Our Beautiful World

Spectacled Bear, Tremarctos ornatus

Spectacled Bear  Brillebjørn  Brilbeer    Ours à lunettes Brillenbär
Orso andino  Brillebjørn    Oso de anteojos Glasögonbjörn


© www.wildanimalsonline.com

The specatacled bear is South America's only bear species. It faces an uncertain future due to loss of habitat.

The male is a little heavier than a human man, and the weight is about 130 kilo.
High as a normal man, 180 cm. Female weighs only around 50 kilo.
It is covered by a black fur, but white spots at the eyes makes it look like wearing glasses.

Life Cycle
Cubs are born with their eyes shut and weigh about 300g. Eyes are opened after the first month.
Cubs are black in colour and already show the white or yellowish 'spectacle' markings.
The young grow fairly quickly and at 180 days they already weigh 10kg.
Cubs remain with the mother for at least one year after birth.
Spectacled bears are estimated to live for just over 20 years.

ARKive video - Male spectacled bear following female
Spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus, Male following female
Granada Wild, London

Spectacled bears have an omnivorous diet, although they are fairly specialized in fruit and different
parts of several plants. They feed high up in trees as well as on plants growing on the ground.
When ripe fruit is not available, bears live off fibrous parts of plants such as bromeliad hearts,
soft parts of palms, orchid bulbs and even tree bark. In addition, they eat insects, small rodents and birds.

However, it happens from time to time that it can take domestic animals, i.e. Lama or Alpakka
but since the bears are very few, they do little damage. (Our comments)

Text from wwf.panda.org

Apart from this, it is the only bear to be found in South America, and at the same time - the bear about
which we know the least. Of course then, it is very seldom seen. In the Sangay nationalpark
it can be found below 3.000 m asl.

One scientist spent 7 years moving through dense forests to study the bear, and during that time
he only observed EIGHT bears.

WWF har en glimrende side om 'brillebjørnen'

Current Population and Distribution
The spectacled bear is found from Venezuela to Northern Argentina, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
and Bolivia. According to some researchers, the greatest number of bears is to be found on the borders
between Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Recent estimated population sizes for most areas are small, with a total estimate for the Northern Andes
(excluding most of Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina) comprised anywhere between 6,000 and
10,000 individuals.
Text from wwf.panda.org

ARKive video - Spectacled bear family feeding
Spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus, family feeding
BBC Natural History Unit

Main threats
Loss and fragmentation of the species habitat is due to the construction of roads, the destruction of forests
for illicit crops such as coca and opium poppy, and the use of grazing areas for cattle farming.
Protected areas conserving bear habitats and some of their populations are not large enough for the species'
survival throughout its range.

Hunting is one of the major causes of population reduction of this species. Local inhabitants kill bears for
diverse reasons, including subsistence hunting, protection against attacks to livestock and crops
(especially maize), fear of the animal due to cultural reasons, It is calculated that around 200 bears are
hunted down each year in the region.
Text from wwf.panda.org

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