American black bear with yearling in den, Minnesota_D Garshelis
The Bear Specialist Group is a volunteer conservation organization under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN is the largest conservation organization in the world, composed of a union of governmental and non-governmental organizations with global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Within the IUCN, the Species Survival Commission (SSC) collects, assesses, and disburses information on the status, threats, and conservation efforts related to each individual species. It is composed of 130 taxon-specific “Specialist Groups”, including two groups that deal specifically with bears. The Polar Bear Specialist Group focusses only on polar bears (sea bears), whereas the Bear Specialist Group overseas the other seven species (terrestrial bears) in the Family Ursidae: American black bear, Andean bear, Asiatic black bear, Brown bear, Sloth bear, Sun bear, and Giant panda.