Never before has such a large and pristine area of Amazonian forest been studied for so long, and uniquely, our project monitors the canopy where half of all rainforest animals reside, as well as the forest floor. We climb hundreds of trees and walk hundreds of kilometers each year to pick up tens of thousands of photos and videos from these cameras. We can use these images look at wildlife distributions and population trends for large mammals like jaguar, tapir, spider monkeys and peccaries, but there are too many for us to go through, so we rely on a large team of citizen scientists to view them on-line and identify the animals for us. Often these volunteers are the first to see images of rare wildlife from the Amazon Basin, and we reward our volunteers with Travel Credits, which they can redeem for a stay at one of our lodges during Science Season. During Science Season, guests can deploy camera traps and work alongside our biologists. AmazonCam Tambopata is overseen by Dr Mark Bowler from the San Diego Zoo.
AmazonCam Tambopata is the second Wired Amazon project that soon will be featured in Zooniverse. This project will focus on the study of the mammal biodiversity and on some of the most elusive and charismatic animals of the jungle.
Our array of remote cameras covers over 200 square kilometers of lowland Amazonian rainforest, spanning two protected areas in Peru; the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Both are located in the department of Madre de Dios, in the Tambopata province.
We launch our AmazonCam Tambopata project with three main goals:
To learn about the biodiversity and the distribution of animals.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse places on earth. Camera traps can tell us 'species richness', or how many species, of large and medium-sized mammal inhabit the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. We can also look at the distribution of animals and how that changes through time.
To learn about Jaguar (Panthera onca) demography
Top predators play a fundamental role in regulating the ecology of tropical rainforests and studying the big cats of the Tambopata Basin is one of our key goals. Jaguars often have very large and irregularly-shaped territories, which makes estimating their numbers fraught with difficulties. However, because we can identify individual jaguars through their unique spots patterns, we can track them through time and see how long they hold their territories, how long they live, and how often they have cubs.
To learn about the distribution of arboreal species by using tree camera-trapping.
Around half the larger mammals in the Amazon live in the canopy, yet most of the arboreal species have been little studied. The rainforest canopy really is one of the last natural frontiers on earth. We climb trees to position cameras at different heights in trees to get a better understanding of the distribution of arboreal species. Our volunteers are among the first to catch a glimpse of these otherwise hard to observe species.