Using Cameras Monitoring To Aid Conservation Efforts

Posted on June 1, 2008  Comments (4)

photo of Jaguar

How Hidden Cameras Aid Conservation Efforts for Jaguars and Other Rare Animals

Tobler and his fellow authors write that “despite years of research throughout the Amazon, there are few complete mammal inventories and our knowledge of the distributions of rare and elusive species is still poor.” They explain further that traditional techniques for inventorying which animals are present in a given ecosystem, such as identification of tracks and scat, direct observations, and trapping of animals often do not account for species of animals that are rare and/or low in their numbers in a certain area. For these reasons, they wanted to test out how well cameras could document animals in the rainforest, where cover is dense and many species are hard to observe.

Over the two years of the study, some of the more photographed animals included the Lowland tapir, which was caught on camera 102 times and also the White-lipped Peccary (seen 210 times). Among cat species, jaguars were photographed 51 times, ocelots 46 times, pumas 25 times, margays 15 times, and jaguarundis proved the most elusive, only being photographed twice.

The four species of animals that were not photographed included the pacarana, the grison, the Southern naked-tailed armadillo, and the Bush dog.

Given the recent lowering of costs and improvements in camera technology, hopefully their example and those of others will help other conservationists around the world to better understand the location of important and rare animals in their respective ecosystems. Given the large range of jaguars and their need for connected habitat, this study gives us hope to think that little hidden cameras might help us better understand where these charismatic cats and other rare animals roam, and consequently give us better information with which to help protect them.

Photo Credit: purplegrum at Flickr under a Creative Commons attribution license

Related: Rare Chinese Mountain CatJaguars Back in the Southwest USACool CatCam

4 Responses to “Using Cameras Monitoring To Aid Conservation Efforts”

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