Our March 2021 issue features a focus on camera trapping, with an array of articles showcasing how this technology has been used for conservation monitoring and tracking of species. From helping predict the Sumatran tiger’s preferred prey, over utilizing bycatch camera-trap data, to revealing the occurrence of species, as in our lead article and cover feature on the snow leopard in Nepal, the nine articles in this special section explore the multi-faceted use of camera traps. Our accompanying Briefly section includes a spotlight on conservation technology, with the latest news and developments in this field. In the Editorial, Ashish Kothari calls for the inclusion of more voices from the Global South in conservation.

Find out more about this issue’s content, including our Editor’s picks, below:

Focus on camera traps

  • First camera-trap record of the snow leopard Panthera uncia in Gaurishankar Conservation Area, Nepal – Koju et al.
  • Camera-trap surveys reveal high diversity of mammals and pheasants in Medog, Tibet – Li et al.
  • Applying camera traps to detect and monitor introduced mammals on oceanic islands – Lamelas-López & Salgado
  • Sunda clouded leopard Neofelis diardi densities and human activities in the humid evergreen rainforests of Sumatra – Haidir et al. (see blog post)
  • Predicting preferred prey of Sumatran tigers Panthera tigris sumatrae via spatio-temporal overlap – Allen et al.
  • Opportunity for Thailand’s forgotten tigers: assessment of the Indochinese tiger Panthera tigris corbetti and its prey with camera-trap surveys – Ash et al.
  • The African golden cat Caracal aurata in Tanzania: first record and vulnerability assessment – Greco & Rovero (see blog post)
  • Utilizing bycatch camera-trap data for broad-scale occupancy and conservation: a case study of the brown hyaena Parahyaena brunneaWilliams et al.
  • Remnants of native forests support carnivore diversity in the vineyard landscapes of central Chile – García et al.

Behind the cover

Camera traps are now regularly used by conservationists, and are proving indispensable for both discovery and monitoring. They are a particular boon for the study of rare animals, as demonstrated by this camera-trap self portrait of the elusive snow leopard. This issue includes nine articles in which camera traps have been central to the research, from the first camera-trap record of the snow leopard in Gaurishankar Conservation Area, Nepal, to species documentation, monitoring of species invasion, and the study of a range of carnivores, large and small. For further details, see the full article here. (Photograph © S. Kennerknecht/Minden/NaturePL.com)


Half-Earth or Whole-Earth? Green or transformative recovery? Where are the voices from the Global South? – Ashish Kothari

‘Before our further interference in nature results in the next pandemic, conservationists, from Indigenous peoples and local communities to scientists and civil society groups, need to combine their expertise in an atmosphere of mutual respect and equitable collaboration. To succeed we need the Global North to shed its remnant colonialism and to acknowledge the central role of the Global South, both in the specific arena of conservation and in the wider paradigms of planetary well-being.’

A male clouded leopard photographed by a camera trap in cloud forest (>1500 m above sea level) within Kerinci Seblat National Park in 2006, by a tiger population monitoring team. Photo: Matthew Linkie/FFI/ DICE/TNKS. See Haidir et al.’s blog post here.

Editor’s picks

  • What role should randomized control trials play in providing the evidence base for conservation? – Pynegar et al.
  • Climate change contributing to conflicts between livestock farming and guanaco conservation in central Chile: a subjective theories approach – Vargas et al. (see blog post)
  • History and conservation status of the Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus in Hispaniola – Domínguez Tejo (see blog post)
  • Conservation planning for Africa’s Albertine Rift: conserving a biodiverse region in the face of multiple threats – Plumptre et al. (see blog post)

Other contents

  • Remnants of native forests support carnivore diversity in the vineyard landscapes of central Chile – García et al.
  • Conservation conversations: a typology of barriers to conservation success – Sanders et al.
  • Terms of empowerment: of conservation or communities? – Petriello et al.
  • Are wolves welcome? Hunters’ attitudes towards wolves in Vermont, USA – Grima et al.
  • Drivers of hunting in the savannahs of Amapá: implications for conservation – Silvestre et al. (see blog post)
  • Reassessment of an introduced cheetah Acinonyx jubatus population in Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe – van der Meer et al.
  • Importance of isolated forest gragments and low intensity agriculture for the long-term conservation of the green peafowl Pavo muticusShwe et al.

African golden cat detected in Minziro Natural Forest Reserve in 2018, using camera traps, in its typical golden/orange fur colouration. Photo: Francesco Rovero. See blog post here.

Conservation News

  • The Tony Whitten Conservation Award 2020 – Balmford et al.
  • Earthshot prize targets game-changing initiatives – Entwistle & Murphy
  • African forest and savannah elephants treated as separate species – Hart et al.
  • Drones for conservation: new techniques to monitor muriquis – de Melo
  • Strengthening cultural values for primate conservation on Mentawai Island, Indonesia – Cahyaningrum & Setiawan

Book Reviews

Emma joined the Oryx team in 2018, having previously completed a BSc in Geography at the University of Sussex and an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. She has a keen interest in marine conservation and has experience working on sea turtle, coral reef, and tropical fish monitoring projects. Her previous research includes an ethological study on the impact of human enrichment on the welfare of captive giant Pacific octopus, and an investigation into the barriers to increased conservation involvement in European zoos.