Watch Amazon Animal Cams: Learn about wildlife research and conservation in the Peruvian Amazon
Learn how we help save Amazon rainforest wildlife—including giant river otter, tapir, jaguar, paca, peccaries, frogs, anteaters, dolphins and many more.
Watch new daily videos of Amazon animals, learn about rainforests and wildlife conservation, and how to join a student or volunteer research expedition. Learn more about the animals and the indigenous people who help converse them by subscribing to our Amazon Animal Cams newsletter – and receive our free e-book Pacaya Samiria: Land of Mirrors.
Join us in celebrating International Rainforest Day: June 22, 2018: In celebration we are presenting a special issue of our newsletter dedicated to Jaguars. Read about our research on jaguars and how their populations have rebounded – a true rainforest conservation success story.
“We had the chance to go to a remote area of the Peruvian Amazon to carry out research. And, even if you are well traveled, this is an amazing experience. You are right at the edge of unexplored territory and the fieldwork that we did has been instrumental in saving a sizable chunk of rainforest. So that gave us a wonderful feeling of achievement.” David Sewell (DICE student).
Selected as the number one Conservation holiday by BBC Wildlife Magazine in 2009. “The project scientists are conducting surveys in isolated rainforest areas and working with local people to identify sustainable levels of hunting and fishing. From a base aboard a 33m riverboat, you will trek through the rainforest to count and record the behavior of monkeys. You will also carry out surveys of pink river dolphins, caiman, and giant otter.”
Watch Amazon Animals and learn about rainforest wildlife firsthand! See new animals daily in their natural environment, deep in the Amazon.
We are a group of dedicated conservationists who have been working with rainforest animals, local indigenous communities and protected areas for over 30 years in the Peruvian Amazon. We conduct research on Amazon animals, including primates, dolphins, tapir, cats, peccaries, deer, caimans, macaws, waterfowl, sloths, anteaters, frogs, understory birds, fish, bats, manatees, butterflies, rodents, among others. In this page we show you some of the wonderful videos that we capture during our fieldwork.
Trail cams are used to study the secretive rainforest animals that roam the forest floor. Digital camera traps with heat/motion sensors are used to photograph terrestrial species. Twenty to forty Bushnell HD passive infrared camera trap stations are set over an area of around 200 km2 and distributed across habitat types. The habitat types include Riverine Forests, Open Understory Flooded Forest, Levee Non-flooded Forests, Liana Forests, Tree Falls and Aguaje Palm Swamps. Ten trails of 3 km are used to place camera traps throughout each sampling area. Camera traps will be placed up to 50m off the trail in areas will good visibility, without predetermined knowledge of the animal visitation. Cameras will be checked at least once a week and cameras are rotated every 15 days. Detection histories are determined for each species using capture rates. Capture rates use independent events per 1,000 camera-days, as ind/m.c.d. Independent events had a minimum gap of 30 minutes for captures of the same species. Time series regression analysis is used with annual data sets of species to determine population trends. Correlations between predator and prey populations are also analyzed.
Research on Amazon animals is being conducted in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on river dolphins, primates, fish, caimans, macaws, deer, peccaries, tapirs, jaguars, giant river otters, wading birds, game birds and other species to understand how ever increasing climatic changes are impacting their ecology, behavior and populations. The research team is also working with the local Indian communities on their fishing and bush meat hunting that they depend on for their daily livelihood.
Wildlife of the Samiria River lives in an ecosystem that is driven by large seasonal fluctuations occurring between high and low water seasons. The ecology of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife revolves around these seasonal changes in water level (Aquino et al. 2001). Ecological conditions of long periods of flooding, up to 6 months, are very harsh on much of the floral and faunal community (Junk & Piedade 1997). Many plant species cannot withstand long periods of inundation and diversity of plants in the heavily flooded areas is lower than lightly and non-flooded levees (De Simone et al. 2002). Likewise, terrestrial wildlife (deer, peccaries, rodents and tapir) must seek out floodplain islands or levees during high water seasons, which have increased competition and predation pressures (Bodmer 1990, Junk & Da Silva 1997). Even arboreal wildlife is impacted by flooding, since many fruit trees are quite seasonal in flooded forests, resulting in seasons with low food production (Ayres 1986).
Aquatic wildlife is equally affected by large seasonal inundations. During the flooded periods fish enter water laden forests and feed on the abundance of vegetative and animal production, especially abundant fruits, invertebrates and other living organisms trapped in the annual floods (Junk et al. 1997). Indeed, many tree species fruit during this season and rely on the fish as their primary means of seed dispersal (Goulding 1980). During the flooded period many fish populations reproduce within the inundated forests (Ortega & Hidalgo2008). Other aquatic wildlife have a more difficult time during floods, such as dolphins, giant river otter and other fish predators, since their prey is more sparsely distributed throughout the large expanses of flooded forests. When waters recede during dry months, fish populations become condensed in the reduced lakes, rivers and channels with ever increasing competition and predation. During this period many fish populations migrate out of smaller rivers and into larger rivers (Granado-Lorencio et al. 2007). Dolphins, wading birds and other fish predators have an abundance of prey during the low water season and even follow fish migrations down rivers and channels.
People who live in flooded forests also have adapted to seasonal changes in both use of natural resources and their agriculture (Goulding et al. 1996). During high water seasons fishing is more difficult, since fish are dispersed throughout inundated forests. However, during this period hunting becomes easier with the large bush meat species, such as deer, peccaries and tapir being trapped on levees (Bodmer et al. 1998). In contrast, during low water seasons bush meat species become difficult to hunt as they range throughout the entire forests, and the fish become easy prey being trapped in reduced water bodies of lakes, channels and rivers (Tejerina-Garro et al. 1998)). Local indigenous people of floodplain forests alter their hunting and fishing accordingly, with a greater emphasis on hunting during high water seasons and a greater focus on fishing during low water seasons (Bodmer et al. 1998).
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