This project, supported by Bears in Mind since 2022, aims to assess the population and conservation status of the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in Calipuy National Reserve in the La Libertad Region of Peru, in partnership with SERNANP-RNC (National Parks Service). The area is situated at the southern-most end of the Peruvian western Andes and consists of dry montane forest and coastal desert habitat, a unique ecosystem occupied by the species with little known about its populations and their habitat use. As a result, these populations are not recognised in the IUCN’s species range. With frequent bear sightings by rangers and locals in Calipuy, the population potentially represents the most southern species population of the western Andes and one of the last links to the Central Andean populations.
By training rangers in the use of camera traps, and with the help of their local knowledge, the team from Instituto de Investigación en Ecología y Conservación (IIECCO) aims to estimate the occupancy of the Andean bear along environmental and anthropogenic gradients within the reserve as well as describe their activity patterns. This information will enable the team to understand how these bears use the unique habitat and inform management plans specifically for coastal bear populations.