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/Living OrganismsAnimalia / Craniata / Mammalia / Carnivora / Ursidae / Tremarctos / Species

Tremarctos ornatus - Spectacled bear (Click photographs/illustrations for full picture & further details)

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INDEX - INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

APPEARANCE / MORPHOLOGY

LIFE STAGES / NATURAL DIET / PHYSIOLOGY

BEHAVIOUR

HABITAT & RANGE

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • [Genus] frugilegus, [Genus] lasallei, [Genus] majori, [Genus] nasutus, [Genus] thomasi. (B141).

  • Andean bear (B285.w4, W2.15Mar06.w1)
  • Brillenbär (German)
  • En o Nem (Muysca o Chibcha) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Iznachi (Ecuador) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Juanito (Ecuador) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Juan Osito (Perú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Juan Oso (Perú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Juco (Argentina) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Jukuku (Perú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Jucumarí (Ecuador) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Jucumari (Bolivia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Kojú o Jez (Wayú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Mapa (Pijao) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Mashiramo (Yuppa, Venezuela) (P77.1.w3)
  • Manaba o Manoa (Tunebo - Unkasia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Manoba (Tegria) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Mashiramo (Chaké - Yuko - Yukpa) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Ocumari (J332.61.w1)
  • Orran (Yanesha) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Osa achupallero (Bromeliad eating bear) (J332.61.w1)
  • Oso Andino (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso (Venezuela) (P77.1.w3)
  • Oso frontino (spotted-faced bear)(Venezuela) (P77.1.w3, W2.15Mar06.w1, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso negro (black bear) (Venezuela) (P77.1.w3)
  • Oso gargantillo (spotted-neck bear) (Venezuela) (P77.1.w3)
  • Oso de Anteojos (s) (W2.15Mar06.w1, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Careto (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Criollo (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso de las Nubes (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Congo (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Enjaquimado (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso ganadero (cattle bear) (J332.61.w1)
  • Oso Negro (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Negro de Páramo (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso de Páramo (Colombia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso real (s) (Colombia) (W2.15Mar06.w1, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Oso Sudamericano (W667.Aug07.w1))
  • Ours Andin (f) (W2.15Mar06.w1)
  • Ours à Lunettes (f) (W2.15Mar06.w1)
  • Panda Criollo (Argentina) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Puca mate (red-fronted bear)(Perú) (J332.61.w1, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Sabaidakú (Barí, Venezuela) (P77.1.w3, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Salvaje (Venezuela) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Short-faced bear (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • South American Bear (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Tabudá, Uí o Hui o Huy (Emberá Chamí) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Tío Tomás (Bolivia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Tomasito (Bolivia) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Ucumarí (Quechua, Peru) (B285.w4, P77.1.w5, W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Ucumarín (Ecuador) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Ucucu (B442.9.w9)
  • Ukuku (Perú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Ukumar (Argentina) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Uio (Cuna) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Uí o Hui o Bü (Chokó) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Uix (Guambiano) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Woii (Embera - Kotio) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Wii (Embera - Kotio) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Yura Mate (Perú) (W667.Aug07.w1)
  • Yura matteo (white-fronted bear) (J332.61.w1)
  • Yanapuma (black puma) (J332.61.w1)

Names for new-borns / juveniles

Cub

Names for males

Boar

Names for females

Sow

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General Appearance

Adult:

"Bears have a big head; a large, heavily build body; short, powerful limbs; a short tail; and small eyes. The ears are small, rounded, and erect." (B147)

  • Bears are strongly built, with a broad, longish head bearing short round ears and relatively small eyes. The lips are, unlike those of other carnivores, free from the gums, and protrusible; the molars are broad and nearly flat. They have a heavy body and a very short tail. They are plantigrade, with five toes, approximately equal in length, to each paw; the paws are wider than those of canids and the curved, non-retractile claws are longer and stronger. (B144, B288, B424)
  • The spectacled bear is stocky, with thick, medium-length, black or brownish uniform-coloured fur, with large circular or semi-circular marks forming "spectacles" (rarely complete) around the eyes (black fur around the eyes and white markings forming circles outside this), and on the chin, neck and/or chest there is a creamy white or buff biblike marking. The muzzle is short. (B144, B147, B288.w11, B285.w4, B442.9.w9)

