Connecting habitats for arboreal species by using canopy bridges

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Publié: 24 octobre 2019
Dernière modification: 01 octobre 2020
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Tropical tree-dwelling mammals such as monkeys, kinkajous and opossums depend on complex treetop highways to get to food, potential mates and avoid predators on the ground. In one of the largest-ever canopy-based camera-trapping studies to date, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists and partners found that when a pipeline clearing in Peru threatened those highways, leaving natural bridges, or connecting branches, for arboreal species really reduced the severity of that impact.


“Here we partnered with industry to identify a problem, implemented a proposed solution and used an innovative camera trapping technique to test the solution. The results plainly and powerfully show the effectiveness of a simple way to reduce impacts of human activity on biodiversity—a conservation biologist’s dream,” described one of the researchers. These results are now in the process of being incorporated into Peruvian legislation.


Amérique du Sud
Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Forêt de conifères tropicaux
Écosystèmes forestiers
Connectivité / conservation transfrontières
Fragmentation et la dégradtion de l'habitat
Gestion des espèces
Gestion des ressources forestières
L'intégration de la biodiversité
Science et recherche
Dégradation des terres et des forêts
Perte de biodiversité
Perte de l'écosystème
Développement d’infrastructure
Objectifs de Développement Durable
ODD 15 - Vie terrestre
Obectifs d'Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 5: Perte d'habitat réduite de moitié ou diminuée
Approches pour l’engagement des entreprises
Engagement direct avec une entreprise


Amazonas Region, Peru

Les impacts positifs

Camera-trap photos showed that over the course of a year of monitoring, arboreal mammals crossed the pipeline clearing only 16 times on the ground. Meanwhile, there were more than 3,000 arboreal animal crossings on the natural canopy bridges left over the pipeline clearing. The rate of mammal crossings in the bridges was more than 100 times higher than on the ground, and 25 arboreal mammal species used the natural bridges, while only six of those species crossed on the ground.


The results of this research are now in the process of being incorporated into Peruvian legislation. Companies engaged in infrastructure development may be required to leave natural canopy bridges over projects in forests across the country, thereby minimizing forest fragmentation.

Contribué par

Smithsonian Institution