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Andean Bear Conservation

Support Andean bear conservation

Andean bears are the only surviving species of bear native to South America, and the last remaining of the short-faced bears in the world.

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Habitat loss has made this elusive bear vulnerable in the wild. As a founding member of Andean Bear Conservation Alliance, the Zoo has worked with field scientist Isaac Goldstein for more than 10 years to create and implement tools and programs to monitor bear populations. These methods are now being used in 15 protected areas and are the national standard in the Colombian National Park System.

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The challenge

Andean bears are the only surviving species of bear native to South America, and the last remaining of the short-faced bears in the world. Populations throughout their range are vulnerable due to habitat loss and conflict with humans. Experts predict that that Andean bears will be considered endangered in the next 20 years. Research on bear distribution and numbers is needed to design effective conservation strategies for this threatened species.

What we're doing

As a founding member of Andean Bear Conservation Alliance (ABCA), the Zoo has worked with field scientist Isaac Goldstein for more than 10 years to create and implement tools and programs to monitor bear populations. ABCA is a partnership initiative of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, in collaboration with other partners working to create range-wide conservation plans for the Andean bear.

ABCA is currently protecting Andean bears by:

  • Conducting Andean bear field research and explorations
  • Promoting capacity building to benefit Andean bear conservation
  • Facilitating collaborative conservation plans for Andean bears

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Future for Wildlife program protects Andean bears by:

  • Conducting field training workshops for conservation professionals
  • Developing range-wide conservation plans
  • Conducting field explorations and establishing monitoring programs

How you can help

Join our efforts to secure a future for Andean bears.

  • Make a donation toward Andean bear conservation at the top of this page.
  • Be a responsible consumer. Purchase shade-grown coffee and other sustainably produced products. Encourage others to do the same.

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Andean bear monitoring group

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Blog: Why are Andean bears a key project within Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Future for Wildlife program?


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Blog: A 2017 study shows Andean bears in Peru's most visited tourist destination, Machu Piccu.


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Conservation Training:
Scientists and National Park Service professionals are being trained to collect data on Andean bears in a consistent and systematic way throughout the Andean bear range.


Select photos courtesy of the Andean Bear Conservation Alliance

Your gift makes it all possible

Donate to Andean Bear Conservation

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