A camera trap is a remotely activated camera that is equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor, or uses a light beam as a trigger. Camera trapping is a method for capturing wild animals on film when researchers are not present, and has been used in ecological research for decades. In addition to applications in hunting and wildlife viewing, research applications include studies of nest ecology, detection of rare species, estimation of population size and species richness, as well as research on habitat use and occupation of human-built structures.
Camera traps, also known as trail cameras, are used to capture images of wildlife with as little human interference as possible. Since the introduction of commercial infrared-triggered cameras in the early 1990s their use has increased. With advancements in the quality of camera equipment this method of field observation has become more popular among researchers. Hunting has played an important role in development of camera traps, since hunters like to use them to scout for game. These hunters have opened a commercial market for the devices which have led to many improvements over time.
The great advantage of camera traps is that they can record very accurate data without disturbing the photographed animal. These data are superior to human observations, because they can be reviewed by other researchers. They minimally disturb wildlife and can replace the use of more invasive survey and monitoring techniques such as live trap and release. They operate continually and silently, provide proof of species presence in an area, can reveal what prints and scats belong to which species, provide evidence for management and policy decisions, and are a cost effective monitoring tool. Infrared flash cameras have low disturbance and visibility. Besides olfactory and acoustic cues, camera flash may scare animals so that they avoid or destroy camera traps. The major alternative light source is infrared, which is usually not detectable by mammals or birds.
Camera traps are also helpful in quantifying the number of different species in an area; this is a more effective method than attempting to count by hand every individual organism in a field. It can also be useful in identifying new or rare species that have yet to be well documented. By using camera traps, the well-being and survival rate of animals can be observed over time.
Camera traps are helpful in determining behavioral and activity patterns of animals, such as which time of day they visit mineral licks. Camera traps are also useful to record animal migrations.
Camera traps have revolutionized wildlife research and conservation, enabling collection of photographic evidence of rarely seen and often globally endangered species, with little expense, relative ease, and minimal disturbance to wildlife. Camera traps can document wildlife presence, abundance, and population changes, particularly in the face of deforestation and habitat destruction. Camera traps enable collection of baseline population data on elusive mammals and birds where only estimates — and often just guesses — were possible before. Camera traps are increasingly being used to raise conservation awareness worldwide, with Non-governmental organizations (NGO)s embracing the tool as a powerful way of reaching out to the public through electronic media. Wildlife conservation groups such as Panthera, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have found camera trap videos and photos to be an important part of campaigns to save threatened or endangered species.
The earliest models used traditional film and a one-shot trigger function. These cameras contained film that needed to be collected and developed like any other standard camera. Today, more advanced cameras utilize digital photography, sending photos directly to a computer. Even though this method is uncommon it is highly useful and could be the future of this research method. Some cameras are even programmed to take multiple pictures after a triggering event.
There are non-triggered cameras that either run continuously or take pictures at specific time intervals. The more common ones are the advanced cameras that are triggered only after sensing movement and/or a heat signature to increase the chances of capturing a useful image. Infrared beams can also be used to trigger the camera. Video is also an emerging option in camera traps, allowing researchers to record running streams of video and to document animal behavior.
The battery life of some of these cameras is another important factor in which cameras are used; large batteries offer a longer running time for the camera but can be cumbersome in set up or when lugging the equipment to the field site .
Weather proof and waterproof housing for camera traps protect the equipment from damage and disguise the equipment from animals.
Noise-reduction housing limits the possibility of disturbing and scaring away animals. Sound recording is another feature that can be added to the camera to record animal calls and times when specific animals are the most vocal.
Humidity has a highly negative effect on camera traps and can result in camera malfunction. This can be problematic since the malfunction is often not immediately discovered, so a large portion of research time can be lost. Often a researcher expecting the experiment to be complete will trek back to the site, only to discover far less data than expected – or even none at all.
The best type of weather for it to work in is any place with low humidity and stable moderate temperatures. There is also the possibility, if it is a motion activated camera, that any movement within the sensitivity range of the camera’s sensor will trigger a picture, so the camera might end up with numerous pictures of anything the wind moves, such as plants.
As far as problems with camera traps, it cannot be overlooked that sometimes the subjects themselves negatively affect the research. One of the most common things is that animals unknowingly topple a camera or splatter it with mud or water ruining the film or lens. One other method of animal tampering involves the animals themselves taking the cameras for their own uses. There are examples of some animals actually taking the cameras and snapping pictures of themselves.
