Camera traps in Vietnam

Vietnam's hot, moist rainforests are home to some of the world's most endangered species, including tigers, elephants and rhinos.

To better protect the forests and manage them more sustainably, WWF is working deep in the jungle assessing the status of the wildlife and studying the threats to their survival.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is with camera traps, which can capture on film the rare and often nocturnal creatures that inhabit these rainforests.

Two types of cameras are being used: the Camtrakker, which detects heat and motion much like a burglar alarm; and the Trailmaster which takes a picture when its infra-red beam is broken.
Asiatic golden cat / ©: WWF
Asiatic golden cat
© WWF

Capturing wildlife in action

In the dense Quang Nam forests in central Vietnam, WWF has installed several camera traps to capture the area’s unique biodiversity.
While the tiger may be camera shy, other species seemingly enjoy the limelight and fancy themselves being superstars. Monkeys, which quickly learn how to trigger the flash, easily use up a whole roll of film with their antics, while at least one entire roll of film captured wild pigs wallowing in the mud right where the camera was placed.

Large-antlered and annamite muntjac deer have also been photographed, as well as some very strange creatures such as the ferret badger and the rare spotted linsang.

WWF, through the innovative MOSAIC project, is working with local communities and forest officials to design and implement sustainable management practices to protect many of these species.

Pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonine). / ©:  Barney Long / WWF-Canon / Quang nam Forest Protection Department
Pig-tailed macaque
© Barney Long / WWF-Canon / Quang nam Forest Protection Department

How many monkeys?

Step into the shoes of WWF conservationist Barney Long, and see how many monkeys you can spot in a camera trap photo!

Javan rhinoceros

The Javan rhino is perhaps the most threatened large mammal in the world, with only two populations known to exist in the wild.
The largest population of is found in Indonesia’s Ujong Kulon National Park on the island of Java, with fewer than 60 animals. The second population is in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park, with less than 10 remaining.

Throughout Asia, rhino horn is highly valued as a powerful traditional medicine. Although hunting and trading in parts of rhinos are forbidden under national and international laws, the illicit trade continues, pushing these incredible creatures to the very brink of extinction.

A camera trap has recently captured photos of a critically endangered Javan rhino in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park. WWF continues to work in the park to assist in the protection of the rhino and its habitat.
 / ©: WWF Vietnam
A camera trap captured photos of this Javan rhinoceros whilst it was wallowing in a muddy pool
© WWF Vietnam

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