Citizen Science To Save Species From Extinction

You care about saving animals from extinction.  If that weren’t true, then you certainly wouldn’t be here reading this blog today.  But since this is true for you, and this passion can sometimes become overwhelming due to extinction crises happening around the world, I’d like to show you that you are not alone, and that your passion is true for many other people around the planet.

Recently, someone following our WPS Instagram feed contacted us to see if we’d be interested in seeing some of his camera-trap photos.  His name is Damien, and he lives in Jalisco, a south-western state in the country of Mexico.

In Jalisco, a native species of puma is beginning to disappear, and Damien, an avid ecologist and photographer, took it upon himself to begin documenting this elusive and nocturnal feline. (first image below)

In telling us about his photos, a story began to develop about the increase in urban sprawl of the city of Guadalajara having mostly pushed the puma out of the local area.  “Some people thought this animal was extinct, and nobody saw tracks or any of them for 20 years.” says Damien.

Elaborating further, “My post from the last year shows the image of this skinny cougar, probably because of the lack of any prey for them, like deer or peccari. My friends and I still work to photo-trap the area in the hopes to find more of them, because we worry the whole forest could be destroyed by nearby corporations in Guadalajara.”

In listening to him speak about his passion for capturing these animals on camera, I couldn’t help but feel emboldened by his efforts.  The work we do at Wildlife Protection Solutions is in fact very similar to what Damien is doing on a local scale.  And while our monitoring systems help detect potential threats to wildlife, they also help catalogue what species are out there in the spaces that humans and wildlife share.

After seeing this puma caught on camera, I decided to do a little more digging to see what else people were up to when searching for local wildlife, and I couldn’t believe what I found.  A simple search for the hashtag #cameratrap brought up thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures.

Deer, lynx, golden eagles, vultures, wolves, tigers, bears, kingfishers, beavers, mountain gorillas, and even a hog badger in Southeast Asia.  So many people around the world . . . joining together to witness the beauty of this world . . . caught on camera.

So you are indeed not alone in your passions for animals, and I hope you’ll join us at Wildlife Protection Solutions to help us get many more cameras out into the field.