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Africa's most elusive animals caught on camera

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:52

Stunning images captured using remote camera trap photography are changing the way the WWF is able to research of some of Africa's most endangered species. Stuart McDill reports.

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Rarely seen before - Namibia's secret pride Just one of hundreds of high quality photographs captured by camera trap - So detailed they're allowing researchers to map populations we previously knew little about The images were all caught on unmanned digital cameras tripped by infra red - the set up of photographer Will Burrard-Lucas (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL BURRARD-LUCAS, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER, SAYING: "Anytime there's a human involved it can be quite disturbing for the animals. But these camera traps; they're stationary, they just sit there. The most they get is a click and a flash, but they quickly learn that it's no threat and after a while they begin to ignore it. And so this really is the least intrusive way to gather information and data about where these animals are, and obviously to obtain images of them." The kit can attract unwanted attention from some of the locals - a needed resetting weekly But over 10 weeks they caught their quarry - lions and leopards so shy they had eluded a wildlife researcher in the area for two years The area is one of the world's largest protected conservation zones - spanning five countries but the animals here wander in and out of the park and WWF want to know more about them (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL GLOVER-KAPFER, WWF SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "A lot of these species are difficult to document in other ways. The camera traps have really been a breakthrough technology for conservation and wildlife research. Because we just weren't able to find out if these species were conclusively in an area, we weren't able to conclusively determine what individuals were there, whether or not there was breeding, what species were present, and the habitats they were using in many cases - unless we wanted to be much more invasive. And so that's one of the beauties of this technology is you can put it out, get these photos of the animals and the animals go about their lives normally." WWF say the images add an extra dimension to their science - helping safeguard some of the world's most endangered species

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Africa's most elusive animals caught on camera

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:52