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Cameras capture cattle in protected areas

Some 7.5 million cattle live in the Pantanal

Marinelson Almeida Silva / Wikimedia Commons

Cameras with sound recognition software in conservation units, programmed to record the first 15 minutes of every hour, identified cattle at a research base in Parque Sesc Baía das Pedras in Poconé, Mato Grosso, where cattle are prohibited. Of the 1.7 million sounds captured, 1,892 were made by cattle, which made 495 different sounds, expressed mainly in the late afternoon. The researchers from the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT) recorded cattle sounds on 54.5% of the 358 days monitored (June 8, 2015, to May 31, 2016). The highest number of animals was recorded at the end of the dry season (from April to September) and the lowest during the rainy season (from October to March), when water covered the area. The scientists behind the research say that this type of acoustic monitoring could be used to find cattle and other animals in protected areas and to guide inspections, since the number of inspectors working in conservation units is rarely enough to cover the entire area. The Pantanal is home to around 7.5 million head of cattle, which often seek pasture outside the farms where they live (Ecological Informatics, May 2023).