Dr Ximena Velez-Liendo

Conservation Scholar Alumni

  • Qualifications BSc in Biology - San Simon University, Cochabamba, Bolivia MSc in Geographical Information Systems - Leicester University, UK PhD in Biology, Andean bear conservation and ecological modelling - Antwerp University, Belgium
  • Focus area
    People Populations
  • Location
    Latin America
  • Additional Information Research Associate, WildCRU, University of Oxford
    2017 Winner of the Whitley Award donated by the Savitri Waney Charitable Trust


I am a conservation biologist with over fifteen years of experience in Andean bear ecology and conservation in Bolivia. My research interests lie in large carnivore conservation, human-carnivore conflict and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Much of my research work has been to produce basic information to assess the conservation status of the Andean bear in Bolivia and South America. 

For my PhD at the Ecology and Evolution Lab at the University of Antwerp, Belgium I produced the first and still, the only national-level assessment for bear conservation status in South America. This study covered more than 100,000km2 of bear habitat in Bolivia and assessed distribution, diet, and conservation priorities.

After finishing my PhD, I joined an inter-disciplinary team formed by scientists from the EU, Brazil, Mexico and Bolivia to carry out community-based conservation initiatives. For nearly three years, I worked alongside indigenous T’simane communities in Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve in Bolivia where I learnt that co-existence with large carnivores is possible when conservation efforts are initiated and owned by the local

Key publications

Velez-Liendo, X. & Garcia-Rangel S. Tremarctos ornatus. IUCN 2016. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Velez-Liendo X., F. Adriaensen & E. Matthysen. 2014. Landscape assessment of habitat suitability and connectivity for Andean bears in the Bolivian Tropical Andes. Ursus 25 (2) 172-187.

Velez-Liendo X, D. Strubbe & E. Matthysen. 2013. Effects of variable selection on modelling habitat and potential distribution of the Andean bear in Bolivia. URSUS 24(2):127-138.

Velez-Liendo, X., B. Rios-Uzeda & V. Albarracin. 2009. Tremarctos ornatus. In: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua 2009. Libro rojo de la fauna silvestre de vertebrados de Bolivia. Red List Assessment of Bolivian Mammals.

Velez-Liendo, X. & S. Paisley. 2009. Ursidae. Capitulo 21. In. Wallace, R.B., D.I. Rumiz and H. Gómez Cerveró. La Distribución y Ecología de los Mamíferos Medianos y Grandes de Bolivia. Editorial Fundación Simón Patiño, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Goldstein, I. X. Velez-Liendo, S. Paisley & D.L. Garshelis 2008 Tremarctos ornatus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org

Partners and Collaborators