Amazon rainforest

120,000 images of Amazon wildlife captured by camera traps

Image credit: Foto 179525881 © Mariusz Prusaczyk |

More than 120 research institutions have participated in a new study to gather the largest-ever photo database of Amazon wildlife.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has contributed over 57,000 images of jaguar, puma, giant anteaters, tapirs, bears and hundreds of other species for a massive study on Amazon wildlife.

The study, published in the journal Ecology, consists of more than 120,000 images taken in eight countries, representing the largest photo database to date of the Amazon’s staggering array of wildlife. The images show 289 species taken from 2001-2020 from 143 field sites.

The images will allow conservationists to document the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation and climate change on different species that live in the Amazon.

Jaguar captured in camera trap

Jaguar captured in camera trap/ WCS Ecuador

Image credit: WCS Ecuador

The WCS images from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru reveal playful jaguar cubs, a giant anteater lounging in a mud wallow, elusive short-eared dogs, along with tapirs, white-lipped peccaries, harpy eagles, toucans, pumas, Andean bears and dozens of other species. Jaguars and Andean bears are priority species for WCS.

The Amazon Basin covers nearly 3.2 million square miles in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Puma captured in camera trap

Puma captured in camera trap/ WCS Ecuador

Image credit: WCS Ecuador

“WCS scientists were proud to collaborate with such a diverse group of scientists and organisations on this important study,” said Robert Wallace, a co-author of the study.

“The tens of thousands of images WCS provided will serve as critical data points to show where wildlife occurs and the staggering diversity of species found in the Amazon region.”  

This study marks the first time images from camera traps from different regions of the Amazon have been compiled and standardised on such a large scale.

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