Bearly Guilty: Understanding Human–Andean Bear Conflict Regarding Crop Losses

  • Viviana Albarracín Ecology and Conservation Postgraduate Program, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, La Paz.
  • Enzo Aliaga-Rossel Institute of Ecology, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, La Paz.
Keywords: Jucumari, Human-bear conflict, Coexistence, Crop damage, Tremarctos ornatus


Conflicts between wildlife and humans are increasing worldwide, especially in areas where they coexist and share resources. To investigate attitudes and opinions of the human population towards human-Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) conflicts in two indigenous Aymara communities, Chuñavi and Lambate, Bolivia, semi-structured interviews were directed to an adult member of families in the communities. Simultaneously, we registered, monitored, and evaluated 70 farm plots to record evidence of Andean bear and other wildlife damage to the maize crops and plants. We found that the locals thought the bear caused the most damage when, in actuality, the most harmful issues identified for maize crops were environmental factors, followed by parrots and birds. Knowledge of the interactions between wild animals and productive systems can contribute to an understanding of Andean bear-human coexistence.

Author Biographies

Viviana Albarracín, Ecology and Conservation Postgraduate Program, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, La Paz.
Viviana Albarracín is a graduate of Ecology and Conservation Postgraduate Program, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario.
Enzo Aliaga-Rossel, Institute of Ecology, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, La Paz.
Enzo Aliaga-Rossel is a research associate at the Institute of Ecology, University Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, and is the President of the Bolivian Network of Mammalogy.


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How to Cite
Albarracín, V., & Aliaga-Rossel, E. (2018). Bearly Guilty: Understanding Human–Andean Bear Conflict Regarding Crop Losses. Ethnobiology Letters, 9(2), 323-332.
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