How can we learn about nature’s most elusive animals?
How can we learn about nature’s most elusive animals?


Conservation biologist Joe Kolowski leads us into the Peruvian Amazon, a rich, fertile, and essential part of our planet. He shows how the technique of “camera trapping” helps scientists to understand the creatures that move about the jungle—particularly mammals that may be endangered by oil exploration. Kolowski is working with other scientists to develop a conservation initiative for the area. They are incorporating biodiversity principles and new scientific research in an attempt to minimize the negative effects of oil exploration and development in this area.

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Joe Kolowski joined the CCES team in 2007 to investigate the effects of oil company activities on the behavior and ecology of ocelots in northern Peru. The ocelot functions as a useful potential indicator of negative disturbance effects as it is sensitive to habitat alteration and, as a top predator, is ecologically tied to the welfare of the ecosystem in which it lives. Kolowski’s research interests include carnivore ecology in the human landscape, and the investigation and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. Kolowski has a B.S. in natural resources/wildlife ecology from Cornell, an M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State.