07 Apr 2008, 23:49:00

Two new blog entries are up.

24 Feb 2006, 13:42:14

Watch: Is it Real? on the National Geographic Channel, 27 February 2006 at 8:00PM EST and 11:00PM EST!

13 Dec 2005, 21:00:00

All our cameras are out in the jungle!

01 Apr 2008, 14:13:00

Batang Ulas the Second

01 Apr 2008, 13:00:00

Batang Ulas the First

16 Feb 2006, 19:00:00

Fourth Trip to DGT

The Project


Power supplies for 1 trip

The road to the trail head

Our expedition intervals are set by the battery life of the camera-traps, which is about six weeks. So, every six weeks we must service each camera: swapping out memory cards, replacing batteries, and performing any other maintenance that may be required. Some cameras are easy to get to, and require only a couple of days hike along a well marked path. Other cameras are much deeper in the jungle, and we must travel for several days just to reach them. On these longer trips we hire guides and several porters just to carry our equipment. Imagine the amount of food required by eight people for eight days. That's 192 meals! Each camera requires four D batteries, which means on a single trip we may have to bring up to 120 fresh batteries and carry out the 120 spent cells. That's nearly 50 lbs (23 kg) of batteries!

With our packs on our backs, we head into the jungle. First, we must reach the trail head. At our most remote location this means negotiating a steep 10.5 mi (17 km) road made mostly of thick, moist clay. The only way up is by motorcycle, slipping and sliding the whole way. After this hour long motorcycle ride, we begin walking, first through rice paddies, then finally entering the jungle.

Our jungle shelter

During the rainy season (November - March) it rains nearly every day from about 3 in the afternoon until 7 in the evening. So we become accustomed to being soaked, despite all our rain gear. Fortunately, our incredibly talented guides can easily manufacture a clothesline from jungle vines. One item we can leave at home is the tent; with a few well-placed tree branches, the guides can create a sleeping, cooking, and clothes drying shelter tall enough to stand up inside.