The Spectacled Bear The Spectacled Bear, or Tremarctos Ornatus, is an endangered species. This rare bear can only be found in a few elusive spots in the world. Many endangered species all over the world dont deserve the respect and care that they need. That is why many endangered species often become extinct or remain on the endangered species list for the remainder of their survival on Earth. Today, as more species become endangered, more people become involved in their care. Many things are being done to save endangered species, including safe, poacher-free environments in captivity, and wildlife preservations, to name a few.
Only a handful of zoos and sanctuaries around the globe are lucky enough to be able to try to breed and care for rare endangered species. The Phoenix Zoo is an example of this. Right now, they have captive many endangered species, including the almost extinct Mexican Wolf and Spectacled Bear. In their newest exhibit, called The Forest of Uco, the Phoenix Zoo has Spectacled bears and other animals from South America, the Spectacled Bears homeland. The Forest is a great place for the Spectacled Bears to exist, and a great place for everyone to observe their beauty.
The Spectacled Bears name is derived from their markings. Around their eyes, the Spectacled Bear has white rings, contrasting with their dark brown bodies. These look like spectacles, hence the name. Though it is quite easy to see why they got their name, the Spectacled bears do not live up to it so strongly. When observed closely, Spectacled Bears, in most cases, dont have spectacles at all. In fact, most Spectacled Bears have white sideburns or faint rings.
They are a beautiful species, no matter what the extent of their markings is. Spectacled Bears belong to the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Ursidae, and genus/species Tremarctos Ornatus. All bears belong to Mammalia, Carnivora, Ursidae, and the genus Ursus Linnaeus. These are the scientific names for the Spectacled Bear and all bears. The Spectacled Bear is not a relatively big bear, but is decent in size.
Its body length is, on average, 6 ft in head and body length, with a tail length of 70 mm. The bears weigh in at about 300lbs (fully grown male). They stand about 30 in at the shoulders. The Spectacled Bear is vividly and beautifully colored. Their fur is black-brown, with lighter tones towards their chest and neck. Their muzzle is mostly light brown to red, and white. Of course, their face is gorgeously decorated.
It has thin white bands that wrap around it eyes and muzzle. These markings are quite easy to recognize and identify. Spectacled Bears have a very limited diet. They feed largely on plant matter, including leaves, shoots, fruits and roots. In Ecuador, the Bears main source of plant matter is the Pambili Palm Tree.
The bear climbs to the top of the tree, and strips it of its leaves, which fall to the ground. The bear then dismounts the tree and it eats the fallen leaves. Also, the bear will tear open the green flesh of young palms in order to reach the tender pith inside. It feeds on the buds of the tree, too. In the northern reaches of Peru, the bear feeds mostly on the fruits of a species called Capparis.
Though mostly vegetarian, there have been cases of the Spectacled Bear feeding on meat. In the wild, it has been recorded that the Spectacled Bear will, if necessary, feed on deer, guanacos, and vicunas. Also, the Bear will eat meat in captivity if necessary. The bear will feed on small rodents such as rats and insects, to deer and wild boar. When hungry, the bear loves corn, but will often pay the price of his life to farmers, whose crops the bears will raid.
Although the bear is a predator, it is not known to be prey to any larger animals. The Spectacled Bear is native to South America. There are many different countries and regions that it spans, but it mainly occupies the northern regions of Chile and the southern regions of Bolivia and Peru. Though these are the bears common home, it has been found as far as Ecuador, Columbia, and Venezuela. The Spectacled Bear is really native to the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
The Bear can actually live in elevations up to 3,658 meters. Though it is found in elevations of only 457 meters. Usually, the Spectacled Bear prefers hot, humid forests with elevations between, 1,900 and 2,350 meters. The Bear also inhabits coastal thorn forests, when water is available. High altitude grasslands are also another habitat option for the Spectacled Bear. This bear is very distributed throughout South America and lives in many different environment, too.
They have been found in rainforests as well as tundras in the Andes Mountains. The Spectacled Bear is mainly a nocturnal animal. During the daytime, Tremarctos Ornatus rests and sleeps between or under large tree roots. It also sleeps on a tree trunk, or even in a cave. In trees, The Spectacled Bear assembles a nest of surrounding supplies, mostly branches.
