Spectacled Bear Conservation
The goal of Spectacled Bear Conservation - Peru (SBC) is to ensure the conservation of the Spectacled bear in the dry forest habitat of northern Peru through scientific research and education, while working collaboratively with private land owners and rural communities to improve their social and economic well being through community outreach.
At the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society we use a combination of approaches that focus on partnering with the local villages (casarios) that are in prime spectacled bear habitat. Along with our community partnerships we use science and research to identify and understand the resources needed for spectacled bear conservation.
Many fundamental aspects of the ecology and behaviour of the spectacled bear remain unknown, making it difficult to develop realistic conservation plans for the species. Moreover, the typically shy nature of the spectacled bear and the cloud forest habitat they usually inhabit poses major challenges to field study. In the mountain foothills of northern coastal Peru, spectacled bears inhabit a dry forest habitat that provides a unique and perhaps unparalleled opportunity for study. This relatively open terrain provides visibility for observational studies, conditions are favourable for the detection and persistence of bear sign, and the arid environment concentrates bear activity around a few small, dispersed water holes. In a recently updated assessment of the status of spectacled bears, the IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group identified "unique and endangered habitats occupied by bears such as desert habitat" as a priority for study.
However, this area is under ever increasing pressure from agricultural encroachment from large scale sugar cane and rice plantations, free-ranging cattle and from subsistence maize cultivation in the uplands. There are also threats from extractive mining development. Habitat fragmentation and conversion of Peru’s northern dry forest is increasing at an alarming rate. It is because of this, coupled with the lack of knowledge on the ecology of the spectacled bear, and its designation by the IUCN as a priority area for study that Spectacled Bear Conservation - Peru (SBC) was established. The goal of SBC is to increase the knowledge of the spectacled bear through scientific research while protecting the local spectacled bear and other inhabitants of the dry forest. Additionally, the SBC will continue their work to improve the quality of life of the local residents and to foster their pride and enthusiasm for protecting this unique ecosystem.
Costs & Benefits
Whether your skills lie in conservation biology, wildlife or environmental management education, marketing, photography, or graphic design, we need your help! We are looking for volunteers in both Canada and Peru. Please contact Jessica for more information at Jessica@sbc-peru.org and learn how you can be part of the spectacled bear conservation team.
Volunteers will participate in spectacled bear research using GPS collars and remote camera traps.
Install remote camera traps
Collect SD cards and download photos
Observe wild spectacled bears to collect behavioural data
Collect scat samples
Search for active natal dens sites
Collect data on plant phenology
$1200 for 4 weeks, includes accommodation, three meals a day, bottled water coffee tea, transportation to research site from Conservation Centre and cultural side trips. Accommodation in adobe rooms, spacious, in beautiful setting. Tents at base camps. Sleeping bag and thermal vest required in both locations
Enthusiasm, adaptability, fit enough to cope in a challenging environment, works well with others. Respectful of other cultures, Spanish useful but not required. Volunteers aged between 18 and 55, however fitness level is more important than age.
Spectacled Bear Conservation-Peru Society
Centro de Conservation, Batan Grande, Lambayeque, NW Peru
Tel: 51 74 699870
Location: Lambayeque, NW Peru
Average cost per day:$40
Skills needed: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.