Bear on rock wall.jpg

Spectacled Bear Conservation

April 24, 2021

12:15 pm PDT

Spectacled bears are the only bear species found in South America, and their scarcity makes protecting them challenging at times. Spectacled Bear Conservation (SBC) works closely with communities in Peru’s alpine and lowland forests to preserve bear habitat and food supply. Habitat fragmentation is an ongoing threat, so one of SBC’s primary goals is purchasing land to connect isolated bear populations. SBC studies the biology and distribution of these bears to formulate the effective conservation strategies. They also provide conservation education and an alternative livelihood program to indigenous Peruvian communities to involve them in the conservation of this rare bear species.

Robyn Appleton is speaking in the When Women Succeed, Wildlife Wins roundtable.


On location_ BEARTREK Peru (C) Chris Mor

Robyn Appleton


Robyn has more than 20 years of experience studying bears and other wild animals in the field. She grew up on Canada’s west coast, spending summers in the alpine with her parents in search of bears. She has always been interested in bears, hoping to improve conservation practices for them, and earned a master’s degree from Simon Fraser University focused on bear research. After learning about the little-known spectacled bears in Peru’s endangered dry forest, Robyn decided to dedicate her efforts toward protecting them. She is using the data gathered by Spectacled Bear Conservation to complete a doctoral thesis in Applied Conservation Biology at the University of British Columbia.

Photography credit: Spectacled Bear Conservation