There are eight species of bears on the planet: the polar bear, the brown bear, the black bear, the panda bear, the Malayan bear, the Asiatic black bear and the Andean bear or spectacled bear. The function of the Spectacled Bear in its ecosystem is essential, since they assist to disperse seeds over a big space and by flattening bushes and branches seeking meals, they assist revitalize the lifetime of the Andean cloud forests. Being born tree climbers and constructing their mattress with the branches, they permit gentle to succeed in the soil and seed germination happens. They’re the best allies that the Andean and Amazonian forests have.
What’s the distinction between an Andean bear and a spectacled bear?
The spectacled bear is identical because the Andean bear. They’re referred to as spectacled bears due to the white spots round their eyes. Every bear has its personal distinctive markings, a few of them have full glasses whereas others have half or no glasses.
The Andean bear is the most important mammal in South America and might be as much as 2.2 meters tall and weigh as much as 400 kilos.
The place can you discover the Andean bear?
The Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) often known as the spectacled bear is endemic to the Andes mountain vary (which works from Venezuela to the south of Bolivia passing via Peru, Ecuador and Colombia) in South America. The attention-grabbing factor about this bear is that it’s the solely bear in South America, which is why it is called “The Kings of the Tropical Andes”, “The Guardian of the Paramos”, “The Gardener of the Forest” or “The Architect of the forests”. You could find them each within the timber and on the bottom in search of meals and shelter. They relaxation in caves, on the bottom or in timber. Spectacled bears inhabit Andean and sub-Andean cloud forests, paramo areas, jungles, and intervened forests.
Close to Quito there are 3 areas the place it’s doable to see spectacled bears. Learn on to see the place to go to see this majestic creature.
The place are you able to see spectacled bears in Ecuador?
The Andean bear might be seen on the Andean Bear Viewpoint in Pimampiro in Imbabura, the Maquipucuna reserve in Pichincha, the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve and the Podocarpus Nationwide Park in Loja. They can be seen on the Pifo-Papallacta street, within the Antisana Reserve.
It is vitally vital to remember that the Andean bear is in its pure habitat, so it’s not assured in any of those locations you could see the Andean bear, even with the very best situations. A part of the expertise is studying and being a part of the conservation of the pure habitat of those fantastic creatures.
1. Maquipucuna lodge
The Maquipucuna Reserve is probably the most pristine cloud forest in Ecuador, positioned within the closest tropical forest to Quito within the Chocó-Andean hall, one of many three fundamental locations of biodiversity discovered on the planet, inside three parishes northwestern: Calacalí, Nanegalito and Nanegal. The reserve covers round 5,000 hectares with a lodge and 14,000 hectares of neighboring conservation space. This glorious mission got here to life in 1989 as a non-profit group for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable growth of using pure sources within the northwestern area, and was a elementary actor within the promotion of fine administration of pure areas (state and personal), supporting ecotourism packages to empower native communities, emphasizing environmental training. At present it’s the greatest place to see an Andean bear in its pure habitat.
The probabilities of seeing the bear depend upon the maturity of the aguacatillo, when it’s bear season they keep between 4 to 12 weeks, earlier than going again as much as the Cotacahi – Cayapas Reserve.
Maquipucuna in Quichua means “serving to hand”. The reserve might be visited for the day or you’ll be able to keep on the lodge. The doorway to the reserve prices $15 for foreigners and $5 for nationals when you go by yourself or $50 when you take a guided tour that features the doorway, lunch and a tour of one of many reserve’s trails. In the event you resolve to go by yourself, you should journey solely on licensed trails, you can’t carry aerosols, pets, or firearms. Within the reserve you’ll be able to camp, take pictures, go chicken watching, ecotourism, wildlife remark and climbing. In the event you resolve to sleep within the lodge, the costs begin at $85 per individual per evening and contains 3 meals, the doorway price and numerous excursions throughout the reserve.
The reserve has 119 species of 86 genera and 48 households by way of flora and 25 species of 14 households and 7 orders of fauna, together with the spectacled bear.
The remark of bears in Maquipucuna is seasonal, usually they are often seen in the midst of the 12 months or over the last months of the 12 months. How lengthy they are often seen is dependent upon how a lot meals is discovered.
