Articles

The Andean Bear Interpretation Centre

Barker Langham is incredibly proud to be supporting Peruvian NGO Amazon Conservation to develop the Andean Bear Interpretation Centre in the hearth of the Amazon. For Earth Day, we asked Ruth Pillco Huarcaya, a Peruvian biologist, leading the Andean bear conservation project to share some insights about the new centre:

๐—ช๐—ต๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ?
โ€˜Because of the peril this species is in. The Andean Bear is an important cultural icon for many communities in Southern Peru and throughout the Andes and a keystone species in the cloud forest ecosystem, but threats like hunting and habitat loss mean that this species is currently listed as endangered.โ€™

๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ธ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด?
โ€˜We want to bring in groups, such as classes from the local schools, to learn about the Andean Bear and the cloud forest and puna ecosystems and why they are so important to conserve. We also want to train people from the communities to act as guides for the centre and for the surrounding trails. We believe this will give more people a personal stake in protecting the cloud forest for a more sustainable future.โ€™

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ/๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—”๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜€, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป?
โ€˜One misconception people often have about the Andean Bear is that they believe it to be a pure carnivore.While Andean Bears do eat meat, their diet is about 95% plant matter. This means that they are likely to play a very important role in the seed dispersal of many cloud forest plants. The name for the Andean Bear in Quechua is the โ€˜Ukukuโ€™, which is also the name of a trickster demigod in Andean culture. Believed to be the son of a human woman and an Andean Bear, the Ukuku is the protector of water as it flows from high altitude glaciers through the cloud forest and into the Amazon.โ€™