Scientists use camera traps to create a database of Amazon wildlife

The Wildlife Conservation Society's camera traps compile a database of Amazon rainforest animals

Puma was caught on a camera trap. (Photo: WCS Ecuador)

We may never know the full beauty of the vast natural world. But thanks to the scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) We are one step closer to discovering a small corner of the Earth. For conservation research, the organization has set up hundreds of camera trap stations throughout the Amazon basin in order to capture photos and video footage of the region’s wildlife. The findings provide rare insight into the creatures’ daily life and habits.

“Many of the more cryptic species are very difficult to study because they are difficult to observe, either because they are rare, timid, nocturnal or all (!), but many of the camera traps left in the forest for one to two months or more can be observed by us,” Says Robert Wallace, director of WCS’s Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Program and co-author of the study. “Camera traps capture animals when you least expect them – for example, giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla(Taking a mud bath, crowned eagle)Morphinus guyanensis(drinking and bathing in the pool, or a puma or a cougar)Concolor Puma) He takes a nap.”

Data were collected over two decades from 143 field sites in the Amazon Basin. WCS Submitted More than 57,000 images to be used in a new study involving researchers from more than 100 institutions. The recent study was published in the scientific journal Ecology It compiled a collection of more than 120,000 images of nearly 300 species in eight countries in the Amazon region: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The main objective of the study was to create a database of images of Amazonian wildlife while documenting habitat loss, fragmentation and the effects of climate change.

Now, with images contributed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, it is the largest current image database of Amazon animals. This is the first time that images from camera traps in different regions have been aggregated and consolidated on such a large scale. Upon completion of the study, the researchers had 154,123 images of 317 species, including 185 birds, 119 mammals, and 13 reptiles. Of all the mammals photographed, the most captured was the spotted or low pakka (Cuniculus pacaA type of rodent. In total, the little furry creatures have been recorded about 12,000 times.

The bird most often seen was the razor-beaked bird (baoxi tuberosa), making it in the movie more than 3,700 times. The most common reptile was the golden tegu lizard (Tupinambis teguixin), seen on camera 716 times. But of all the images included in the study, the focal type for the majority of the group was the jaguar (Panthera Onca) and some I recommend “A symbol of wildlife in the Amazon region”.

Although they were developed nearly a century ago, camera traps were not used to study wildlife until the early 1990s. But since then, they have become an indispensable tool for conservation and wildlife research. It is a simple, non-invasive way of collecting information about the environment, and as technology has advanced, it has become more and more useful. This new study highlights its importance in more ways than one.

“With growing concerns about the impact of climate change on the distribution and abundance of wildlife, this aggregated data set provides a basis on which we can monitor change over time in the future,” Says Wallace. “It is also important to emphasize that analytical techniques are constantly evolving, and making this data available is a huge step forward for science and wildlife in the Amazon region.”

Scroll down to see more camera trap photos of wildlife from the study, and watch the video for a look at some Amazon wildlife in action.

A recent study used camera traps to capture more than 120,000 photos and videos of wildlife in the Amazon basin.

The Wildlife Conservation Society's camera traps compile a database of Amazon rainforest animals

Andean bear caught in a camera trap. (Photo: WCS Ecuador)

The Wildlife Conservation Society's camera traps compile a database of Amazon rainforest animals

Jaguar caught in a camera trap. (Photo: WCS Ecuador)

The Wildlife Conservation Society's camera traps compile a database of Amazon rainforest animals

A giant anteater caught in a camera trap. (Photo: WCS Bolivia)

Watch this video to see the adorable creatures in action.

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