Denis Drouin’s Diary
Climate Change, Canopies and Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Andes

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September 30 2009: Camera Traps

CameraTrap Elusive wildlife such as spectacled bears, pumas and deer are difficult to see and study in forest environments, but there is the urgent need to assess their conservation status in areas such as the north-western Ecuadorian mountain forests to focus and determine the effectiveness of conservation efforts
. The camera trapping project at the Santa Lucia Cloud Forest Reserve aims to capture photographic imagery and provide scientific information on the status of endangered species, using a network of camera traps set up in the forest. These cameras detect movement and allow us to take digital photographs of wildlife in the reserve that is then uploaded to an online database. The database, developed in collaboration with the University of Sussex, stores the information for scientific analysis and allows the public to see the latest imagery uploaded from the forest cameras using a Google maps interface. Today I’m working with James and Xavier as “Camera trap response." We are going to visit four different places. The task is to: Replace the memory card in the camera;  Replace the battery; Clean the lens; Set the clock; Test functionality; then later, at the lodge, download the images on the computer and Web site. This has been one more very pleasant and instructive day. I learned that pumas and ocelots are nocturnal mammals. Evening activity was a very happy game of ”Settlers of Catan." Xavier was a particularly good resources trader.

Click image to enlarge.