Residents of the Forest: Educational series shows the diversity of Amazon dwellers
WWF-Brazil chose the Fauna Defense Day, celebrated on September 22, in Brazil, to launch another video of the series "Residents of the Forest?". With an educational approach, the series' videos provide information about some of the most remarkable and rare species of the Amazon forests using images captured by camera traps installed in the Extractive Reserve (Resex) Chico Mendes, in the state of Acre.
The new species portrayed in the series is the tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the largest mammal in South America. The first video of the series, released in April 2018, showed the first video record in Resex Chico Mendes of the pacarana (Dinomys branickii), a rare and little-known species by scientists. Click here to watch the video: https://vimeo.com/263869929
The series is the result of a partnership among WWF-Brazil, the Cooperative of the Community Forest Producers (Cooperfloresta), and the Association of Residents and Producers of the Chico Mendes Extractivist Reserve in Xapuri (Amoprex), and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). and the Management Council of of Resex Chico Mendes.
Altogether, the series will bring ten videos, one each month, depicting the results of an initiative that installed 20 camera traps inside the reserve. The undisclosed work has been carried out in partnership with the Resex community members, who have monitored the fauna present in the forest management areas of the protected area. The installed cameras are helping to evaluate the impact of logging on the local fauna and supporting the community claims of their economic activity, showing that it does not have a permanent impact on the lives of the local animals.
Monitoring is important for revealing information about species, but mainly to show the impact of human activities on forest life, according to WWF-Brazil biologist and conservation analyst Felipe Spina.
"The records were made inside the Resex in areas where the community exploits wood and Brazil nut. This is an indication that forest use and wildlife maintenance can coexist, provided rules are obeyed to use forest resources sustainably and ensure that the animals remain there and suffer few impacts," says Felipe Spina.
The camera traps are regular cameras equipped with technological improvements and appropriate for the wild environment. In fact, they are hidden and tied to trees, and work with light sensors. Each time an animal walks past the equipment, the camera automatically shoots and takes a picture or starts an audio-visual recording.
Notably, such cameras use infrared recording and provide great results during nighttime without additional light, and do not scare or harass the animals. As a result, they are increasingly being adopted by conservationists around the globe.
Since they were installed at Resex Chico Mendes in December 2017, the cameras made more than 2,000 records. The installation took place in workshops that gathered about 20 extractors and trained four of them to be the "local operators" of the equipment.
More than 30 different species of animals were spotted by the cameras, among them armadillos (Dasypus sp.), brocket deer (Mazama sp.), guariba monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), robust capuchin monkeys (Cebus apela), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), and many others.
About Resex Chico Mendes
The Extractive Reserve (Resex) Chico Mendes was created in 1990 and has more than 970,000 hectares (around 2,4 million acres). It covers seven municipalities in the state of Acre and has about 10,000 inhabitants. The Resex is one of the 117 protected areas supported by the Amazon Protected Areas Program (ARPA).