THE ANDEAN BEAR IN MACHU PICCHU

International research reveals promising news: the Andean bear, a vulnerable species on the verge of extinction, is flourishing around the renowned archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
Known for its characteristic white markings around its eyes, the Andean bear, also known as the spectacled bear, is the only bear species native to South America.

Historically, the Andean bear roamed territories stretching from Venezuela to Bolivia. Recent results of a comprehensive study by the Wildlife Conservation Society reveal a significant presence of Andean bears covering approximately 368 square kilometres in the Machu Picchu area.

Although the existence of these bears has long been documented in the region surrounding the famous archaeological site, ongoing research has deepened our understanding of local population dynamics.

Currently, the Andean bear population is estimated at around 18,000 individuals. However, this number has declined in recent decades, leading the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to classify the species as vulnerable and at high risk of extinction.

In response, the Wildlife Conservation Society has launched a rigorous monitoring programme aimed at safeguarding the bears’ habitat. This task is especially difficult given the elusive nature of the Andean bear and the rugged terrain it inhabits.

But in recent years people have spotted bears walking near the Machu Picchu sanctuary while on the Machu Picchu one day tour.

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