Eco Tuesday: Andean Bear Conservation
May 18, 2010
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The Andean Bear Conservation Project is based in Ecuador. Their goal is to save the Andean (Spectacled) Bear Tremarctos ornatus from extinction through in-field scientific studies and the rehabilitation and release of captive bears.
They monitor both wild and rehabilitated bears, by direct observation and through the use of radio tracking equipment. Their aim is to improve human understanding of these gentle creatures by gathering data on their diet, behaviours and social interaction.
Andean bears are an endangered species vulnerable to extinction and there are thought to be fewer than 20,000 in the wild. In order to save the bears, they work in several different aspects of bear conservation.
- Bear Rescue is unfortunately necessary when local people illegally take bears into captivity – usually cubs orphaned when their mothers are shot.
- Bear Rehab & Release rehabilitates and liberates rescued Andean bears so that they can go on to breed and strengthen the genetic diversity of this endangered bear species.
- Bear Capture & Tracking captures and radio-collars bears to track their movements and understand more about their needs, in order to produce an effective bear conservation plan.
- Community Involvement includes the local community, working with communities living in bear country to encourage them in habitat conservation and protecting the bears.
- Bear Sanctuary will provide a home for bears which are bears too old, habituated or disabled to return back to the wild.
Time is running out for the Andean Bear. The tranquil cloud forests of the Andean mountain ranges, where these bears live, are rapidly disappearing. Without a better understanding of the bears’ needs there is no way to implement a strategy for their survival.
The Andean Bear Foundation is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit in the USA. They are a small, grass-roots operation with little funding, depending on volunteers and donations to survive. Visit their website to see how you can help these gentle little bears.
Andean Bear Conservation Project