Newborn: Newborn cubs are blind. (D247.6.w6)

Similar Species

  • None extant within their native range (J46.268.w1), although the fossil record includes eleven other short-faced bears in the same subfamily in North and South America. (J448.6.w1)

Sexual Dimorphism

Females are only about two thirds the size of males. (B442.9.w9)

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References

Species Authors & Referees

Editor: Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)

Referee: Susanna Paisley (V.w99)

ORGANISATIONS

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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Husbandry Information

Notes

  • Bears are large, strong mammals, adapted to climbing trees and/or difficult terrain, and with claws adapted for climbing and/or digging. Their ability to climb and to claw open trees should be remembered in designing enclosures. 
  • Bears are intelligent, curious and adaptable. They are predominantly diurnal, as seen in undisturbed habitats in the wild, and are mainly solitary. 
  • The behavioural, social and psychological requirements of bears must be taken into consideration in enclosure design and husbandry.

Management Techniques

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Appearance / Morphology

Measurement & Weight

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

LENGTH
Adult: 
Spectacled bears measure about 1.2 - 2.0 m (head and body length), with males 1.5 - 2.0 m and females about a third smaller.
Newborns:
 --

HEIGHT
Adults and sub-adults: Spectacled bears measure about 0.7 - 0.9 m (2 - 3 ft) at the shoulder.
Juveniles: --

WEIGHT
Adult: 
Males weigh about 100 - 175 kg (220 - 386 lb); females weigh 60 - 80 kg (132 - 176 lb).
Newborns: 
About 320 g (range 275 - 380 g).

GROWTH RATE

  • Two hand-reared cubs which weighed 325 g at birth passed 1 kg by 24 days, 3,780 g by 66 days and 8.4 kg by 115 days. Data from other cubs indicates about 1.3 kg by one month, 2.5 kg by two months and 3.5 - 4.0 kg by three months.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus - Appearance-Morphology- Measurement and Weight (Literature Reports)

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Head and Neck

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

GENERAL HEAD STRUCTURE:
Adult:
The large head is set on a short thick neck. It has small, rounded ears, a short muzzle and only vestigial vibrissae. On the mandible (jawbone) the masseteric fossa is divided by a bony septum (unlike other bears). The zygomaticomandibularis muscle is larger than in other bears.
Newborn: --

DENTITION: 
Adult:
The dental formula is i 3/3, c 1/1, pm 4/4, m 2/3. Bears have unspecialised incisors, long sturdy canine teeth and broad, flat molars. This bear's dentition is designed for grinding and crushing vegetation. The fourth premolar has blunt lophs; it has three pulp cavities and may have three roots.

EYES:
Adult:
The eyes are small, as in other bears.
Newborn:
The eyes of cubs are closed at birth.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Appearance-Morphology- Head and Neck (Literature Reports)

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Legs, Spine and Tracks

EDITORIAL SUMMARY Click here for full-page view with caption Click here for full page view with caption

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • As with other bears, the spectacled bear is plantigrade, its forelegs are longer than its hind legs, and each foot has five digits, bearing strong, curved, non-retractile claws. The soles of the feet are thickly haired in the depression behind the digits.
  • Bears have a caudal extension to the shoulder blade (scapula), called the post-scapular fossa, from which the subscapularis minor muscle arises; this is used in climbing, pulling the bear's body up.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Appearance-Morphology- Legs, Spine and Tracks (Literature Reports)

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Tail

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • The spectacled bear's tail is short, about 70 mm in length, and is often hidden in the fur.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Appearance-Morphology-Tail (Literature Reports)

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Skin / Coat / Pelage

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

Adult:

  • The coat is uniform in colour, black or dark brown. There are white to buff markings forming partial or complete "spectacles" around the eyes, and also on the muzzle, chin, throat and chest, these markings sometimes being described as "bib like".

Adult Colour variations:

  • The pale markings vary greatly in extent between individuals, are often reduced in Bolivian bears and may be absent in some individuals.

Newborn/Juvenile: --

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Appearance- Morphology- Skin-Coat-Pelage (Literature Reports)

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Detailed Anatomy Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in Wildpro)

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Bears do not have any major anatomical specialisations.

Further information is available within this section on the male and female reproductive organs, gastrointestinal system and urinary system.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Detailed Anatomy Notes (Literature Reports)

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Life Stages / Natural Diet / Physiology

Life Stages

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

BREEDING SEASON: In the wild, pairs of bears, presumed mating pairs, have been seen between March and October. In zoos, mating is generally seen June to August but may occur as early as April or as late as September.

OESTRUS/OVULATION: Spectacled bears may be monoestrous. However, at Lincoln Park Zoo it was usual for oestrus to be seen in both June and August. Oestrus may be indicated by vulval swelling and by increased occurrence and volume of vocalisations between the female and male.

GESTATION/PREGNANCY: The gestation period is variable with periods as short as 160 days and as long as 255 days reported. There is probably a period of delayed implantation.

PARTURITION/BIRTH: In wild bears, most births occur in December to February, during the heavy rains, such that cubs are leaving the den when there are good fruit crops. In zoos in the Northern Hemisphere, births have occurred most commonly in December to February. In zoos in the Southern Hemisphere, birth months have been highly variable. Video observation showed a female to give birth in a sitting position, clean the cub and position it by a teat to feed; she ate the placenta.

NEONATAL/DEVELOPMENT: Spectacled bear cubs are blind at birth with their eyes usually opening at about 25 - 40 days. The ears were noted to be upright in one cub in the ninth week. The first tooth may appear at 35-45 days. Cubs may be crawling by six weeks of age, standing properly and walking by about nine weeks. One set of parent-reared cubs was noted to be leaving the cubbing box at two months, another set not until three months. Solid food may first be eaten at about 80 to 90 days.

LITTER SIZE: Spectacled bears usually produce one or two cubs. Litters of three are rare in zoos. Litters of up to four have been recorded in the wild.

TIME BETWEEN LITTERS / LITTERS PER YEAR: No data is available from wild bears. In zoos, there is usually a period of two years between births, reducing to one year if the cub(s) do not survive.

LACTATION / MILK PRODUCTION: No data is available from the wild, but cubs remain with their mother for up to a year. In a zoo, cubs which were removed from their mother at nine months of age and returned (for management reasons) two months later started suckling again, but it is not known whether the female produced milk.

SEXUAL MATURITY: No data is available from the wild. From captive bears it appears that females reach sexual maturity at four to seven years and males usually at five years although males have been observed to mate when as young as 3.5 years of age.

MALE SEASONAL VARIATION: --

LONGEVITY / MORTALITY: Spectacled bears may reach nearly 40 years of age in captivity.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Life Stages (Literature Reports)

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Natural Diet

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

NATURAL DIET: 

  • Spectacled bears eat mainly vegetable matter. When fruits are not available, the succulent hearts of bromeliads are extremely important. Various fruits are eaten, including the fruits of cacti, trees, and shrub berries. The pulp of cacti are also eaten, as are palm frond petioles and corn. Less frequent items in the diet include bulbs of Orchidaceae, bamboo, Amaryllidaceae and the wood of pasillo trees (Bombax discolor).
  • Non-plant items make up a much smaller percentage of the diet and include caterpillars, beetles, bees, honeycomb, rodents, and larger mammals (deer, cattle, goats).

QUANTITY EATEN:--

STUDY METHODS: Scat analysis and signs left by bears while feeding are the main methods used, together with finding of food items in bear nests and reports from local inhabitants.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Natural Diet (Literature Reports)

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Hibernation / Aestivation

EDITORIAL SUMMARY The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears have never been observed to hibernate in captivity or the wild.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Hibernation - Aestivation (Literature Reports)

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Haematology / Biochemistry

EDITORIAL SUMMARY The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

HAEMATOLOGY:

BIOCHEMISTRY:

  • The biochemistry values of bears are similar to those of domestic dogs.
  • In one study of six canid and four ursid species, the mean serum total cholesterol value for spectacled bears were similar to that previously published for this species, and, along with values for Ursus maritimus - Polar bear, higher than that found in the other species, being at the high-end of mild elevation for cats and dogs. These bears also had high triacylglyceride and LDL cholesterol concentrations. The triacylglyceride concentration was substantially higher than a previously published value for this species and higher than reported severely elevated concentrations in laboratory dogs.
  • Also see Reference Page:

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Literature Reports: Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Haematology - Biochemistry Notes

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Detailed Physiology Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in Wildpro)

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

METABOLISM (TEMPERATURE): The normal rectal temperature of adult bears is 37.5 - 38.3 °C (99.6 - 101.0 °F).

