A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

The Secret World of Life in the Forest

Amazing new photos capture wildlife … and poachers

A jaguar from the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. All photos by Johanna Hurtado, as part of the first Global Camera Trap Mammal Study.

Now we can all be a fly on the wall in the some of the world’s most inaccessible forests.

The Global Camera Trap Mammal Study took nearly 52,000 photos of 105 species from protected areas in Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, Suriname, Tanzania and Uganda. 420 cameras were used in total, placed for a month at each site.

The study was conducted by Dr. Jorge Ahumada, ecologist with the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network (TEAM) and his team at Conservation International.

“We take away two key findings from this research, Dr. Ahumada said. “First, protected areas matter: the bigger the forest they live in, the higher the number and diversity of species, body sizes and diet types. Second, some mammals seem more vulnerable to habitat loss than others: insect-eating mammals like anteaters, armadillos and some primates, are the first to disappear, while other groups, like herbivores, seem to be less sensitive.”

The photos didn’t only capture non-humans. They also caught poachers, who pose one of the biggest threats to wildlife.

The study, “Community structure and diversity of tropical mammals: data from a global camera trap network”, has been published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Cameras have now been installed in new places, with the hope of creating a systematic animal monitoring system.

A mountain gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda.

An ocelot from the Volcan Barva in Costa Rica.

A collared peccary from the Central Suriname Nature Reserve.

A South American tapir from Manaus, Brazil.

A poacher in Nam Kading, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.