework for cooperation among the five countries with polar bear populations. This group became the model for all IUCN specialist groups.
After nearly a decade working on polar bears, Dr. Jonkel returned to Montana where he taught wildlife biology at the University of Montana. His Border Grizzly Project was one of the most comprehensive studies of grizzly bears and their habitat requirements ever conducted. It helped to shape habitat, quota systems, and forest management policies in the West and to establish a better understanding of cumulative human impacts on grizzly bears.
Dr. Jonkel is the Co-founder and Scientific Advisor of Great Bear Foundation.
Maine Bear Hunting Reform Narrowly Rejected by Voters
Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting expressed disappointment about the election results on Question 1, but thanked more than a quarter million Mainers who voted to end bear baiting, hounding, and trapping.
"We are grateful to so many Maine voters for supporting this proposed reform, and we look forward to working with them and with ‘no’ and non-voters to outlaw the practices of bear hounding and trapping, because we believe there’s substantial agreement on that issue."