Cameras are used in the forests to monitor tigers and Amur leopards, which helps us to identify individual animals and record their movements and families. Photographs can also be used to estimate the abundance of animals and density depending on the scientific data interpretation and methodologies used. They have also been used to monitor prey species and when hidden from sight, to provide evidence against poachers and other illegal activity.
But what about the other thousands of images, not of prey, tigers or Amur leopards?
These images help to build up a story about the interactions between different species and the general health and biodiversity of the habitat helping scientists to understand more about the landscape and animals they are trying to protect. Here are some of the images from our projects that do just that.
Bear v tiger
Survival in Zov Tigra National Park in the Russian Far East is challenging because of severe climate and large competitors such as Amur tigers and brown bears. This is a very large male brown bear coming to the same scent-marking tree as the male tiger named “Elvis”. A bear so fat and healthy is unusual in Spring after hibernating all winter without eating and indicates that he had plenty to eat before he started hibernation in the late Autumn. Bears and tigers usually avoid each other but when they meet if can be dangerous for both species. Some tigers will kill and eat smaller bears, and bears sometimes prey on tiger cubs, or follow tigers to kill sites and steal their kills. Mother tigers select den sites where cubs can hide in small caves or rock crevasses that are too small for such large bears.
Dr Linda Kerley
Leopards and bears in Thailand
See some of the individual photographs taken over the last few years of other animals sharing habitat with tigers and Amur leopards: