Camera Traps Reveal Major Recovery of Fauna at Los Amigos
July 22, 2009
Photos of animals like the ones here were recorded by three camera traps, each just 250 meters from the CICRA biological station in the Los Amigos Conservation Concession in Madre de Dios, Peru.
Set up by Joe Bishop of Pennsylvania State University and the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER), the camera traps are camouflaged cameras that are activated by movement, automatically photographing passing wildlife.
These cameras are instrumental for studies of nocturnal species or other rare mammals, and are commonly used because up-close study of these animals is difficult and potentially dangerous.
They have already shown that the fauna is abundant and diverse in the vicinity of the station, including four species of cats: jaguar (Panthera onca), puma (Felis concolor), ocelot (Leopardus tigrinus, photo above), and margay (Leopardus wiedii), one bush dog (Atelocynus microtis), and ungulates like the tapir (Tapirus terrestris, photo to the left), South America’s largest terrestrial mammal.
At a mining camp on the opposite side of the Madre de Dios River, where miners are known to hunt for meat, the abundance of animals seems to be much lower than at the station, which demonstrates the important role of protected areas for the maintenance of healthy animal populations.
“We’re checking cameras that have been extremely successful on a weekly basis. Three are hardly 250 meters from the station; in other words, we are surrounded by animals,” said Dr. Adrian Tejedor, ACCA’s Science Manager.