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Data from: Arboreal camera trapping: taking a proven method to new heights

Cite this dataset

Gregory, Tremaine et al. (2015). Data from: Arboreal camera trapping: taking a proven method to new heights [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. Although camera trapping has been shown to be a highly effective non-invasive tool for wildlife monitoring, the technique has not yet been widely applied to studies of arboreal species. Despite the unique challenges that camera trapping in the canopy poses, its versatility and relatively non-invasive nature, combined with recent technological improvements on the cameras themselves, make camera trapping a highly useful tool for arboreal research. 2. We present data on the methodology and effectiveness of arboreal camera trapping during the first six months of a year-long study in the Lower Urubamba Region of Peru investigating animal use of natural crossing points (i.e., branches) over a natural gas pipeline clearing. We placed Reconyx PC800 Hyperfire cameras in 25 crossing points of 13 distinct natural canopy bridges at a mean height of 26.8m. 3. After six months of data collection, we logged 1,522 photo events, recording 20 mammal, 23 bird, and four reptile species. An analysis of animal passing events in front of the cameras over time did not suggest any negative response to camera presence. While we found that cameras in the canopy are triggered more frequently by non-target stimuli (e.g., leaves) than cameras on the ground, we demonstrated significantly reduced false triggering following leaf removal within 1.5 meters of the camera. 4. Our results suggest that arboreal camera trapping can provide robust documentation of a diversity of vertebrate species engaged in a variety of activities, and we provide recommendations for other researchers interested in using in this method. This is the most extensive arboreal camera trapping study to date in terms of the length of the study period, the number of cameras being used, and the height of the cameras in the trees. Therefore, lessons provided from this experience can be used to improve the design of future arboreal camera trap studies.

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Lower Urubamba