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Why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction

The spectacled bear (Andean bear or South American bear) is one of the eight species of bears that inhabit different corners of the world. At present, about 18,000 individuals of this species live in the wild in South America, its native region. Like many other species of animals that live in the biodiverse and surprising South America, the spectacled bears sadly face an unpredictable future. Dependent for their survival both on the climatic conditions and on the flora and fauna of the Andean forests in which they live, recent sudden changes in these environmental variables have caused an increase in the vulnerability of this species.

Continue reading this AgroCorrn article if you want to learn more about this surprising species of ursid and find out why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction .

You may also be interested in: Why the brown bear is in danger of extinction
  1. Why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction – causes
  2. Spectacled bear characteristics
  3. How to help the spectacled bear to avoid its extinction

Why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction – causes

Currently, the IUCN Red List lists the spectacled bear as a species in a vulnerable state (Vu) of danger of extinction , although in some regions it is already in a state of danger of extinction, due to different causes . Among these causes, the following stand out:

  • The loss of its natural habitat in the Andean region of South America (specifically in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador), mainly due to both the fragmentation and deforestation of the forests in which it lives.
  • The destruction of the tropical forests in which it inhabits due to the increasingly devastating urban and agricultural growth, where different public works projects, such as the construction of bridges, roads, monoculture areas for cocoa or dedicated to livestock, lead to the drastic reduction in the population level of spectacled bears. Despite the protected areas that keep the spectacled bear in good survival conditions, many scientists say that since the total population of this species is already so small, it is very likely that they will disappear completely and become extinct.
  • Due to climate change , spectacled bears suffer from the loss of quantity and quality of their food in the forests, so they choose to look for food in areas close to the communities of human beings that live in the area, resulting in injuries or even deaths. in some of those confrontations with people.

Faced with this alarming situation, various organizations and institutions focused on the conservation and protection of the biodiversity of South America, have developed projects and measures to prevent the extinction of the spectacled bear. We will see some of these measures later.

Spectacled bear characteristics

Commonly known as the spectacled bear , Tremarctos ornatus is a majestic and impressive South American bear that reaches 1.8 meters in height and 140 kilograms in weight. Its anatomical characteristic that stands out the most, which gives it its common name, is the whitest fur around the eyes, nose and cheeks, similar to the presence of large glasses on its head, in contrast to the rest. of his dark body fur. The local and aboriginal populations of the South American continent refer to Tremarctos ornatus by other common names such as frontin bear, Andean bear, ucumari and jukumari .

Spectacled bear taxonomy

  • Animalia Kingdom
  • Filo: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Orden: Carnivora
  • Suborden: Caniformia
  • Superfamily: Arctoidea
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Subfamilia: Tremarctidae
  • Genus: Tremarctos
  • Specificity, Tremarctos ornaments

Like other species of ursids, spectacled bears follow an omnivorous diet , although with a greater preference for consumption towards foods of plant origin, thus becoming the bear with the highest herbivorous habits, after the giant panda ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca ).

Spectacled bear habitat

Taking as a reference another of its common names, the Andean bear, we can get an idea of ​​where the spectacled bear lives: the Andes Mountains . This impressive mountain range, occupies regions from the north of Argentina to the west of Venezuela, passing through Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. It is there, in the humid forests, paramos and semi-arid Andean areas, where the spectacled bear grows and reproduces.

In these other AgroCorrn articles we offer you to learn more about this type of bear and its current state, as well as about other animals that are at risk in these countries that are the habitat of this ursid:

Reproduction of the spectacled bear

With solitary and diurnal habits , spectacled bears make use of an effective and surprising intraspecific communication based on marking by means of smells (pheromones) and scratches on tree trunks to recognize the presence of other individuals of the same species and thus find a reproductive pair. After copulation and fertilization (generally between the months of March to October), the gestation period lasts about 6 or 8 months, after which the females usually give birth to two cubs. Unlike the vast majority of species of ursids, spectacled bears do not usually go through periods of seasonal dormancy or hibernation, during the cold winter months, so the females simply prepare a comfortable nest for the arrival of the new individuals of the species into the world, without having a cave or den to protect them from possible predators and / or unfavorable environmental conditions. .

How to help the spectacled bear to avoid its extinction

The spectacled bear plays a fundamental role in the ecological balance of its natural habitat, in which it contributes directly to the conservation of the flora and fauna of these Andean ecosystems. Therefore, it is essential to join forces and initiatives, both locally, nationally and internationally, to save the spectacled bear from its possible extinction . To do this, some of the spectacle bear protection measures that are already being carried out are:

  • Reforestation programs in which the communities surrounding the natural habitats of the spectacled bear contribute and support various processes of recovery of the native flora and fauna of areas that have previously been deforested and partially or totally destroyed.
  • The Bolivian project “Conservation through coexistence: Andean bears and people” , promotes the preservation of Andean bears by raising awareness of the local populations of people with whom they live, informing them and proposing economic alternatives and livestock strategies to avoid confrontations that can end the life of the spectacled bears.
  • Carrying out population studies of Andean bears with the aim of knowing and monitoring the exact number of individuals that live, as well as knowing the specific occupation area and the different migration routes of these large mammals.

If you want to know more about what you can do more directly, we recommend reading this other article on Why it is important to protect endangered animals , which explains the reasons and also offers tips to contribute to your protection.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why the spectacled bear is in danger of extinction , we recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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