In 2012, Bears in Mind started supporting research into the occurrence and distribution of the brown bear in Ghizer district. The Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) carries out the research in cooperation with the province of Gilgit Baltistan. The data on the bears are gathered by means of camera trapping (recordings made with hidden cameras), by mapping bear tracks such as paw prints, scratching and rub marks, and by collecting fecal samples for DNA testing. Interviews with the local community will hopefully provide more insight into bear-human conflicts and poaching. The commercial trade with China is very appealing to Pakistan and other countries in the Himalayan region, such as Nepal.
The results of the research will be translated into a draft protection plan for brown bears in Ghizer district. In addition, the Snow Leopard Foundation is expanding their nature conservation activities to include these large carnivores. The local people are actively involved in the activities, which foster mutual respect and make protecting the bears a logical step. The results of the research will be published in scientific journals and a science magazine.