Academic Venture Fund - 2014

Conserving Ecuador's Forests for Bears and Biodiversity

Andean bear in tree

Ecuador's famous cloud forests are home to the Andean bear and scores of other endangered animals and plants—yet more than 50 percent of these biodiversity hotspots are now deforested, threatening both habitats and rural livelihoods. Working with local stakeholders, the researchers will develop a conservation program that connects existing forest reserves with the newly created Andean bear corridor. An optimal corridor design will ensure landscape connectivity for endangered species, while maintaining critical ecosystem services and sustainable ways of life for the human inhabitants of South America's biodiversity epicenters.

Investigators: Angela Fuller, Carla Gomes, James Lassoie, Gregory Poe