During the meeting, Rhianna Hohbein will be discussing her PhD research project regarding Andean bear conservation in Colombia. The Andean bear (aka the spectacled bear) is South America’s only remaining bear species. Classified as vulnerable and threatened by rapid habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict, conservation practitioners from state and private agencies alike are working to conserve the species in Colombia. However, the Andean bear range in Colombia crosses the jurisdictions of 21 different regional environmental authorities and 19 different national parks, fragmenting management. Additionally, Andean bear conservation is an unusually competitive pursuit: “Everyone wants to be the Andean bear hero.” How does competition, collaboration, and communication between organizations impact conservation of this species?
Rhianna is a PhD candidate at Warnell School of Forestry in the Integrative Conservation (ICON) PhD program at the University of Georgia. In her research, Rhianna is applying methods from ethnography, social network analysis, and spatial analysis to understand how interactions among Colombian conservation institutions impact on-the-ground conservation efforts for Andean bears.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting!