A new set of cameras recently assembled around Guapi Assu Reserve in Brazil will enable the public to catch glimpses of the animals that inhabit the area, in the hopes of raising awareness about protecting the environment. 

The World Land Trust (WLT), an organization that works to save the rain forests and other wildlife habitats, teamed up with the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA), an organization that protects one of the last stands of tropical rain forest in Brazil, to place the cameras in the reserve.

"These live cams bring nature closer to people. [They] show the beauties that depend on the forest to survive," said Luciano Breves, a web multimedia officer at World Land Trust who set up the cameras. "And it might touch people's hearts, making them aware of the importance of preservation."

The World Land Trust currently has three cameras in operation. The organization has "two in Brazil and one in Ecuador; we intend to put one up in Argentina soon, also India," said John Burton, CEO of World Land Trust. The locations of the cameras "are decided on by pragmatic reasoning — where we can find Internet connections, and where we are trying to support our partners."

The cameras are set up around feeding platforms that entice different animals. Setting up a camera costs between $800 and $15,000. The WLT is currently looking for sponsors so they can set up more.

The video from the cameras streams at all times, and can be viewed online. Those watching will likely be impressed by the wide variety of rain forest inhabitants that stop by the feeding platforms. The WLT also has guides set up on their website that enable viewers to identify which species they see at each camera.

Some of the rain forest critters that can be seen on your computer screen include marmosets, hummingbirds, coatis (Brazilian aardvarks, members of the raccoon family native to South and Central America) and Chachalacas (a large chicken-like bird native to the area), Breves said. Toucans have also been known to occasionally show up.

What you see may depend on the time of year.

"The movement at the feeders will increase or slow down depending on the season," Breves told OurAmazingPlanet. "Winter is always the best season to watch the fruit eaters as food in the forest is scarce, while spring and summer are the best time to see the hummingbirds."

The hope is that these cameras will provide a chance for people who may not have access to these areas to enjoy the wildlife. "They will able to see wildlife in real-time. In the future they may be able to see interesting behaviors," Burton said.

The feeds can be viewed at the WLT's website. Breves himself is online every Tuesday to answer viewer questions.

This article was reprinted with permission from OurAmazingPlanet.

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