|Shaenandhoa Garcia Rangel|
|University of Cambridge|
|Evaluating the Conservation Status of the Threatened Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in La Sierra de Portuguesa, Venezuelan Andes. Designing a Management Strategy.|
|Location: La Sierra de Portuguesa, Venezuela|
|Species: Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus)|
|Abstract: The goal of this project is to generate a habitat model for the Andean bear population inhabiting La Sierra de Portuguesa, a highly-fragmented area, in order to determine those environmental and anthropogenic elements that modulate it distribution, habitat and landscape-use. This information will allow the design of a management strategy for the area as a conservation unit for this species, following a bottom-up approach that incorporates information related to the local communities' requirements for sustainable development.|
Project Update: Janaury 2005
A total of 12 expeditions (1 day or more) and 6 short excursions (approx. 3 hours) were undertaken during October - December 2003 and February - March 2004, in search of bear signs. 418 signs were found and two bears (female and cub) were sighted. Mean sign encounter rate was 13.06 sign/km = 10.20. Variance on this parameter is high, as expected given the Poisson distribution of the data collected. Encounter rate appears to be high enough to achieve the objectives of this project.
Given the need for standard sampling conditions, only a group of the vegetation cover categories were to be surveyed during the pilot study. The selection of these units was based on the gain in accumulative frequency of vegetation cover by each category. BPSvMN and BISvMB were the only categories selected, representing more than 56% of the vegetation cover in Sierra de Portuguesa. BPSvMB was not included given its high level of discrepancy with the ground-checking points. Patch sizes on these categories allowed the location of all sampling units for each category in one patch, making the logistics considerably easier.