The third animal which defines the history of PROMETA is Tremarctos ornatus, the Jucumari bear. A project taken up by PROMETA and Chester Zoo of Great Britain, has accomplished to photograph an adult specimen and its cub it for the first time in Tarija’s territory (in the last three or four decades) and therefore confirm its existence in Tarija where the evidence of its presence was only indirect (skins and testimonials). Thereby, Tarija can reclaim and increase its natural patrimony and Bolivia can reduce the vulnerability of this threatened species to the unorganized grown of agricultural lands.
The success of the project led by the biologist Ximena Velez – Liendo, has awarded her the Whitley Award, one of the most prestigious in the world which was announced on May 18th 2017 in London and presented by members of the British Royal Family. Also in this topic we must point out the important work of the conservation department of PROMETA, directed by the biologist Claudia Oller, another of Tarija’s professionals who has promoted the research in the ecoregions of Tarija and Bolivia, and earning national prestige for this.
The bear that was found is “Mendeño”, “Sanlorenceño” (from San Lorenzo) and most likely will become a symbol for the region and all of Tarija.
With the discovery of the Jucumari we’re a little richer, we have reclaimed our natural surroundings and we have the challenge of creating the conditions for the bear to continue to reproduce in harmony with human beings (a great challenge when it comes to a large mammal). For sure we will achieve it if we manage to bring together institutions, State and primarily the local communities.