New exhibit ¨The Spectacled Bear: Symbol of the Andes¨ opens

Don Oso surprised visitors with an arrival at the exhibit's opening.

Cuenca, Ecuador (5 March 2013) – Fundación Cordillera Tropical formally invites you to the exhibit, ¨The Spectacled Bear: Symbol of the Andes¨. The exhibit opened February 28th and runs through March 24th at the Pumapungo Museum in Cuenca, Ecuador. This photographic exhibition explores the spectacled bear, its importance, and current efforts to conserve this species. 

Spectacled bear numbers are declining rapidly. They are one of the largest animals in South America and culturally important, but they are also vulnerable to extinction. Bears are forced to compete for space with dense human populations throughout the Andes. They are also killed by landowners in retaliation following attacks on corn crops or cattle, and in some places, bears are poached for traditional medicinal uses. Hope remains. Visit this exhibit to learn more about the efforts to conserve the spectacled bear and its habitat.

Also, be sure not to miss these public talks. They will be hosted in the Multi-Use Room at the Pumapungo Museum, next to the exhibit. 

Don Oso and school children from the Escuela Fe y Alegría, in Cuenca, pose together.

Conservation of the Spectacled Bear 
March 7, 2013, 5 p.m.

One of the principal conservation challenges that threaten the spectacled bear is lack of knowledge about the current status, distribution, and habitat requirements. Since 2008, Fundación Cordillera Tropical in collaboration with the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), have employed cutting edge technology to photo-capture individual bears in the forest. Join Catherine Schloegel and Omar Landázuri, scientists at the Fundación Cordillera Tropical, to learn more about this pioneering scientific research and the potential for using photographs for individual bear identification. This talk is in Spanish.

Spectacled Bears: Shadows of the Forest with Special Film Screening               
March 14, 2013, 7 p.m.              

Teresa Clare, Wildlife Biologist
Jim Clare, Wildlife Cameraman

In 1991, Jim and Teresa Clare arrived in Ecuador to film the spectacled bear, launching one of the first field expeditions to follow and understand this elusive species. Join them to learn about the making of the wildlife documentary ¨Spectacled Bears: Shadows in the Forest¨. Be sure not to miss the special screening of this documentary, a BBC production, shot by Jim Clare. This talk and movie screening will be in English.

Fundación Cordillera Tropical expresses its gratitude to the Pumapungo Museum and the Ministry of Culture for co-developing this exposition and hosting a month of public talks and activities. We also offer a special thank-you to the following persons for allowing us to use their photographs and images in the exhibition: Jim and Teresa Clare, CELEC EP Unidad de Negocio Hidropaute, Stuart White, Joella Solus, Jesse Lewis, Shaena Garcia-Rangel and Eduardo Carrasco. The Don Oso Program is collaboration between Fundación Cordillera Tropical, the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, the Ministry of Environment, and local communities in the Nudo del Azuay region.

The Ministry of Culture's Pumapungo Museum is located on Calle Larga and Huayna Cápac. It is open Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Entrance is free.

© Fundación Cordillera Tropical. All rights reserved.