Bear with us!

December 22, 2006

Spectacled bear climbing a treeAt the end of last year we had a spectacled bear sighting at our Wayqecha Research Station. Two of our staff workers where doing maintenance work in a trail near the station when a strong, big, messy-coated bear slowly approached them. Our staff stood still, nervous, but still. The bear in turn, was quietly chewing a chunk of Bromelia sp. 5 meters was all that separated our staff from that powerful, robust but yet adorable beast.

The spectacled bear or Tremarctos ornatus is an endangered species that can only be found in a few countries of South America. Although this type of bear is adaptable and can be found in many types of habitats, like rainforests, cloud forests, and even in desert lands, the rapid loss of habitat has been the main threat that pushed this bear species population close to extinction.

Over the past decade or so, conservation programs have made a tremendous effort to protect this animal’s habitat and have contributed to a rebound in its population size. However, numbers are still very low and the spectacled bear continues to be listed under the IUCN Red List.

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