Camera traps are one of the conservation tools Ya’axché uses to record data on mammal, bird and even reptile species. Camera trap surveys are helping to support wildlife protection in protected areas and buffering farms in southern Belize.
Camera traps are automatic cameras designed to resist outdoor weather conditions. They are motion-triggered by an infrared sensor to take pictures. These pictures are then sorted and analyzed to learn about the presence, abundance, and behavior of wildlife. The five wild cats of Belize are regularly recorded: jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarundi and margay as well as other astounding wildlife such as the kinkajou, tamandua, iguana, paca and even the great tinamou.
Camera traps are deployed during the dry and wet seasons in Bladen Nature Reserve, Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve, agroforestry farms and Jaguar-Friendly cattle farms within the MGL When deploying, our team installs the camera traps strategically on trees at an adequate height and angle to increase capture probabilities. Camera traps are placed in different spots along trails, trail junctions, cacao plots or inga plots. The data is collected monthly for 3 months each season.
Ya’axché ’s wildlife monitoring activities have been expanding, and with them, the citizen science component of monitoring in the MGL has grown. Our team is currently working with farmers and their families to build their capacity in camera trap management and engage them in wildlife conservation. Several training and workshop sessions have been facilitated by Ya’axché and camera traps deployed in family farms.
The agroforestry concession within Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve is also part of the camera surveys. The data collected from the cacao plots has provided solid evidence that the agroforestry system is helping to protect forests and wildlife.
Ya’axché ’s camera survey data adds to the national wildlife monitoring network of Belize and supports the conservation of iconic, threatened species such as jaguars.
Learn more about our camera trapping survey activities and visit Downloads.