The Spectacled Bear is the only bear native to South America and is technically the largest land carnivore on that continent, although as little as 5% of its diet is compromised by meat. South America's largest obligate carnivore is the jaguar.
The spectacled bear population is under threat for a number of reasons. The bears are hunted by locals due to a belief they will eat livestock (although spectacled bears do not eat large quantities of meat). The gall bladders of spectacled bears are also valued in traditional Chinese medicine and can fetch a high price on the international market. Perhaps the most epidemic problem for the species is extensive logging and farming which has led to a loss of habitat for the largely tree-dependent bears. As the bear's food sources have been disappearing, it relies on crops for food. For this reason, farmers see the bears as competition and hunt them. Legislation against hunting the bears exists, but is rarely enforced.