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

Main Article Content

José Guerrero-Casado
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2537-3116
Ramón H. Zambrano
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6190-3826

Abstract

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. 


 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
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:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5517.12.10.16204-16209.
Section
Communications

References

Armenteras, D., F. Gast & H. Villareal (2003). Andean forest fragmentation and the representativeness of protected natural areas in the eastern Andes, Colombia. Biological Conservation 113(2): 245–256. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00359-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00359-2

Brooks, T., R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. Da Fonseca, A.B. Rylands, W.R. Konstant, P. Flick, J. Pilgrim, S. Oldfield, G. Magin, C. Hilton‐Taylor (2002). Habitat loss and extinction in the hotspots of biodiversity. Conservation Biology 16(4): 909–923. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00530.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00530.x

Cardillo, M., G.M. Mace, K.E. Jones, J. Bielby, O.R.P. Bininda-Emonds, W. Sechrest, C.D.L. Orme, A. Purvis (2005). Multiple causes of high extinction risk in large mammal species. Science 309(5738): 1239–1241. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1116030 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1116030

Castellanos, A. (2011). Andean Bear home ranges in the Intag region, Ecuador. Ursus 22(1): 65–73. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-10-00006.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-10-00006.1

Castellanos, A., M. Altamirano & G. Tapia (2005). Ecología y comportamiento de osos andinos reintroducidos en la reserva biológica Maquipucuna, Ecuador: implicaciones en la conservación. Revista Politécnica 26(1): 198–209.

Castellanos, A., R. Cisneros, C.F. Cuesta, R. Narváez, L. Suárez & D.G. Tirira (2011). Oso andino (Tremarctos ornatus). In: Libro Rojo de los mamíferos del Ecuador. Fundación Mamíferos y Conservación, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador & Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador, Quito, 399pp. http://librorojo.mamiferosdelecuador.com/lista-de-especies-/carnivora/ursidae/597-tremarctos-ornatus-corto.html

Clark, M.R. (2008). Using the Spectacled Bear as a Conservation Tool in the Condor Bioreserve, Ecuador. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 18(2–3): 223–236. https://doi.org/10.1300/J091v18n02_10 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1300/J091v18n02_10

Crespo-Gascón, S. & J. Guerrero-Casado (2019). The role of the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) as an umbrella species for Andean ecoregions. Wildlife Research 46(2): 176–183. https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18056 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18056

Crooks, K.R., C.L. Burdett, D.M. Theobald, C. Rondinini & L. Boitani (2011). Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 366(1578): 2642–2651. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0120 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0120

Cuesta, F., M.F. Peralvo & F.T. Van Manen (2003). Andean Bear Habitat Use in the Oyacachi River Basin, Ecuador. Ursus 14(2): 198–209.

Demay, S.M., D.A. Roon, J.L. Rachlow & R. Cisneros (2014). Selective foraging on bromeliads by Andean bears in the Ecuadorian paamo. Ursus 25(2): 139–147. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-14-00022.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-14-00022.1

Dobson, A., D. Lodge, J. Alder, G. Cumming & J. Keymer (2006). Habitat loss, trophic collapse, and the decline of ecosystem services. Ecology 87(8): 1915–1924. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2006)87[1915:HLTCAT]2.0.CO;2

Ernest, E.M., H. Haanes, S. Bitanyi, R.D. Fyumagwa, P.L. Msoffe, G. Bjørnstad & K.H. Røed (2011). Influence of habitat fragmentation on the genetic structure of large mammals: evidence for increased structuring of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) within the Serengeti ecosystem. Conservation Genetics 13(2): 381–391. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-011-0291-0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-011-0291-0

Fahrig, L. (2003). Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 34: 487–515. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.34.011802.132419 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.34.011802.132419

Filipczyková, E., I.M.A. Heitkönig, A. Castellanos, W. Hantson & S.M.J.G. Steyaert (2017). Marking behavior of Andean bears in an Ecuadorian cloud forest: a pilot study. Ursus 27(2): 122–128. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSU-D-16-00002.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2192/URSU-D-16-00002.1

IUCN (2018). Mapping Standards and Data Quality for the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Red List Technical Working Group, 30pp.

Kansky, R. & A.T. Knight (2014). Key factors driving attitudes towards large mammals in conflict with humans. Biological Conservation 179: 93–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.09.008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.09.008

Kattan, G., O.L. Hernández, I. Goldstein, V. Rojas, O. Murillo, C. Gómez, Restrepo, H. & F. Cuesta (2004). Range fragmentation in the Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus in the northern Andes. Oryx 38(2): 155–163. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605304000298 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605304000298

Michalski, F. & C.A. Peres (2005). Anthropogenic determinants of primate and carnivore local extinctions in a fragmented forest landscape of southern Amazonia. Biological Conservation 124(3): 383–396. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.01.045 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.01.045

Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador (2013). Sistema de Clasificación de los Ecosistemas del Ecuador Continental. Subsecretaría de Patrimonio Natural, Quito, Ecuador, 232pp.

Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador (2015a). Fragilidad de los Ecosistemas del Ecuador Continental. Quito, Ecuador, 52pp.

Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador (2015b). Fragmentación de los ecosistemas del Ecuador Continental. Subsecretaría de Patrimonio Natural, Quito, Ecuador, 22pp.

Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador (2017). Conectividad de los Ecosistemas del Ecuador Continental. Proyecto Sistema Único de Información Ambiental, Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de Bosques, Quito, Ecuador, 26pp.

Peralvo, M.F., F. Cuesta & F. van Manen (2005). Delineating priority habitat areas for the conservation of Andean Bears in northern Ecuador. Ursus 16(2): 222–233. https://doi.org/10.2192/1537-6176(2005)016[0222:DPHAFT]2.0.CO;2

Peyton, E., E. Yerena, D.I. Rumiz, J. Jorgenson & J. Orejuela (1998). Status of wild Andean Bears and policies for their management. Ursus 10: 87–100.

Rivas, C.A., R.M. Navarro-Cerillo & J. Guerrero-Casado (2020). Dry forest is more threatened but less protected than evergreen forest in Ecuador’s coastal region. Environmental Conservation 47(2): 79–93. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892920000077 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892920000077

Ross, C., S. Fildes, A. Millington, C. Ross, S. Fildes & A. Millington (2017). Land‐use and land‐cover change in the Páramo of south‐central Ecuador, 1979–2014. Land 6(3): 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030046 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030046

Saura, S., C. Estreguil, C. Mouton & M. Rodríguez-Freire (2011). Network analysis to assess landscape connectivity trends: Application to European forests (1990–2000). Ecological Indicators 11(2): 407–416. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ECOLIND.2010.06.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.06.011

Shaffer, M. (1981). Minimum population sizes for species conservation. BioScience 31(2): 131–134.

Sierra, R., F. Campos & J. Chamberlin (2002). Assessing biodiversity conservation priorities : ecosystem risk and representativeness in continental Ecuador. Landscape and Urban Planning 59(2): 95–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(02)00006-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(02)00006-3

Suarez, L. (1988). Seasonal distribution and food habits of spectacled Bears Tremarctos ornatus in the highlands of Ecuador. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 23(3): 133–136. https://doi.org/10.1080/01650528809360755 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01650528809360755

Velez–Liendo, X., F. Adriaensen & E. Matthysen (2014). Landscape assessment of habitat suitability and connectivity for Andean bears in the Bolivian Tropical Andes. Ursus 25(2): 172–187. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-14-00012.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2192/URSUS-D-14-00012.1

Velez–Liendo, X. & S. García-Rangel (2017). Tremarctos ornatus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22066A123792952. Downloaded on 23 June 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22066A45034047.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22066A45034047.en

Woodroffe, R., J.R. Ginsberg, R. Lande, R.R. Knight, L.L. Eberhardt, J. Felsenstein & B.N. McLellan (1998). Edge effects and the extinction of populations inside protected areas. Science 280(5372): 2126–2128. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.280.5372.2126 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.280.5372.2126