Securing The Future For Spectacled Bears: SBC’s first private land purchase

Centuries ago, Moche people chiselled petroglyphs into the walls of a cave located in the hot dry forest of northern Peru. Fittingly, we call this area Dibujos, or “drawings”. Dibujos not only boasts an ancient cultural legacy that anchored it to the past, it also holds the promise of a future for spectacled bears.

In early 2021, SBC purchased a key parcel of private land in Dibujos. This area plays a crucial role in the long-term survival of an endangered spectacled bear population. It’s hard to overstate how important Dibujos is for bears. It has a high density of sapote trees and a local microclimate that promotes the ripening of sapote fruit weeks, and even months, before any other area. This area is a lifeline for mother bears with cubs who are close to starvation and desperate for food as the winter season ends. Without access to feeding areas like this, female and cub mortality will increase.

A sapote tree bearing fruit
Sapote fruit is an essential food resource for bears

These areas are also the perfect landscape for agriculture. Precious sapote trees are being burned at an alarming pace to make way for crops and cattle grazing. We knew Dibujos was key to bear survival, but we were running out of time to protect it. So we took action by purchasing privately owned land in the valley bottom.

Sapote trees grow in the valley bottom

Now, as the landowner, SBC is ensuring 600 acres of critical bear habitat are permanently protected. We will also plant trees and construct a permanent waterhole to enhance the natural food supply. By increasing food and water availability, we will give bears the best chance to survive and thrive. This land parcel is a small part of their larger home range. But as a vital feeding area it plays an important role in bear survival. Protecting this key habitat makes a significant and strategic conservation impact.

Our land purchase in Dibujos is just the beginning, the first of several critical pieces of land we aim to acquire and protect. Parcel by parcel, every acre counts to secure the future of spectacled bears in the wild.

 

 

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