Human - Animal Conflict in Latin America

The jaguar and the spectacled bear represent South America's only big cat and only bear species.Unfortunately, they are frequently hunted and trapped because people are scared of them and the damage they might do to livestock and corn crops, a particular favorite of the bears.

Working to find solutions

Jaguar
For the jaguar (Panthera onca), WWF and partners in the region, are exploring ways to reduce conflict. The strategies include looking at alternative enclosures for livestock, infrared cameras to monitor and record the behavior of jaguars, and the implementation of a compensation scheme for jaguar attacks on livestock.

Spectacled Bears
Reducing bear mortalities induced by human conflicts is the main challenge for this species. Named after its unique facial markings across its brow, spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus) can measure up to 2m from head to tail and weigh between 140–175kg. They're found throughout the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. Due to habitat loss, they have been known to search for ‘greener pastures’, particularly fertile agricultural lands, in search of a quick feed.

There are a range of solutions from growing different crops that bears don't like, to moving problem bears to different areas and developing policy tools and protocols for managing human/bear conflict.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Y.-J. Rey-Millet
Iguaçu National Park is important for many endangered species, including jaguars (Panthera onca).
© WWF-Canon / Y.-J. Rey-Millet
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Pablo Corral
A spectacled bear, similar to the one that visited the Colombian town of El Pensil, in search of food.
© WWF-Canon / Pablo Corral

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