Siew Te Wong
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Montana; CEO and founder, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Location: Malaysia (Borneo)
Research: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Species/Topic: Sun bear
Abstract: The Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), the world's smallest bear, faces many threats in its range in Southeast Asia. This project is a two-stage effort to provide for the care, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and captive bears, as well as much-needed education and awareness for the species. The first stage will create the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) to house and rehabilitate rescued bears in their natural habitat. The BSBCC will promote sun bear conservation by (1) creating capacity to rehabilitate and release suitable orphaned and ex-captive bears back into the wild; (2) providing an improved long-term living environment for captive bears that cannot be released; and (3) educating the public and raising awareness about this little-known species. The second stage of the project will create a forest release site in a protected area to allow for the soft release of rehabilitated bears and post-release monitoring.