It climbs up into the tree, and makes itself a bed of sorts before lying down to rest. The Bear is a very smart creature, positioning its bed to where it can reach surrounding fruit without getting up. Nests have been found as high up as 15 meters. The Spectacled Bear lives, on average, up to 36 years. This is the longest life span of a captive Spectacled Bear. Others in captivity range in age from 14 to 21 to even 36 years.
It is not known how long they live in the wild, but is estimated at about 20-25 years, both male and females. Most animals live a lot longer when kept captive, so the estimate is not closely accurate. The gestation period of the Spectacled Bear is approximately 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 months. Also involved is a delayed implantation. Litters of cubs usually contain 1 to 3 cubs each weighing about 350 grams.
Young are produced at a certain time of the year depending on where they are located in the world. In the Buenos Aires Zoo in South America, young were produced in July. While the young produced in Europe were born from late December to March. The mating of the boar (male bear) and the sow (female bear) is strictly sexual. Female Spectacled Bears generally mate every second year and occasionally, every third year.
Mating occurs mostly in late Spring to early Summer (June and early July in the northern hemisphere). The actual development of the embryo is unknown. Though it is known that all bears, including the Spectacled Bear, go through a process called delayed implantation. This process is a case when the newly forming embryo halts development and becomes! inactive for possibly six months. After that period, the embryo then resumes development as if it had just been implanted into the uterus wall.
All young are born blind, hairless, toothless, and utterly defenseless. The cubs remain with their mother until they are old enough to defend themselves. This occurs usually after the mothers next mating. Young Spectacled Bear cubs gain sexual maturity when they are 2 1/2 to 4 years of age. Though sexual maturity is gained early in life, their first mating will most likely not be held until following years.
Maximum physical maturity is not even attained until many years after sexual maturity. The most important part of this report is why the Spectacled Bear is endangered. There are many reason for this. First of all, many of the Spectacled Bears habitats are being destroyed. This is due to the need for farmland by South American Farmers.
Destroying the habitats of animals in one of the major causes of animal endangerment and extinction today. So many forests are being annihilated every day, that the Spectacled Bear will soon have nowhere to live. Another reason for the Bears endangerment is poachers. In South America, Spectacled Bears are a popular sport animal and are being killed by the dozens every day. Also, the Spectacled Bears are killed by Peruvian and Bolivian farmers and hunters for their rich and expensive skin and fat. It is very valuable to many natives of South America. Spectacled Bears are also being killed by crop owners.
The curious and hungry bears oftentimes wander into cornfields to eat and get shot by farmers. In Peru today, the number of Spectacled Bears is decreasing. Right now, it is estimated that there are 800 to 2000 animals in Peru, part of which live in the Manu National Park. In Venezuela, the number is dropping and the bear is now considered rare. The bear is hunted in Columbia, but remains at a steady number.
The only hope the animal has is to remain in Ecuador and Bolivia, where its habitats are inaccessible to humans. In order to help this dwindling animal, we need to stop the destruction of natural habitats for farmland. We need also to stop the poaching. Though poaching against Spectacled Bears is highly prohibited, there is no way that it can be absolutely stopped. We all need to recognize our problems that afflict us regarding our endangered species. We need to do something about it.
For more information regarding the Spectacled Bear and its status in the wild and in captivity, here are some organizations you might care to contact: The American Wildlife Association The Wild Ones – The Wildlife Preservation Trust International AZA – The American Zoology Association The Phoenix Zoo Bibliography Walkers Mammals of the World: Ronald M. Nowack, John L. Paradiso 4th Edition, Vol. 2 The John Hopkins University Press, 1983 Baltimore and London Colliers Encyclopedia Vol. 3 Maxwell MacMillan International Publishing Group, 1991 Grzimeks Encyclopedia Vol.
3: Mammals McGrawHill Publishing, 1990 International Wildlife Encyclopedia: Marshall Cavendish Vol. 20: SHR/SPR BPC Publishing, 1980 Academic American Encyclopedia Vol. 3- Deluxe Library Edition Grolier Incorporated Publishing, 1990.