August 2018: Spectacled Bear

Scientific Name Tremarctos ornatus
Alternate Name Andean Bear, Andean Short-Faced Bear, Boar (Male), Cub (Young), Jukumari, Oso de Anteojos, Oso Frontino, Oso Real, Short-Faced Bear, Sow (Female), Ukuku, Ukumari, Uumari
Collective Name Litter (Young), Pack, Sleuth, Sloth
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Ursidae Tremarctos
South America Forest, Shrubland, Grassland
0.7-2 m. 2.3-3 ft. 35-200 kg. 77-441 lb.
1.2-2 m. 3.9-6.6 ft. 20-36 yr. 10 yr. (Generation)
Vulnerable Solitary Diurnal
Decreasing Polygynous Omnivore
Fore Hind

The spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the last remaining short-faced bear and the only bear species native to South America. Known as the “Andean bear” as it’s almost entirely found in the Andes Mountains, these elusive and arboreal ursines spend much of their time in trees. Although omnivorous, 95% of the spectacled bear’s diet consists of plants, such as bromeliads and fruits. Listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Andean bear faces threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal hunting, and human-bear conflict.

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