Featured video: camera traps find rare, mountain animals in Sumatra

Jeremy Hance
September 24, 2012

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In May of this year, Dutch filmmaker Marten Slothouwer and his team trudged up Sumatra's northern-most mountains with video camera equipment in hand, hoping to capture rare and cryptic species for the world to see. Already the camera trapping initiative, dubbed Eyes on Leuser, has taken incredible footage in the region's imperiled lowland rainforest, but the group hoped now to capture mountain endemics.

The video below highlights their efforts with over twenty distinct mammals and birds, including nine that are threatened with extinction and four others that are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. Notably the initiative captured the Sumatran hog badger, which may be a unique species endemic to the island; the Aceh pheasant; the Sumatran serow; and high-living Sumatran tigers at 2,300 meters (7,545 feet).

Last month, scientists, also using camera traps, confirmed that a small population of Sumatran rhinos still inhabits the Leuser ecosystem. But Leuser is under incredible pressure due to logging, monoculture plantations like palm oil, poaching, roads, and encroachment into protected areas. The forest is the last place on Earth where orangutans, elephants, tigers, and rhinos still survive in the same habitat, though all species are considered Critically Endangered.

Animals in the video (in order of appearance):

Southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), Vulnerable

Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Critically Endangered

Aceh pheasant (Lophura hoogerwerfi), Vulnerable

Sumatran peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron chalcurum scutulatum), Least Concern

Sumatran hog badger (Arctonyx hoevenii), Near Threatened

Yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula), Last Concern

Sun bear (Ursus malayanus), Vulnerable

Banded linsang (Prionodon linsang), Least Concern

Long-billed partridge (Rhizothera longirostris), Near Threatened

Roll's partridge (Arborophila rolli), Least Concern

Red-billed partridge (Arborophila rubrirostris), Least Concern

Masked palm civet (Paguma larvata), Least Concern

Binturong (Arctictis binturong), Vulnerable

Asian golden cats (Pardofelis temminckii), Near Threatened

Marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), Vulnerable

Cream-coloured giant squirrel (Ratufa affinis), Near Threatened

Shiny whistling thrush (Myophonus melanurus), Least Concern

Brown-winged Whistling Thrush (Myophonus castaneus), Near Threatened

Common muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), Least Concern

Sumatran serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), Vulnerable

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Critically Endangered

Ground squirrel (???)

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 24, 2012).

Featured video: camera traps find rare, mountain animals in Sumatra.