The worrisome conservation status of ecosystems within the distribution range of the Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae) in Ecuador

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José Guerrero-Casado
Ramón H. Zambrano


The distribution range of Spectacled Bear in Ecuador has been strongly fragmented owing to human activities, thus studying the conservation status of the remaining patches in which this species inhabits is essential to ensure its conservation. We performed a descriptive analysis of the conservation status of the ecosystems that form part of the Spectacled Bear distribution range in Ecuador, using values of five indicators (fragmentation, connectivity, threat, vulnerability and fragility) provided by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment.  Moreover, we compared the conservation status between scrubland & pastures and evergreen forest ecosystem according to the five indicators. Overall, the Spectacled Bear distribution in Ecuador is covered by a greater surface area of ecosystems classified with a medium level of fragmentation (58.8%), low connectivity (45.1%), high fragility (45.6%), high (38.2%) and medium threat (39.2%), as well as high (33.7%) and medium (33.1 %) vulnerability.  Scrubland and pastures ecosystems had worse conservation status than evergreen forests, with 98% of their surface classified as having low or very low connectivity, 77.3% as high fragility and 77.4% as high threat.  These results showed the worrisome conservation status of the ecosystems shaping the distribution range of Spectacled Bear in Ecuador, particularly the scrubland and pastures, and therefore, a wider national strategy (inside and outside the limits of the bear distribution range) should be applied to ensure the preservation of these ecosystems. 


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Guerrero-Casado, J. and Zambrano, R.H. 2020. The worrisome conservation status of ecosystems within the distribution range of the Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ursidae) in Ecuador. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 10 (Jul. 2020), 16204–16209. DOI:


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