As you can imagine, it isn't easy to study uncontacted tribes in
Amazonia. And the history of western interaction with these tribes is
dark indeed, often leading to the destruction of these peoples' way of life. So researchers have come up with a less invasive way of keeping tabs on them: tracking them via Google Earth.
In a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology,
researchers analyzed satellite images of one particular Amazon village
on the border of Brazil and Peru, and calculated that it has fewer than
40 inhabitants. "A small, isolated village like this one faces an
imminent threat of extinction," said University of Missouri researcher
Rob Walker in a statement.
But tracking this and other villages from space could "inform and
create boundaries or buffer zones that would allow tribes to stay
isolated," he added.
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