Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Bear?

When: November 12, 2018
Time: 11:00 to noon Eastern Standard Time (EST), UTC-5

Conserving large carnivores is a pressing issue worldwide. The ecological and conservation roles of bears, as keystone and umbrella species, and even the cultural importance of this group addressed by the scientific community, is rarely reflected at the local level where communities suffer diverse costs from coexisting with bears. With an estimated Andean bear population of 3,000 individuals, and decreasing, habitat loss and fragmentation for cattle grazing increases encounters between people, bears, and livestock. In a region with no protected areas, who is going to save the bear?

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Ximena Velez-Liendo

Ximena Velez-Liendo is a Bolivian biologist with more than fifteen years of experience in Andean bear ecology and conservation. She obtained a PhD at the Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems at Leicester University in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at San Simon University in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Dr. Velez-Liendo is currently a Research Conservation fellow at Chester Zoo, Associate researcher at WildCRU, Univeristy of Oxford, UK, and an active member of the LAC NatureServe Network.