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Hope for the last lowland Bears in Colombia

Recent records of the spectacled bear in ProAves reserves warn about the need to conserve the rainforests with the creation and strengthening of protected areas and the inclusion of the surrounding community.

The ecosystem of the Colombian Magdalena Medio region has undergone a very rapid degradation resulting from human activities such as farming, mining and deforestation, activities increasingly demanding more nature resources. Such threats appear to have restricted distribution and, in some cases, populations of the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) the only bear in South America have become extinct.

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Record at the Pauxi Pauxi Bird Reserve

For this reason, ProAves has taken the initiative to establish reserves for perpetual conservation of some of these areas of distribution of the spectacled bear in the lowlands.

Recently we achieved important records with cameras trap of an individual in the Pauxi pauxi Bird Reserve, at an elevation of 1200 m and 3 individuals (mother and 2 cubs) in El Paujil Reserve at 700 meters above the sea. Although historically it is natural to find these bears at these elevations and areas, currently, the ecosystem of lowland Colombia, in the Magdalena River valley, has undergone drastic changes with the loss of the original vegetation.

Currently there is little information about the ecology of these populations in rainforests or lowland forests therefore it becomes essential to continue monitoring and coordinating the management plans of natural corridors between the Andean rainforest and moorland.

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Record at El Paujil Bird Reserve

In this work we found that the species suffers many pressures in the buffer zones of ProAves reserves, so we are looking for the cooperation of the local community with the purpose of generating conservation strategies such as conservation easements, conservation corridors, restoration and reforestation programs that transcend the boundaries of protected areas and include areas where the land use is farmland and livestock, places that could be used by the spectacled bear traveling between patches of rainforest areas

This threatened mammal requires our attention and support, between us all we can save it from extinction.

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