Gloria Dickie is an award-winning journalist who has documented the state of the world’s eight remaining bear species in a compelling new e-book, “Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future.”Despite the conservation beneficial properties made by iconic bear species like the large panda and the brown bear, most bear species stay in danger.In this podcast dialog, the writer shares the context behind why some bear species, such because the Andean bear and the polar bear, which face climate-related threats, are a lot tougher to guard.“It’s fairly tough for bears threatened by local weather change and never simply habitat loss,” she says on this episode.
Journalist Gloria Dickie has been touring the world documenting the standing of each bear species, a lot of which she says face a “powerful future.” Her chronicles of those charismatic ursine people might be learn in her new e-book, Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future.
Notable conservation success tales, resembling that of the large panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), aren’t so simply replicable with different bear species that face totally different threats, and whose habitats span a number of nations. Some species, just like the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), could also be doomed to dwell in captivity in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later because of the shrinking of polar ice introduced on by human-induced local weather change.
Dickie joins the Mongabay Newscast to debate the pressing context these bear species face in addition to the laborious classes realized which have allowed humanity to make progress on defending a few of the species.
Listen right here:
“I feel it’s fairly tough for bears threatened by local weather change and never simply habitat loss. Because you possibly can tackle habitat loss — mining leases, agriculture growth — with coverage on the bottom, however local weather change is a a lot greater, world challenge that we haven’t made a lot progress on,” Dickie says.
The Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), as an example, faces a scenario the place its major habitat, cloud forests, are projected to shrink rather a lot within the coming years. Scientists say “60-90% of neotropical cloud forests are projected to endure declines in cloud immersion,” which is able to result in much less habitat for these weak mammals.
Scientists estimate that 13,000 – 18,000 Andean bears stay within the wild. Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
Other species such because the solar bear (Helarctos malayanus) and the moon bear or Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) have seen their populations decimated in Southeast Asia by the wildlife commerce and bear bile farms. In Vietnam, the apply of bear bile farming has been unlawful since 2005, but persists nearly unpoliced as farmers are nonetheless legally allowed to maintain bears in captivity. Still, the Vietnamese authorities has made strides not too long ago in relocating a few of the bears to sanctuaries.
“Basically, they mentioned, ‘Yes. Every single individual has to present over their bear by the top of 2022 and it’ll go to considered one of these sanctuaries.’ And so, they’re fairly near fulfilling that now,” Dickie says. The authorities effort was beforehand delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asiatic black bears (also referred to as moon bears) pictured at a sanctuary in Laos. Photo courtesy Peter Yuen/Free the Bears.
In the United States, grizzly bears, a subspecies of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) noticed their inhabitants decline to fewer than 1,000 people within the contiguous 48 states by the mid-Nineteen Seventies. Following the implementation of the Endangered Species Act, a long time of conservation efforts have slowly helped revive this inhabitants. However, Dickie says these efforts might be undermined by the reintroduction of searching.
“[W]e have seen actions in direction of making an attempt to carry again trophy hunts of grizzly bears within the decrease 48 states of the U.S., however that clearly has a big impact on populations,” she says.
Dickie factors out that bears function an “umbrella” species whose safety (and that of its habitat) mechanically confers safety on different species within the habitat. Writing about charismatic species, she says, typically comes with a stigma, since massive mammals already obtain a lot consideration. But writing about iconic species, like bears, can even make the distinction between individuals caring concerning the setting or not, Dickie says: “If they don’t care about bears, they’re most likely not gonna care about banana slugs or bugs, proper?”
A North American grizzly bear (Ursus arctos ssp.). Photo by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith licensed underneath the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
She additionally says she hopes the sturdy cultural connection people have had with bears for hundreds of years will encourage human motion to guard them and different species as nicely.
“I hope that that bond can encourage us to save lots of them and in addition encourage us to guard different species which may not be getting the identical quantity of consideration,” she says.
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Mike DiGirolamo is Mongabay’s viewers engagement affiliate. Find him on LinkedIn, Bluesky, Mastodon, Instagram, and TikTok.
Banner Image: The Andean bear (also referred to as a spectacled bear) lives in and finds meals and refuge in tropical cloud forests. Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
See associated interview:
‘We will determine their future’: Q&A with “pro-bear” environmental journalist Gloria Dickie
Animal Cruelty, animal monitoring, Bears, Charismatic Animals, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Extinction, Conservation, Endangered, Endangered Species, Endangered Species Act, Extinction And Climate Change, Featured, Human-wildlife Conflict, Podcast, Polar Bears, Saving Species From Extinction, Sun Bears, Wildilfe