Francis Aurich Rodriguez
HQ: British Columbia
I am a masters student at the University of British Columbia studying wildlife biology, specializing in spectacled bears. I am heavily involved with the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society (SBC), them having sparked the passion for my work with spectacled bears.
Project Goals: $5,000
As I am starting my Master’s project based on the study of the spectacled bear with the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society Peru, I would appreciate any support to approach camera traps, the amount that I will aim is $5,000. It will allow me to buy about 20 Bushnell camera traps ($250 USD for each one), that will be used for my research project.
In a previous pilot study we (SBC and I) had found the massive presence of cattle in this habitat, as such for my Master’s program I will study if there is a negative impact for the bears, which will lead to better conservation policies in the area and overlap this data with other areas where bears share their habitat with cattle.
▸ Current Projects
The broad goal of this research determines whether (and how) the Spectacledd bear survives in a fragmented high elevation páramo habitat and whether connectivity exists between this area and the lower elevation montane forest and Laquipampa National Wildlife Refuge in the La Leche River watershed in northwestern Peru. Objectives
- Identify available undisturbed montane and páramo habitat in the La Leche River watershed using landsat maps and Arcview GIS.
- Identify the presence of spectacled bears using camera traps, direct observations, and the detection of sign.
- Identify the presence of spectacled bears in low quality, disturbed habitat linking high quality habitat and monatane and páramo.
A unique population of spectacled bears is threatened by habitat fragmentation in the La Leche River watershed of northwestern Peru, across an altitudinal gradient containing three ecosystems. An understanding of bear habitat use and long-term community-based conservation programs are essential for survival of the species and to prevent further human expansion. Spectacled Bear Conservation – Peru and collaborators will collect data and work with communities to build conservation capacity.
Last year, SBC has conducted a pilot study in the Laquipampa Natinal Wildlife Refuge, unfortunately a forest fire took place during the time we have been conducting the survey, as a result we have lost more than 50% of our camera traps.
During our pilot study we had documented 2 new species for the Laquipampa Refuge, in our report to the government we hope a better conservation policy, as the area is habitat for several endemic species, however, human disturbance has been documented as well. This is the reason why, I plan to do a further study to find answers to my hypothesis.