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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wild Cats Caught on Camera
While visiting research sites supported by the CLP, we have observed many of the methodologies employed to study wild cats. With Andreas and his field assistant Azlan we checked all 18 pairs of the camera traps he has set up in the forest. This entailed two full days of bouncing many miles by truck over rocky, rutted, and sometimes virtually non-existent forest "roads" and hiking through the jungle to his remote camera sites. The images from the cameras revealed a wide range of creatures passing on the trails - including macaques (monkeys) and pheasants during the day to three deer species, bearded pigs, and several types of civets at night. Most exciting were the many images of the small, richly spotted leopard cats that are abundant in the forest and the lone image of a flat-headed cat captured in an unexpected location along a logging road.Opening each camera and loading the images from the memory card to our portable viewer was exciting. All 36 times we eagerly anticipated the revelation of images giving us a glimpse into the secret lives of the forest's wildlife! Both Andreas' and Andy and Jo's projects have chronicled an amazing array of wildlife. These images will be compared to determine the numbers of individuals living in their study areas and help them determine their ranging patterns. We'll profile all of their study objectives in the coming weeks on the website and include lots of photos of their projects in action.


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