Camera Trapping in The JW-Concession
Our camera trapping project began in late 2016 when 40 camera traps were placed at strategic locations across the concession, over the space of four months. The results provided a wonderful snapshot of the diversity of wildlife within Botum Sakor National Park.
Among the many common species recorded, like wild pigs, civets, macaques and several species of deer, the traps have also caught several very significant species. These include many species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘endangered’ such as the beautiful clouded leopard, the sun bear and the greater hog badger among others – although the numbers recorded suggest these populations have been hit hard by hunting in the recent past.
The area is also home to a very widespread population of dhole (wild dog) and to the now critically endangered Sunda pangolin, which has been hunted to the verge of extinction across most of its range.
For bird watchers, there are some real surprises, including the appearance of the Malayan night heron which has been caught on camera. These birds are very rare indeed and may in the long term provide an almost unique opportunity for birdwatchers to see this enigmatic species. Going forward we will continue the camera trapping as part of our efforts to both identify and assess the health of populations within the protected areas, as well as to better target those areas that Forest Rangers need to protect.