This enviable title has been awarded to Manu National Park in Peru, now believed to contain the greatest variety of terrestrial species on Earth. Following exhaustive research conducted across 16 of the most biodiverse places in the world, using 60 camera traps, Manu’s pristine mosaic of 14 different ecosystems came out on top. The study was carried out by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring [TEAM] Network, utilising systematic field station data collection procedures honed over many years to ensure the utmost veracity. Their work serves to identify trends in species diversity, which can then inform and shape conservation strategy.
A trail camera in Armenia’s Caucasus Wildlife Refuge has captured the elusive subspecies in intimate detail, following a joint project between the World Land Trust and their Armenian partner organisation, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets. There’s thought to be just 150 remaining in the country, and just two or three may live within the refuge. Their populations continue to decline across their range, which includes: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. It’s believed to now be extinct in Syria, Israel and Lebanon, due to factors such as a loss of habitat due to more intensive agriculture, mining activities and encounters with farmers protecting their bee hives and orchards. Continue reading Rare Footage of Wild Syrian Brown Bear
Over 320,000 photos from the National Park in Tanzania are now available to view online, providing a vivid insight into its ecology. The treasure-trove of photography was captured by 225 remote cameras located around the park between 2010 and 2013, as part of the University of Minnesota Lion Project, which began 45 years ago. The scope of the study has now been broadened to investigate the ecosystem as a whole and particularly, how the larger species of wildlife interact with each other and the lion prides in the region.
This week, the spotlight falls upon the smallest member of the Civet family, which resides throughout south-east Asia. It’s a greatly under-reported species and consequently, little is known about its ecology. It adopts a semi-arboreal, nocturnal lifestyle which has made documenting it a challenge, especially using modern methods such as camera traps.
This week’s look at a mammal species you often don’t see covered in wildlife documentaries is found from Northern Mexico, through Central America and into South America, reaching as far south as Argentina and Uruguay. Similar feline species include the stockier Ocelot and the smaller Oncilla. It spends virtually all its time in a variety of forest habitats and is an expert climber, spending much of its time in the trees.
A fascinating look at the shortlisted and winning entries from last year’s competition. Once again, it demonstrates how invaluable this technology is for capturing natural behaviour and for assisting conservation and research worldwide.
Photograph by NPS / courtesy of National Geographic.
The Sierra Nevada Red Fox has been photographed in Yosemite National Park for the first time since 1916. The camera traps were set up by wildlife biologists as part of a current study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy, with the primary aim of capturing images of the park’s two most elusive inhabitants; this mysterious red fox and the Pacific Fisher. The former was subsequently photographed on two separate occasions in an isolated corner of the national park. It’s unknown at this time whether the photos are of the same individual.
The Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project is being run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, a Brazilian NGO and a private cattle ranch; and was set up to provide the most in-depth ecological profile of this most enigmatic and secretive of creatures. Much of what we know about them is based on anecdotal evidence, despite their range extending through much of South America. However their distribution is of a very low density and they’re usually nocturnal. Their reproductive rate is also thought to be extremely low, so when combined with their sporadic populations, it’s no surprise the species is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.