Habitat loss plays a role in the decline of spectacled bears as 30% of their habitat has been lost since 1990 and 3-6% more is lost each year.
As with many species, loss of habitat plays a major role in the population decline of spectacled bears. Habitat destruction and fragmentation have been rife in the area that this bear inhabits and are likely to have been major causes of its decline in numbers. Since spectacled bears rely on different habitats to produce their food supply during different seasons, it is essential to preserve large areas to ensure that the bears have a sufficient supply of food throughout the year.
30% of the Andean bear’s habitat has been lost since the 1990s and 3-6% more habitat is lost each year. In Ecuador, alone, there has been an estimated 40% loss of suitable habitat in the bears’ natural range. This creates small isolated island populations of bears. About 30% of the spectacled bear’s habitat has been deemed unsuitable to sustain viable Andean bear populations.
Mining, road development, and oil exploration are also increasing threats to the spectacled bear’s habitat.
• Image | © Tambako The Jaguar, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Fenner, 2012; Fernando del Moral; Goldstein, et al., 2006; LaFee, 2009; Naranjo & Hernández; Peralvo, Cuesta, & van Manen, 2005; Servheen, Herrero, & Peyton, 1999; Velez-Liendo & García-Rangel, 2017)