Andean Bear In Tree

Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru

Coexisting with Andean Bears in the heart of Peru

Partners: Conservacion Amazonica and Airbus Foundation

Key Species: Andean bear, puma, dwarf deer, Andean cat, Andean fox, oncilla, giant anteater, jaguar

2024 Award Winner 

In the heart of the majestic Manu Biosphere Reserve, where the rugged peaks of the Andes meet the lush expanse of the Amazon rainforest, a dedicated team embarks on a mission vital to the survival of one of South America's most iconic creatures: the Andean bear.

Nestled within the Kosñipata-Carabaya region, these elusive bears - vital contributors to reforestation and regulation of their environment - alongside puma and the diminutive dwarf deer, face an array of threats: habitat fragmentation, illegal poaching and climate change. But amidst these challenges, an innovative approach led by Conservacion Amazonica is blending cutting-edge technology with grassroots community engagement.

Mapping bear life: harnessing spatial data

Using the power of high-resolution satellite data donated by the Airbus Foundation, along with machine learning algorithms and on-the-ground wildlife tracking solutions, the team plans to map out intricate bear habitats, trace their movement patterns and monitor the ever-shifting landscape.

With technical support, funding and data analysis from Connected Conservation, this collaboration will enable the identification of crucial climate corridors (a connected stretch of habitat that facilitates the movement of species between larger areas of suitable habitat) and facilitate informed habitat protection and restoration strategies.

The team will also delve deeper into understanding Andean bear home ranges and their interactions with livestock. This comprehensive approach will allow for the pinpointing of conflict hotspots between Andean bears and livestock, ultimately facilitating the development of tailored conflict management strategies.

Cultivating conservation ambassadors

Through educational programs and training initiatives, the team will cultivate a new generation of conservation ambassadors, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in protecting their shared environment.

Scientific research and advocacy

The team will use this scientific research to accelerate advocacy efforts and influence policy, to catalyse legislative changes for designated climate corridors, where the species can thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Overall, the impacts of the Andean Bear Conservation Program will extend beyond the borders of the Kosñipata-Carabaya region. Their innovative community engagement models aim to inspire local environmental stewardship, fostering a culture of sustainable conservation practices on a global scale.

The Majestic Andes Mountain Range Is Rich In Minerals And Provides Freshwater For Millions Of People
The Dedicated Team At Conservacion Amazonica, Along With The Assistance Of Their Conservation Canine
Deforestation Has Led To A Significant Decrease In Andean Bear Populations And Is Expected To Worsen
Community Engagement Is A Cornerstone To The Project, Offering Educational And Training Initiatives For Local Stakeholders To Promote Conservation Stewardship

This high-resolution satellite imagery and funding will greatly enhance our mapping capabilities, directly aiding in the protection of Andean bear habitats.

Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya, Amazon Conservation's Wildlife Biologist

Species factfile

Andean bear

The Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the only bear species native to South America, inhabiting the Andes mountain range and surrounding forests. Known for its distinct facial markings resembling spectacles, the Andean Bear is an emblematic species of the region.

From the high-altitude cloud forests to the rugged mountain slopes, the Andean Bear roams its diverse habitat, playing a crucial role in ecosystem dynamics.

Historically, these bears ranged from Venezuela to Bolivia, adapting to various altitudes and habitats across their range. However, they now face significant threats, primarily due to habitat fragmentation, poaching and human encroachment.  Implementing protected areas, mitigating human-bear conflicts and promoting sustainable land management practices are crucial steps towards ensuring a future for the Andean Bear in its natural habitat


The Puma (Puma concolor), also known as the cougar or mountain lion, is a majestic big cat native to the Americas. With its sleek, muscular build and golden fur, the puma commands attention as one of the region's top predators.

With its exceptional athleticism and hunting prowess, the puma plays a vital role in regulating prey populations, thus maintaining ecosystem balance.

Historically, pumas roamed from the southern tip of South America to the northern reaches of Canada, showcasing their remarkable ability to inhabit a wide range of habitats. However, habitat loss, fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict pose significant threats to their survival. Conservation efforts on preserving vital habitats, reducing conflicts with humans and implementing sustainable wildlife management practices are essential for safeguarding the future of the puma.

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