Forest camera traps monitor world’s endangered species
A TEAM researcher sets up a camera trap in La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Conservation International/photo by Morgan Cottle
The TEAM Network operates in 17 tropical forest sites in Africa, Asia and Latin America
A nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) from the network’s site in Caxiuana National Forest, Brazil
A mountain lion (Puma concolor), also known as the puma or cougar, is one of 169 mammal species in Costa Rica. Pumas are threatened by habitat loss and hunting
A Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), a type of rodent, from TEAM’s Cocha Cashu site in Manu National Park, Peru
A jaguar (Panthera onca) from Cocha Cashu. Threats to the species include deforestation and human persecution
A great curassow (Crax rubra) caught on a camera trap in Costa Rica. It is threatened by hunting and habitat loss
A Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei) from TEAM’s site in the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. It is classified as endangered by the environmental organisation the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
A South American coati (Nasua nasua) in Caxiuana National Forest. Threats to the species include habitat loss and hunting
An Amazonian brown brocket deer (Mazama nemorivaga) from the Caxiuana National Forest. Deforestation in the Amazon is a major threat to the species
A pale-winged trumpeter (Psophia leucoptera) from Cocha Cashu. Accelerating deforestation is the primary threat to the species
Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. It is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN
A southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) from TEAM’s site in Bukit Barisan Selatan, Indonesia. Habitat loss and hunting threaten the species
A northern tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) in Volcan Barva, Costa Rica. Threats include hunting and habitat change
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Hidden in some of the world’s most impenetrable forests, a network of cameras with inbuilt motion sensors are snapping animals in their tropical habitats. The photographs in this gallery were captured in forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They provide information on animal populations that are usually unseen by humans.
With the help of local inhabitants, scientists from the TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring) Network have deployed ‘camera traps’ in 17 tropical forests. Although these are the richest biological habitats on the planet, they are also the least understood because they are so difficult to access.
The images help build a picture of the long-term effects of climate change on biodiversity, natural resources and, ultimately, on human wellbeing in threatened environments. For example, they can reveal how changes in rainfall pattern or temperature affect species numbers. The cameras also help monitor how species are affected by changes in habitat and land use.
The data that TEAM collects on mammals, birds and vegetation can act as an early warning of global species loss.