May 25, 2016

Wild For Life

In Cool Earth’s rainforest partnerships, things are stirring in the undergrowth…

Our partner villages in Peru and Papua New Guinea have begun a project to monitor the wildlife in their forest. It will create a picture of the health of the forest, and how thanks to you, more wildlife means more trees soaking up carbon.

Just in time for World Environment Day on 5th June, Jaime Peña, Cool Earth’s Biodiversity Officer in Peru, has sent over the first images from the camera traps they’re using to monitor the forest.

The four-strong biodiversity team of Jaime Peña, Andy Peña Alvi, David Velasquez Sagastizabal, and Milton Masharima Fuentes have 12 cameras spread out across the forest surrounding Cutivireni. Four cameras have a special mission – to capture footage of the Spectacled Bears, which live in the highland areas of the community. These beautiful bears, the inspiration for Paddington Bear, are endangered because their rainforest habitat is disappearing.

Andy and expert guide finding bear evidence

Going on a bear hunt…

Jaime and Andy stayed in a remote village of just five families to look for signs of the bear. A guide from the village helped them navigate the dense mountain forest.

With the help of the local guide, Jaime and Andy found evidence of bear footprints on the forest floor. They also discovered a palm plant that had been chewed by a bear. In the area there’s an abundance of palm fruits, which are a typical bear food, and the biodiversity team also found eggs on the forest floor – a special treat for the bear. It’s the perfect habitat and Jaime is confident that we’ll have images of the bears soon.

Eggs bear fav food

Jaime has also sent results from the other camera traps. One camera, placed near a stream in a remote area of forest near the village of Alto Cobeja has produced over 100 snaps of wildlife.

Roll over to find out more about the species caught on camera…

Wild For Life This is likely to be a Common gray four eyed opossum. At 30cm long and weighing half a kilo, the black face with white spots over each eye gives the appearance of four eyes. They’re nocturnal and can climb trees, and feed on insects and small vertebrates such as frogs. They nest overlooking the forest floor in the hollows of trees. Four-eyed Opossum Philander opossum
Wild For Life The agouti is just under 1 ft long and is black to browny red. A tailless creature, it forages during the day for seeds, fruit, flowers, and leaves, and live in monogamous pairs. The new born young live in a small burrow which the mother doesn’t enter, instead calling them out for nursing. Agoutis are one of the few animals that can open brazil nut pods to get at the nut inside, with their sharp incisors that enable them to make a hole in the hard shell. Common agouti Dasyprocta punctata
Wild For Life These deer are over 1 metre long. They have red fur and a small white tail, while the young are brown with white spots. They have small antlers, feed during the day on fallen fruits and flowers, and like walking along the sides of forest streams. Brocket deer Mazama americna
Wild For Life Peccaries are small ungulates whose closest relatives are pigs. They differ from them in only having small litters: one or two young that can walk and follow their mother shortly after birth. They have large canine teeth and a crest of long hair. They make dog like “whoof” when frightened, and feed during the day in small groups on fruit, seeds, snails, invertebrates and small vertebrates. They have a strong odour like cheese or chicken soup, and love to wallow in mud. collared Peccary Tayassu tajacu


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