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (RESPIRATION): The normal respiratory rate of bears is 15 - 30 breaths per minute (the higher rates have been recorded in hot weather). 

CIRCULATORY SYSTEM (PULSE/HEART RATE): The normal heart rate of bears is 60 - 90 beats per minute (the higher rates are found in cubs).

HAEMATOLOGY / BIOCHEMISTRY: Values are similar to those of the domestic dog.

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM (FAECES AND GUT MOTILITY): Scats (faeces) may be 0.06 - 1.73 L in volume.

URINARY SYSTEM (URINE): --

CHROMOSOMES: 2n = 52 Chromosomes.

MUSCULO-SKELETAL SYSTEM: --

SPECIAL SENSES AND VOCALISATIONS: The most important sense of these bears in olfaction, although vision is also used, as indicated by marks on saplings placed near concentrated food resources and on the trail-side on ridge lines. The hearing of bears is considered to be moderate. Vocalisations are used in communication between mother and cub and also between male and female.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Detailed Physiology Notes (Literature Reports)

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears climb trees to reach food such as fruits and bromeliads; they also climb cliffs to reach bromeliads and climb cacti to reach fruits. If a tree is of too large a diameter for climbing, the bear will initially climb a smaller tree or a vine until the larger tree's branches are in reach.
  • High in a tree, the bear may pull and break branches to bring fruits into reach, then stand on the broken branches, making a platform.
  • They tear the bark off pasallo trees (Bombax discolor) to reach and eat the cortex.
  • Bromeliads are eaten by spreading the leaves apart to reach the base, or pulling the plant off its substrate, or pulling out the central portion to reach the base.
  • Palms may be ripped out of the ground if very small, or the leaves flattened and ripped off to reach the petiole.
  • Spectacled bears may carry food, including small carcasses or parts of carcasses, into day beds in trees to feed.
  • They may kill and eat young or sick cattle, and may scavenge carcasses.
  • Individual ears of corn in fields are taken away to be eaten.

Further information on diet is provided in Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Natural Diet (Literature Reports)

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Feeding Behaviour (Literature Reports)

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Parental Behaviour

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears in zoos have been noted to be very attentive mothers, keeping their cub tucked under them or close by in the first weeks and rarely leaving the cub (it may be left for a few seconds while the mother drinks or defecates).
  • The female nurses lying on her side or back, later on her back or sitting. Nursing bouts are usually of a few minutes.
  • Females will groom their cubs. 
  • A small cub may be carried held against the body by a forelimb. Once cubs are active they may be carried back to the nest by the nape.

Further information on reproduction is provided in Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Life Stages (Literature Reports)

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Parental Behaviour (Literature Reports)

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Social Behaviour / Territoriality / Predation / Learning

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • There is little information available.
  • Spectacled bears are usually alone except for females with cubs. However, several bears may be seen at a good food resource such as a corn field.
  • Agonistic interactions may occur with tapirs; a woolly (mountain) tapir Tapirus pinchaque (Tapirus - (Genus)) hide had blunt scars from a bear.
  • A hybrid with Ursus thibetanus - Asiatic black bear has been reported.
  • Mountain lion Felis concolor (Felidae - Cats (Family)) are predators of cubs; jaguars (Panthera onca) (Felidae - Cats (Family)) may also be predators of cubs.
  • Spectacled bears use both ground nests and tree nests. Nests used by bears which are eating cattle carcasses, whether ground nests or tree nests, are on steep slopes in locations giving an excellent view and difficult access.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Social Behaviour - Territoriality - Predation - Learning (Literature Reports)

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Sexual Behaviour

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • While the female is in oestrus the bears may vocalise more, and more loudly, than usual. There may be several copulations daily for several days.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Sexual Behaviour (Literature Reports)

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Activity Patterns, Self-grooming and Navigation

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

ACTIVITY PATTERNS: Spectacled bears are quite arboreal, climbing trees for food as well as resting in trees. They also climb cliffs to reach food. They may wander on grasslands in the absence of humans but remain close to cover in areas where humans are found even occasionally.

