|Scientific Name:||Tremarctos ornatus (F.G. Cuvier, 1825)|
Ursus ornatus F. G. Cuvier, 1825
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Vulnerable A3c+4c ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Velez-Liendo, X. & García-Rangel, S.|
|Reviewer(s):||Garshelis, D.L. & McLellan, B.N.|
|Contributor(s):||Viteri Espinel, M., Wallace, R., Rumiz, D.I., Pacheco, L., Lameda, I., Goldstein, I., Bracho, A.E., Zug, R., Amanzo, J., Castellanos, A., Marquez, R., Restrepo, H. & Hidalgo-Hermoso, E.|
A landscape assessment of habitat suitability and connectivity carried out for this assessment identified ~30% of habitat as unsuitable to sustain viable Andean Bear populations. Key patches for sustainable populations of Andean Bears were defined as areas larger than 400 km² and within 15 km of the nearest patch (Verboom et al. 2001, Velez-Liendo 2014). At the national level, Venezuela showed the greatest projected loss of key patches (70%), with only two of these key patches available to sustain its bear population. Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are projected to lose 31%, 29% and 27% respectively, and Bolivia 19%. Causes of this loss of key patch habitat is associated with human development activities that have not ceased, and in some areas may increase by allowing oil exploration and exploitation within some protected areas. Expansion of the agricultural frontier, inadequate agricultural practices and land/agrarian reforms; mining and oil exploitation, conversion of land to coca crops and the drug trade, have been the main drivers of the loss and degradation of Andean bear habitat (Ataroff and Rada 2000, Palminteri et al. 2001, Armenteras et al. 2003, 2011; Rodríguez et al. 2003, Kattan et al. 2004, Yerena et al. 2007, Velez-Liendo 2010, Dávalos et al. 2011, García-Rangel 2012, Portillo-Quintero et al. 2012, Sánchez-Mercado et al. 2014). Three main data sources were used to map these human intrusions on Andean Bear habitat: disturbed areas (roads, settlements, agriculture fields, etc.) from Josse et al. (2009), forest cover loss derived from satellite imagery for the period 2000-2013 (Hansen et al. 2013) and 8 years (2000-2008) of fire activities from MODIS Rapid Response System data sets (http://modis-fire.umd.edu/index.php) (Velez-Liendo 2010; note: data and imagery were from LANCE FIRMS operated by the NASA/GSFC/Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) with funding provided by NASA/HQ).
Andean Bear species’ experts in the Bear Specialist Group considered all of these threats and provided estimates of rates of decline. Experts estimated rates of decline of >30% for each of the five range countries in the next 30 years and also in a 30-year time window overlapping the present (2000–2030). This qualifies the species for Vulnerable, under criteria A3 and A4. There is also a reasonable likelihood that the global population consists of <10,000 mature adults (given a total population of <20,000 bears), a condition under criteria C1, but since the rate of future population decline is only suspected based on rates of habitat loss or alteration, the nature of the evidence is insufficient (i.e., not directly estimated) to categorize the species under C1.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
The Andean Bear is the only extant bear species in South America and is endemic to the Tropical Andes (Kattan et al. 2004; Ríos-Uzeda et al. 2006, 2007; Viteri 2007; Viteri and Waits 2009; García-Rangel 2012). The distribution of this species is long (ca 4,600 km) and narrow (ca 200-650 km) in the mountains from Venezuela to Bolivia (Peyton et al. 1998, Yerena 1998, Peyton 1999, Rodríguez et al. 2003, Kattan et al. 2004). From North to South, Andean bears are found in Sierra de Perijá and Cordillera de Mérida in Venezuela; the Occidental, Central, and Oriental Andean mountain ranges of Colombia; both Eastern and Western slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes; across the three Peruvian Andean mountain ranges, including a portion of the North Pacific coastal desert; and in the Eastern slope of the Tropical Andes in Bolivia (García-Rangel 2012). The possible presence of the bear in Panama was reported by Hershkovitz (1957), but recent surveys in the area did not find evidence to support this claim (Goldstein et al. 2008). Recently, presence of Andean bears in Northern Argentina has been confirmed by Cosse et al. (2014) through genetics. However, given that these presence points are up to 300 km south (straight line) of the known most-southerly population in Bolivia, they may represent vagrant individuals rather than resident populations.
