One of the major causes of conflict between bears and farmers in Ecuador is the bears' tendency to eat corn. In many of the regions where bears live, there are communities of numerous families in extreme poverty, in this type of condition they cannot afford to lose their only source of income and food. Electric fences have been suggested as a possible solution to this particular form of bear-human conflict, but this would not solve the problem, it would simply shift it to another location or to farmers who cannot afford to pay for electric fences.
When a bear raids a cornfield in our study area, we investigate the site and find a considerable amount of corn consumed, we pay a small compensation to the farmer. This has decreased the bad attitude towards bears and they are no longer hunted. However, our study area is only a small part of Ecuador and we cannot compensate all farmers in the entire bear range. Our research is geared toward a greater understanding of how bears use their habitat. With this information, we hope to develop a land management plan, and suggest to farmers a way on how to minimize the risk of having bears eating in their cornfield.