To get to Maquipucuna from Quito, you should take the Calacalí-La Independencia street till you attain Nanegalito, from there you should take the detour to Nanegal, proceed 12 km, cross the group of Santa Marianita. This tour takes roughly 2 hours from Parque la Carolina in Quito.
In all of the excursions whereas the group participates with the information, there may be additionally the presence of the trackers, who go seeking the bears alongside all the paths of the reserve. Throughout the tour, the guides clarify the habits of the bears and the significance of their habitat.
The spacious and splendid rooms have personal loos, with spring water, showers with considerable sizzling water and exquisite terraces with views of the forest.
2. Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve
The Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve is a protected space of cloud forest the place you’ll be able to see the Andean bear. The one factor is that they don’t seem to be seen as simply as within the Maquipucuna reserve, so it is strongly recommended to remain longer to extend the probabilities of seeing one in all them.
On the Pimampiro viewpoint, which is positioned an hour and a half from Ibarra and three hours from Quito, it is without doubt one of the greatest locations to see the Andean bear from afar (200 kilometers away) all year long. The proprietor of the point of view is Daniel Vasquez, he noticed that in entrance of his property, which is separated by the Pisque River canyon, a number of spectacled bears and that’s how the thought of creating this viewpoint was born. He paperwork via video the habits of the bears, the customs, the connection they’ve with the homeowners of the crops to have higher controls and understanding about this glorious species of bears.
Bears are most frequently seen when the higuerón timber bear fruit twice a 12 months. The probabilities of seeing the bear enhance between 06:00 AM and 08:30 AM and 4:00 PM till 6:30 PM.
Daniel additionally gives a spot to remain for less than $25 that features a tent, snack and breakfast. In the event you don’t need to spend the evening he can take a tour for as little as $15 and go to numerous trails to see in the event that they spot a spectacled bear.
With a view to get to the Mirador del Oso Andino from Quito, you’ll be able to take the buses that go to town of Ibarra from the Carcelén Terminal. These buses depart each 10 minutes and value $1.50. From Ibarra you should take the buses of the Cooperativa de Transportes Oriental which depart each quarter-hour to Pimampiro and from there take a taxi that may take you to the point of view. The taxi could also be charging between $7 to $10 USD.
You may make a reservation to ensure the point of view is open by calling or writing to the next quantity 0980552680 (WhatsApp).
My expertise seeing the spectacled bear in Maquipucuna:
I’ve been fortunate sufficient to go to Maquipucuna twice and the reality is that I’ve fallen in love with the reserve and the spectacled bear. The primary time I went just for in the future and I used to be not fortunate sufficient to see any Andean bear, however I fell in love with the place understanding that my go to contributed to the conservation of the bears pure habitat. Because the place is near Quito, I requested Rodrigo, the proprietor of the reserve, to let me know when there was the next exercise of the spectacled bears. He referred to as me one evening and informed me to come back early tomorrow, with out hesitation, I received up at 6 AM and went straight to the lodge. I had a fortunate day and noticed 4 completely different bears together with a feminine bear and her child. The strangest factor is that the climate was not nice, it was wet and cloudy however I used to be fortunate. I made a decision to spend the evening to see if the climate would enhance. That day there was a burst of solar and we solely discovered one bear, however on the finish of the path I bumped into an armadillo. My eyes couldn’t imagine it, my dream was to satisfy one in all these magical and exquisite creatures. It isn’t widespread to see them in the course of the day and this magnificence even posed for my photographs and movies.
Maquipucuna is a very magical place the place you’ll be able to share and coexist with nature. A spot that I might not change for the world and that I need to assist promote to proceed caring for and conserving the pure habitat of the spectacled bear and all of the birds and different species that inhabit this glorious place. I assure that you’ll have an unforgettable expertise filled with peace and happiness.
Maquipucuna Lodge gives 32 kilometers of trails. The paths differ of their vary of issue and a few of them are really useful to go together with a information.
The paths of Maquipucuna:
- Waterfall Path: 200 meters. 10 minutes a method.
- The Spectacled Bear: Variable distance from 1 1/2 hours to 2-3 days of tenting and climbing uphill. A method.
- Wetland Path: 3 1/2 km, round path of three 1/2 hours.
- Self-guided path: 1 km. 45-minute loop.
- Quiet path: 6 km. 4-5 hour stroll.
- Fluvial path: 3 km. 2 and a half hour loop.
- Palmitos Path: 4.5 km. 4-hour loop.
- Arriero’s path to a bigger waterfall: 5.5 km. 4-5 hours.
What might be performed to guard the Andean bear?
Elevate consciousness to take care of the habitat of the Andean bear and make the native inhabitants conscious of its significance and why it shouldn’t be hunted, for any motive. Help the reserves that handle their habitat and promote conservation corridors.
An ecological hall with an space of 65,000 hectares was created the place the bears roam as a way to present them with better freedom of motion, this identical ecological hall helps different species of mammals to have the ability to transfer freely.
How endangered is the Andean bear?
The Andean bear is taken into account an animal at risk of extinction as a result of fragmentation of its pure habitat from agriculture and livestock, indiscriminate looking and human intervention in its habitat via the implementation of productive actions and the felling of forests.
What does the Andean Bear eat?
Andean or spectacled bears are omnivorous and their eating regimen contains fruits, greens, pacche (aguacatillo), puyas, bromeliads, palms, recent fruits, candy fruits, achupallas, paramo grapes, roots, bark, leaves, fungi, cacti, bugs and sometimes wild animals (birds, deer and bugs and sometimes cows and sheep) and carrion thus serving to with the decomposition of lifeless animals. They’re most energetic in the course of the day once they search for meals in timber and on the bottom. Andean bears are solitary animals.
In Maquipucuna the spectacled bears feed on ‘Pacche’ which include avocado fruits wealthy in fat, a real delicacy that pulls grownup and younger bears, primarily females with their younger.
What to do when you meet an Andean Bear?
- Hold a distance of a minimum of 10 meters from the Andean bear.
- Don’t feed them, as these animals are wild. They don’t seem to be violent however its area shouldn’t be invaded.
- Don’t make them really feel uncomfortable and nook the Andean bears.
- In the event you see a mom together with her child, please preserve a good better distance
- In the event you meet them on the street, please allow them to cross calmly, don’t honk or activate the lights. Let the animal transfer ahead calmly. Do not forget that the street is of their pure habitat they usually have precedence. In areas the place you usually tend to see them on the roads please decelerate.
- Don’t put on brightly coloured clothes or put on fragrance. Keep away from the colour crimson.
- All the time keep calm.
- Don’t make loud sounds.
- Transfer slowly and transfer away, in order that the animal continues on its method.
- Keep away from direct eye contact.
12 Attention-grabbing info concerning the Andean Bear that you just absolutely didn’t know:
- They’re wonderful swimmers.
- Many cultures imagine that their claws have medicinal properties, making the bear weak to looking.
- They depart messages in timber via their claws and physique odor.
- They don’t hibernate.
- Their younger are referred to as cubs. A feminine can have 2 to 4 cub per being pregnant. The moms are very protecting and their younger stay with their mom for as much as two years and might be separated at eight months, between 4 and 5 years of age they’re thought-about adults. Its gestation interval lasts between 7-8 months.
- 4 months earlier than beginning, which usually happens in February, the feminine begins to construct a two-meter nest made up of branches and wool from her personal physique to have a snug place the place she may give beginning and share together with her younger. When the infant reaches 5 months of age they cease ingesting milk and begin consuming solids.
- It is vitally uncommon to see a male bear along with a feminine and her cubs.
- They’re very shy bears, so interplay with people is just not widespread.
- They don’t seem to be violent, they solely assault to defend themselves in conditions through which they really feel threatened.
- It has a well-developed sense of scent, being way more highly effective than that of a canine.
- They’ll reside as much as 35 years.
- It’s thought-about a silent animal, which emits low depth sounds when it’s curious, feels threatened or as a communication mechanism between mom and calf.
- It’s the third largest bear on the planet after the Polar Bear and the Grizzly Bear.