A Colombian national park reveals its natural secrets through camera traps

A Colombian national park reveals its natural secrets through camera traps

In the forests of El Tuparro National Natural Park, a protected area in the far east of Colombia’s Orinoco region, a jaguar roams freely, the king of a territory it shares with many other species. It was captured in a languid mid-stride pose on one of 44 camera traps set up around the park between January and May 2020 by park rangers and researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF. Other species picked up by the network of cameras: a puma (Puma concolor), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu). These images are part of a large monitoring program and confirm that the food chain is still healthy in this ecosystem. “All the top predators in the food chain, such as the jaguar, the jaguarundi [Puma yagouaroundi] and the forest fox [Cerdocyon thous], are found within El Tuparro National Natural Park,” said Jorge Parra, WCS’s protected areas coordinator. “This means that there is prey and that the park is fulfilling its function of maintaining ecosystems. Usually, these species are the first to disappear when there are severe disturbances.” Every day, when the park rangers walk through the area, they come across animal tracks, including those of tapirs accompanied by their young, dozens of peccaries in search of watering holes, and pacas (Cuniculus paca), a giant rodent. These, and the visual evidence gathered by the camera traps, point to the park as a conservation success story. A jaguar (Panthera onca) in El Tuparro…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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