Tiputini Biodiversity Station

ScienceShot: Yasuni Reveals Its Hidden Creatures

To most visitors, the slice of land deep in the far reaches of the western Amazon basin resembles any other rainforest. Even the scientists studying the region, on the northern edge of Yasuni National Park, say it is difficult to appreciate the extreme levels of biodiversity found here. So many species remain hidden from view or undescribed by science. But camera traps have begun to yield a treasure trove of images of large predator species cloaked in the darkness of night. Triggered by infrared beams planted around mineral deposits known as salt licks, the cameras have already captured five species of cats, with jaguars (pictured) and ocelots most well represented, as well as a host of other species. To see more, check out our freely available slideshow and the feature story in this week's issue of Science on how researchers are fighting to preserve this habitat.

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