The Virtual Rainforest
A Neotropical Rainforest
Rainforest Research


Tree Seedlings

Forest Flowers



Army Ants

Bullet Ants
Leafcutter Ants

Rhinoceros Beetle

Swallowtail Butterfly



Keel-billed Toucan

Howler Monkeys

White-faced Monkeys

Three-toed Sloth
Baird's Tapir
White-lipped Peccary
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Poison Dart Frog
Helmeted Iguana
Eyelash Viper
Terciopelo Viper
Spectacled Caiman
American Crocodile
Human Systems:
Rainforest Boy
Rainforest Girl
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Rainforest Research

About the Authors





Rainforest Research

Scientists do a lot of research on tropical rainforests to try to improve our understanding of the unique plants and animals that live there. This research can take many different forms. Some scientists collect different species of plants and animals in order to identify the different types. Other researchers spend a lot of time in the rainforest watching the behavior of animals or measuring the growth of plants. Still others use technology to allow them to collect data from the rainforest, like the wildlife camera shown below or even by using satellite photos.

The creator and contributors to the Virtual Rainforest work on a project in Nicaragua studying the changes happening in the rainforest. One part of this project is using "camera traps" to take photos of animals that pass by. Other parts of the research involve interviewing people who live in towns in or near rainforests.

Monkey Point, Nicaragua

Research team setting up a wildlife camera where the Jaguar was photographed. Left to right: Kirkman Roe, Gerald Urquhart, and Hubert "Cow" Duncan. Mr. Roe is a Nicaraguan scientist who works at a university in Nicaragua, and Dr. Urquhart is a scientist at Michigan State University. Mr. Duncan is a resident of Monkey Point, Nicaragua and works as a forest guard. Although not a trained scientist, Mr. Duncan contributes his unique knowledge to the research project.


Christopher Jordan preparing a wildlife camera

Christopher Jordan prepares a Bushnell Trophy Cam to take photographs of wildlife. He is a researcher on the project and is leading the camera trapping project. He is also studying how the knowledge of people like Mr. Duncan and Mr. Fox can be combined with scientific knowledge to help the conservation of rainforests.



The Virtual Rainforest

Back to the Rainforest

Copyright Gerald R. Urquhart
Michigan State University

Students and teachers have permission to quote text and use images from this website in class assignments. Images may be used in classroom and academic presentations with notification of author. All other use should request permission.


Virtual Rainforest development supported by grant #0815966 from the
National Science Foundation

Center for Global Change and Earth Observation

Michigan State University