Camera traps in Malaysia
Camera traps also track the activity patterns of tigers, leopards and their prey. Based on these behavioural patterns, researchers can develop recommendations on reducing conflicts between tigers and the local human population. For example, a farmer in Jeli, Kelantan, can use this information to assist in managing his cattle. During peak activity hours when tigers are hungrily roaming for prey, he can keep his cattle in a protected enclosure, to minimise tiger attacks on them.
Although camera-trapping is an effective way of monitoring abundances of tigers and providing a basic overview of the wildlife in the study area, WWF-Malaysia researchers are hoping to expand their monitoring methods using video-trapping and telemetry; fitting animals with instruments such as radio or satellite transmitters in order to obtain ecological information such as movement patterns, home range and habitat use of these animals. Even though relatively expensive, satellite telemetry has been used previously in places such as East Malaysia, India, Cambodia, Kenya and Mozambique to track the movement of elephants and other wildlife that occupy large areas, especially those that might travel across international borders. This was done by fitting the animals with GPS or satellite collars.
The main threats to the last rhinos on Borneo are poaching – its horn and virtually all of its body parts are valuable on the black market – and loss of its forested habitat due to land conversion for other uses such as agriculture.
Photos and video footage can determine the condition of rhinos, help identify individual animals and show how they behave in the wild.
Watch the video of the Borneo rhino caught on film