In Ecuador, the Andean bear is listed as an endangered species, threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and human-bear conflicts. Bears use private lands, where they can be killed due to conflicts with people and their cattle. As such, private landowners and local communities must be involved in bear conservation in order to connect fragmented and potentially hazardous landscapes for bears.
This Bears in Mind funded project, by researchers from the USFQ (Universidad San Francisco de Quito), focuses on the conservation of a previously unstudied population of Andean bears in the highlands of northern Ecuador where recently, in a first camera trap bear monitoring, around 25 individuals where identified, and bear-cattle conflicts, probably the principal threat to bear conservation in the territory. The project will implement different mitigation activities in farms and areas (5) that had report conflicts in the past, and also identified through a previous evaluation process about human perceptions and presence of bears in the territory. These activities will include different ways on improving cattle management, from electric fencing, to provide safe and permanent water supply for cattle, in order to reduce their movements.