Just last week, Spectacled Bear Conservation (SBC) deployed the first GPS collars on two spectacled bears living in Peru’s Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This marks a groundbreaking advancement in SBC’s work to safeguard this important bear habitat among the ancient ruins of this World Heritage Site.

The SBC team collaring a female spectacled bear near Machu Picchu.

By tracking the movements of the bears through the mountains and forests in and around Machu Picchu, SBC will be able to locate important feeding and breeding areas that the bears use. SBC is collaborating with SERNANP, Peru’s National Protected Areas Authority, on this project, with the goal of collaring at least 10 spectacled bears in the area for a more complete understanding of their range.

Data from these collared bears will be used along with footage from over 200 camera traps that SBC previously installed around Machu Picchu to support SBC’s ultimate goal—to get the area surrounding Machu Picchu declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which will protect 1.5 million acres of land in the Andes Mountains for spectacled bears and countless other species. SBC is working with the Peruvian government and Indigenous communities to inch closer and closer to this reality.

In 2008, SBC were the first conservationists to ever fit a spectacled bear with a GPS collar, and now they are the first to collar Machu Picchu’s bears in order to secure their habitat and prevent this species from disappearing from their historic home.

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