The Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the only South American bear species, and is endemic to the narrow strip of cloud forests, dry forests, and high grasslands that stretch along the Andes. Also known as spectacled bears due to their distinctive eye markings, Andean bears are important keystone species throughout their range. However, habitat loss and fragmentation are increasingly threatening these bears, bringing them into closer contact and conflict with people. Bears are also killed in retaliation for damaged crops and livestock, and are currently listed as ‘Vulnerable to Extinction’ by the IUCN. Unfortunately, little is known about the ecology and distribution of this elusive species, which has impeded the development of appropriate management plans.
To help protect the Andean bear, ZCOG has partnered with Armando Castellanos of the Andean Bear Foundation in Ecuador. The Foundation helps rescue, rehabilitate, and relocate bears that have come into contact with local communities. Castellanos is also conducting field research in Ecuador's Cayambe Coca National Park in order to improve scientific knowledge about bear ecology and inform appropriate conservation strategies. ZCOG provides critical funds to support Castellanos’ field research, and also has purchased radio collars to aid field research activities.
All photos courtesy of Armando Castellanos and the Andean Bear Foundation.
YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE ANDEAN BEAR!
FROM THE FIELD
Click on the below-listed links to learn more about the Andean Bear Program.
Field video: Andean bear monitoring in Papallacta, Ecuador.
Field video: Andean bear capture attempt in Papallacta, Ecuador.
HOW TO HELP
Support is needed to protect the Andean bear and its habitat, and you can help make a difference!
DONATE NOW. Your contribution will be used to purchase GPS collares and sateliite tracking data to help monitor Andean bears in and around the Cayambe Coca National Park in Papallacta, Ecuador.
Encourage your zoo to dedicate a Quarters for Conservation kiosk to help raise funds for the Andean Bear Program. CLICK HERE to learn how facilities like the Greenville Zoo are already contributing to ZCOG conservation programs in this manner.
Raise funds for Andean Bear conservation with every purchase at Amazon.com! Simpy use the ZCOG link to access the AmazonSmile program and a portion of your purchase will be donated to help promote Andean Bear conservation. It's easy, it's free and it helps protect Andean Bears and their habitat!
BECOME A PROGRAM SUPPORTER and receive an opportunity to visit the Cayambe Coca National Park in Papallacta, Ecuador and assist Armando Castellanos in his Andean bear field monitoring efforts.
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