Camera traps are the traffic cams of the wild. But rather than zooming in on license plates to later send you a ticket in the mail, these traps are set up to do surveys of animal populations when humans aren’t present. A giant worldwide camera trap study conducted by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network (TEAM) took 52,000 nocturnal photos of 105 different species in seven protected areas on three continents with camera traps. The study confirmed that shrinking reserves and smaller habitats have negative effects on species populations around the world.
One of the photos shows an armed poacher retreating from the camera in Laos, in a reserve which showed very low species diversity and fragmented habitats.