Monday, 25 April 2016

Expedition captures animal selfies in Amazon Rainforest

Photo traps reveal animal diversity, cats included

Date: April 22, 2016
Source: Field Museum

Summary:A team of scientists set up camera traps in Peru to record the biodiversity of that area of the Amazon Rainforest.

In the rainforest, you can tell me a herd of white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) has been nearby recently. Living in groups of multiple hundreds, these animals travel great distances to find fruit and leave a strong odor in their wake. Unfortunately, peccaries are highly prized by hunters and have been hunted to extinction in many areas of the Amazon.

If you've been on the Internet lately, you've probably seen a cat selfie. Now, a Field Museum expedition to the Peruvian Amazon has elevated the animal selfie phenomenon to a whole new level. Earlier this year, a team of 25 scientists trekked to the unexplored reaches of Medio Putumayo-Algodón, Peru and spent 17 days conducting a rapid biological and social inventory of the area. As part of their efforts to document the region's biodiversity, the team set up 14 motion-activated camera traps and used a drone to capture aerial footage of the rainforest. The results are amazing.

The camera traps revealed remarkable biodiversity in the area, showing animals like ocelots, giant armadillos, currassows, giant anteaters, tapirs, peccaries, and pacas up close and personal in their native habitat. Meanwhile, the aerial drone footage helped paint a picture of the overall landscape, sharing a never-before-seen look at the vast forest, which is only accessible by helicopter.

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