Monthly  Achievement  Report     30th    April  2012   Ecuador  -­‐  Amazon  Hub   Case  study:    Camera  Trapping  Success   In  2011

,  the  GVI  Amazon  team  of  staff  and  volunteers  laboriously  undertook  a  sand-­‐padding  project  to   better  know  what  mammals  the  Yachana  Reserve  held.  Over  a  period  of  months  they  lugged  sand  over   challenging  terrain,  laid  it  out,  sheltered  it  as  best  they  could  from  the  vast  quantities  of  rain   experienced  in  the  rainforest  and  noted  the  footprints  left  by  the  forest’s  most  elusive  animals.  This   method  proved  to  be  tricky  and  inefficient  in  such  a  climate,  and  it  was  clear  that  in  order  to  properly   monitor  the  Reserve,  camera  traps  were  needed.     Once  arrived,  GVI  Amazon’s  first  set  of  camera  traps  were  put  out  with  bait  such  as  cologne  at  points  of   interest  within  the  Reserve,  with  varying  success.  It  was  with  the  start  of  the  new  year,  however,  that   things  turned  around.  News  reached  the  staff  that  the  government  was  planning  to  tarmac  the  rocky,   dirt  road  through  the  Reserve.  This  caused  much  concern  as  the  affects  of  the  associated  destruction,   chemical  run-­‐off  and  increased  noise  and  light  pollution  could  be  huge.  It  was  thus  decided  that  if  the   resurfacing  of  the  road  could  not  be  stopped  then  data  for  a  ‘before  and  after’  comparison  should  be   gathered  as  evidence  to  deter  the  development  of  similar  projects  in  the  future.     Such  data  had  previously  been  collected  for  a  multi-­‐taxa  study  on  edge  effects  that  is  currently  being   edited  for  publication.    However,  due  to  the  fact  that  the  camera  traps  were  a  new  survey  technique  for   GVI  Amazon,  there  was  no  data  for  mammals.   Volunteers  and  staff  alike  enjoyed  devising  the  methodology  and  learning  how  to  use  the  traps.  Previous   studies  show  that  mammals  frequently  use  man-­‐made  paths  and  that  camera-­‐trap  studies  such  as  ours   were  most  successful  when  the  cameras  were  placed  along  these  paths.  As  such,  five  traps  at  a  time   were  set  up  at  different  distances  from  the  road  along  the  previously  established  access  trails.  The   results  since  then  have  been  very  pleasing;  five  transects  -­‐  approximately  4200  camera  trap  hours  –  have   been  completed;  two  traps  have  caught  ocelots  (Leopardus  pardalis)  on  film;  the  database  now  has   some  good-­‐quality  pictures  of  nine-­‐banded  armadillos  (Dasypus  novemcinctus),  Black  Agouti   (Dasyprocta  fuliginosa)  and  pacas  (Cuniculus  paca);  and  a  species  new  to  the  Yachana  Reserve  Species   List  –  the  Crab-­‐eating  Raccoon  (Procyon  cancrivorus)  –  has  been  captured  on  camera  three  times.   Nevertheless,  despite  such  results,  there  have  been  hitches  along  the  way.  The  cameras,  though   waterproof,  do  not  seem  to  be  surviving  the  harsh  humidity  to  which  many  of  our  electronics  have   succumbed.  Data  collection  is  currently  paused  as  we  try  to  fix  a  few  of  them  and  in  the  mean  time  we   are  moving  in  a  new  direction.  Currently,  for  the  remaining  cameras,  canopy  camera  bait  traps  are  being   constructed  and  all  involved  are  excited  about  the  potential  results.  

  Ocelot  (Leopardus  pardalis)  captured  300m  from  road.  

  Photo  not  part  of  study.  Crab-­‐eating  Raccoon  (Procyon  cancrivorus)  also  found  at  100m  from  the  road.        

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