Predictive Modelling of Current and Future Potential Distribution of the Spectacled Bear ( Tremarctos ornatus) in Amazonas, Northeast Peru

Animals (Basel). 2020 Oct 6;10(10):1816. doi: 10.3390/ani10101816.


The spectacled, or Andean, bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN due to climate change and human-induced habitat fragmentation. There is an urgent need for the conservation of spectacled bear at real time. However, the lack of knowledge about the distribution of this species is considered as one of the major limitations for decision-making and sustainable conservation. In this study, 92 geo-referenced records of the spectacled bear, 12 environmental variables and the MaxEnt entropy modelling have been used for predictive modelling for the current and future (2050 and 2070) potential distribution of the spectacled bear in Amazonas, northeastern Peru. The areas of "high", "moderate" and "low" potential habitat under current conditions cover 1.99% (836.22 km2), 14.46% (6081.88 km2) and 20.73% (8718.98 km2) of the Amazon, respectively. "High" potential habitat will increase under all climate change scenarios, while "moderate" and "low" potential habitat, as well as total habitat, will decrease over the time. The "moderate", "low" and total potential habitat are distributed mainly in Yunga montane forest, combined grasslands/rangelands and secondary vegetation and Yunga altimontane (rain) forest, while "high" potential habitat is also concentrated in the Jalca. The overall outcome showed that the most of the important habitats of the spectacled bear are not part of the protected natural areas of Amazonas, under current as well as under future scenarios.

Keywords: MaxEnt; andean bear; biogeography; conservation; deforestation; ecological niche model (ENM); protected areas; species distribution model (SDM).