SELF-GROOMING: --

CIRCADIAN RHYTHM: The one systematic study of wild Andean bear activity patterns found a clear diurnal bimodal pattern with a distinct dip in activity at midday. These bears were active an average of 50-55% of the time, mostly between 6:00 and 21:00. This study was carried out in relatively cool high altitude conditions; bears may rest more at midday, shifting their activity into cooler hours, in warmer conditions. One study of previously captive released bears found more nocturnal activity.

SPEED OF MOVEMENT: Spectacled bears are capable of rapid movement similar to that of other bear species. They can also climb and descend trees and rocks rapidly. In the cloud forest, where the ground is mossy and of unpredictable firmness, their gait is generally cautious. 

NAVIGATION: --

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Activity Patterns, Grooming and Navigation Behaviour (Literature Reports)

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Habitat and Range

General Habitat Type

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears are found at altitudes of 250 m to 4,750 m (at the edge of the snowline).
  • They use a variety of habitats including dry thorn forest, coastal scrub desert, humid forest and elfin rain forests, steppes, sub-alpine paramos and puna grasslands. Key features of suitable habitats are the availability of food, water, concealing cover and seclusion.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - General Habitat Type (Literature Reports)

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Nests / Burrows / Shelters

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

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The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears use both ground nests and tree nests. 
  • Tree nests are constructed high up, often in the thinnest branches at the top of the canopy, and may be used for resting and as lookouts at feeding sites (e.g. when feeding on carcasses). 
  • Tree nests also are constructed during, and used while, feeding on fruits in trees. 
  • Ground nests (day beds) are in locations providing protection, such as under boulders in ravines and between roots of large trees in humid forests. 
  • Ground nests associated with feeding on cattle carcasses were in locations providing good views of the surrounding area, and were on steep slopes.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Nests - Burrows - Shelters (Literature Reports)

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Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • Spectacled bears are native to South America. They are found along the Andes from Venezuela through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to southern Bolivia; occasional individuals may reach northern Argentina. 

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

Maps of their range are provided in B442 - Bears. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan - Chapter 9 [full text provided]

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Distribution & Movement (Literature Reports)

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Conservation

Species variation

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.
  • These bears show considerable individual variation in the extent of the pale markings. This has led to different races being suggested, but none are considered to be valid.

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Species Variation (Literature Reports)

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Conservation Status

EDITORIAL SUMMARY

The following editorial comment summarises detailed information given within the LITERATURE REPORTS. Links to the LITERATURE REPORTS are provided at the bottom of this box.

WILD POPULATION - IMPORTANCE: Spectacled bears are threatened by habitat fragmentation. 

GENERAL LEGISLATION: Spectacled bears have legal protection throughout their range. However, this is not enforced.

CITES LISTING: Appendix I. 

RED-DATA LIST STATUS: Vulnerable.

THREATS: Spectacled bears are threatened by habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, also by hunting, particularly where they come into conflict with agriculture (crop damage and loss of cattle), but also because all parts of the bear's body are considered valuable.

PEST STATUS / PEST POPULATIONS: Individual spectacled bears can become pests when they start killing and eating cattle or when they become habituated to eating corn. Individual farmers growing corn can lose much of their annual food crop to bears. 

CAPTIVE POPULATIONS: There may be nearly 300 spectacled bears in zoos worldwide.

TRADE AND USE: When spectacled bears are hunted and killed, all parts of the bear are used as food, trophies, for reputed curative properties etc.

For more information see: B442: Bears. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan - full text provided

(References are available in detailed literature reports below)

CLICK THE LINKS FOR Literature Reports Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus - Conservation Status (Literature Reports)

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