Native:Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Expert knowledge, data extrapolations, genetic analysis, mark-recapture, radio tracking and sign surveys, as well as ecological modelling have been used to estimate population sizes and densities of Andean Bears (Peyton 1984, 1999; Yerena 1994; Peyton et al. 1998; Cuesta and Suárez 2001; Ruiz-García 2003; Kattan et al. 2004; Viteri 2007; Ríos-Uzeda et al. 2007; Velez-Liendo 2010; Garshelis 2011; García-Rangel 2012). Wild populations are believed to be on decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and illegal killing (Rodríguez et al. 2003, Kattan et al. 2004, Yerena et al. 2007, Sánchez-Mercado et al. 2008, Velez-Liendo et al. 2009, Velez-Liendo and Paisley 2010, García-Rangel 2012). National assessments applying different approaches estimated 1,100-1,600 bears in Venezuela (Ruiz-García 2003), 3,000-6,000 in Colombia (Ruiz-García 2003), 1,200-2,000 in Ecuador (Cuesta and Suárez 2001, Viteri 2007), ~5,000 bears in Peru (Peyton 1999), and ~3,000 bears in Bolivia (Velez-Liendo 2010). These rather crude countrywide estimates, yielding a range-wide estimate of 13,000-18,000 bears (5-7 bears/100 km² over its 260,000 km² range), are reasonably consistent with three empirically-derived mark-recapture (re-sight) density estimates of 3-8 bears/100 km² (Viteri 2007, Ríos-Uzeda et al. 2007, S. Molina, pers. comm). It should be cautioned, however, that all abundance and density estimates for this species have known biases, so consistency among the estimates is not verification of their accuracy (Garshelis 2011).
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:|
Andean Bear altitudinal range extends from 200 to 4,750 m above sea level, with an area of occupancy covering approximately 260,000 km² along the Tropical Andes. The lower limit is on the Western Peruvian range; the upper limit is within Carrasco National Park in Bolivia (Peyton 1980, 1984, 1999; Goldstein 1990, Rodríguez-Rodríguez and Cadena 1991, Rodríguez et al. 2003, Sánchez-Mercado 2008, Figueroa and Stucchi 2009, Velez-Liendo 2010, García-Rangel 2012, Appleton et al. 2013).
|Generation Length (years):||10|
|Use and Trade:||
Some bears are killed for cultural and medical purposes. The extent of commercial trade is unknown but likely limited.
It is likely that all ecosystems associated with Andean Bears will exhibit reductions in their extension. With an increment of +0.74 C in the last century, and a projected increase of 4.3 +/- 0.7 C by 2100 (IPCC 2013), extensive changes in habitat are expected: the Tropical high altitude grasslands is the most fragile ecosystem, with an estimated loss of 30% (Tovar et al. 2013) due to the lack of upslope area for migration. Projected reduction in annual rainfall (IPCC 2013) is likely to affect species highly dependent on humidity such as epiphytic bromeliads (Colwell et al. 2008, Svenning and Condit, 2008, Tewsksbury et al. 2008). Tropical dry and moist shrublands are likely to lose 24% of their area (Tovar et al. 2013), mainly due to a significant variation in the number of dry months (IPCC 2013), while a loss of 18% in area was estimated for Tropical moist lowland and montane forests and Tropical dry forests due to upslope displacements. Furthermore, the extensive (and intensive) land use by human activities in Paramo grasslands, are likely to encroach even further, affecting not only the biodiversity associated to this ecosystem, but also the ecosystem services this biome provides to the region.
The Andean Bear has been listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN since 1982 and has been included in CITES Appendix I since 1975. A total of 58 protected areas have been established across the Andean Bear distribution, but threats remain within their boundaries with most of these areas being no more than “Paper Parks” lacking adequate budget and staff (Hardner 2008; Sánchez-Mercado et al. 2008; Monsalve Dam et al. 2010; García-Rangel 2011, 2012). Although efforts to establish, maintain and connect old and new protected areas along the bear’s range have been carried out (e.g., Vilcabamba-Amboro corridor between Peru and Bolivia and the interconnected system of protected areas in the Venezuela Andes), large portions of the bear’s habitat are still unprotected and poaching has not been controlled (Yerena 1994, 1998;Yerena et al. 2003, Kattan et al. 2004, Surkin et al. 2010, Yerena and García-Rangel 2010, Hoffman et al. 2011, Sánchez-Mercado et al. 2014). Recently (2007-2014), a number of important steps towards Andean Bear conservation have been undertaken across its distribution including: (1) promotion of Andean Bear conservation by local education programmes and research projects carried out by conservation groups, NGOs, zoological parks, universities, research institutes and government agencies in Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela (Figueroa and Stucchi 2009, Albarracín 2010, García-Rangel 2012). (2) The publication of national action plans for Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador (Sánchez-Mercado 2008, Castellanos et al. 2010, Monsalve Dam et al. 2010), and a national assessment for Bolivia (Velez-Liendo, et al. 2009). Unfortunately priority actions highlighted by some of these programs have not been undertaken. Such is the case for the three key areas identified for connectivity conservation within the Venezuelan Action Plan (Yerena et al. 2007).
|Errata reason:||The original version of this assessment was published with an older version of the distribution map. This errata assessment uses the updated distribution map.|
|Citation:||Velez-Liendo, X. & García-Rangel, S. 2017. Tremarctos ornatus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22066A123792952.Downloaded on 19 July 2018.|
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