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Camera Traps in Rimba Ilmu

by Vanessa Ting

(Above) Camera trap in situ.

Two months ago, RIMBA with help and equipment from Jamie Wadey of the Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME), set up camera traps in Rimba Ilmu, to capture wild animals on the move. Rimba Ilmu is a former rubber plantation, and most of its 80 hectares are regenerating secondary rainforest, with little known about what goes on behind the scenes.

On the 2nd of August 2014, Ben, Vanessa and Thary of RIMBA joined MEME's Jamie, Anders, Ning and Chong to retrieve the five camera traps. These are digital cameras that are triggered by any form of movement.

(Above, left) Jamie looks on as Ben dismantles a camera trap and frees it of its protective casing (above, top right). (Above, bottom right) The camera trap runs on four AA batteries.

The camera trap is fixed securely on a tree trunk, using a cable and a lock. To remove it, a key and lots of tugging will be needed. An SD card is then extracted from the camera, and will be processed for images of 'positive hits'.

(Above) A parang comes in handy in a forest, from hacking away thorny rattan vines to opening a stiff camera trap casing!

While cutting through the botanical garden section of Rimba Ilmu, we stopped for a tea break when Thary found two wild durians (Durio oxleyanus) in the fruit orchard.

(Above, left) Thary and his specimens. (Above, top right) The parang comes in handy again! (Above, bottom right) Jamie and Ben serve up durians.

It was a fruitful session (not just because of the durians!) as we managed to locate the five camera traps via memory and a GPS unit. Stick around for more news as RIMBA goes through the footage!

(Above) Conservation biologists have an uncanny knack of disappearing into thick forest.

#articles #cameratraps #rimbailmu

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