Canopy Camera Traps

Supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme, a team of Brazilian biologists piloted a novel camera trap project amongst the canopy of the Atlantic Forest. The forest, like much of Brazil’s Amazon, is experiencing biodiversity loss at an alarming rate, with the latest research suggesting that around 70% of its mammal population has disappeared. The project focuses on tracking the movements of the southern muriqui— an important umbrella species which are found exclusively in the Serra do Mar region of Brazil— in order to collect data on their whereabouts and population status (and not to mention the first ever camera trap images of the woolly monkeys). Camera traps were installed on the ground, as well as up in portions of the Atlantic Forests tree canopy with the help of tree-climbing experts, who scaled the canopy in order to determine the best camera capture angles; the teams traveled over 10 hours on foot to reach their desired canopy from their base camp. The camera traps ended up capturing more than they had bargained for, collecting not only information on and images of the muriqui, but also that of other mammals, such as pumas and rare variations of weasels. The camera traps revealed a close-knit and revitalized community of mammals, confirming the success of local conservation and restoration efforts in the region. Currently, such a network of camera traps has only been implemented in the Três Picos State Park and Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve, but many other areas of the Amazon could benefit from such novel biodiversity monitoring. 

Knight, T. (2018, November 22). “Canopy cameras shed new light on monkey business in Brazil“.


Biodiversity, Climate Change, Illegal Resource Extraction, Monitoring, Visual Technologies