Local people sometimes use the same game trails as wildlife, and hence are also photographed by camera traps placed along these trails. This can make camera traps a useful tool for anti-poaching or other law enforcement effort.
One of the most important things to consider when setting up camera traps is choosing the location in order to get the best results. Camera traps near mineral licks or along game trails, where it is more likely that animals will visit frequently, are normally seen. Animals congregate around mineral licks to consume water and soil, which can be useful in reducing toxin levels or supplement mineral intake in their diet. These locations for camera traps also allow for variety of animals who show up at different times and use the licks in different ways allowing for the study of animal behavior.
To study more specific behaviors of a particular species, it is helpful to identify the target species' runs, dens, beds, latrines, food caches, favored hunting and foraging grounds, etc. Knowledge of the target species' general habits, seasonal variations in behavior and habitat use, as well as its tracks, scat, feeding sign, and other spoor are extremely helpful in locating and identifying these sites, and this strategy has been described in great detail for many species.
Another major factor in whether this is the best technique to use in the specific research is which type of species one is attempting to observe with the camera. Species such as small-bodied birds and insects may be too small to trigger the camera. Reptiles and amphibians will not be able to trip the infrared or heat differential-based sensors, however, methods have been developed to detect these species by utilizing a reflector based sensor system. However, for most medium and large-bodied terrestrial species camera traps have proven to be a successful tool for study.
The Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana), also called the Asia Minor leopard, was proposed in the 19th century as a distinct leopard subspecies native to southwestern Turkey. In this part of Turkey, the leopard population is considered locally extinct since the mid 1970s.The first camera trap photograph of a leopard in Turkey was obtained in September 2013 in the Trabzon Province in the country's eastern part. In November 2013, a leopard was killed in the Çınar district of Diyarbakır Province. This specimen is considered the westernmost observation of a Persian leopard.Asian golden cat
The Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.The Asian golden cat's scientific name honours the Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. It is also called Temminck's cat and Asiatic golden cat.Asiatic cheetah
The Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), also known as Iranian or Persian cheetah, is a Critically Endangered cheetah subspecies surviving today only in Iran. It once occurred from the Arabian Peninsula and the Near East to the Caspian region, Kyzylkum Desert, Pakistan and India, but has been extirpated there during the 20th century.The Asiatic cheetah survives in protected areas in the eastern-central arid region of Iran, where the human population density is very low. Between December 2011 and November 2013, 84 individuals were sighted in 14 different protected areas, and 82 individuals were identified from camera trap photographs.
As of December 2017, fewer than 50 individuals are thought to be remaining in three subpopulations that are scattered over 140,000 km2 (54,000 sq mi) in Iran’s central plateau.
In order to raise international awareness for the conservation of the Asiatic cheetah, an illustration was used on the jerseys of the Iran national football team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.The Asiatic cheetah diverged from the cheetah population in Africa between 32,000 and 67,000 years ago. During the British colonial times in India, it was called hunting leopard, a name derived from the ones that were kept in captivity in large numbers by Indian royalty to use for hunting wild antelopes.Banded linsang
The banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal native to the Sundaic region of Southeast Asia.Fox Filipino
Fox Filipino is a Philippine pay television channel focused on Philippine-produced programming from GMA Network, 5 (formerly TV5) and Sari-Sari Channel as well as Filipino movies from GMA Pictures, entries from the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, selected Asian and Hollywood movies, and selected foreign programming dubbed in Tagalog language.Haemadipsidae
Haemadipsidae (From Greek "haima" and "dipsa" ("blood" and "thirst", respectively)) are a family of "jawed leeches". Some are classed as monophyletic group of hirudiniform proboscisless leeches. These leeches have five pairs of eyes, with the last two separated by two eyeless segments. Most have two jaws, but some have three. The family is monotypic, containing only the subfamily Haemadipsinae, though as the family can apparently be divided into two or three distinct lineages, at least one of the proposed splits, while not a distinct family, might be a valid subfamily.Commonly known as jawed land leeches, these annelids are known from subtropical and tropical regions around the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Well-known Haemadipsidae are for example the Indian Leech (Haemadipsa sylvestris) and the yamabiru or Japanese Mountain Leech (Haemadipsa zeylanica). Members of the family feed on blood, except Idiobdella which has adapted to eat small snails.The other notable group of jawed blood-sucking leeches are the aquatic Hirudinidae. The Xerobdellidae are sometimes included in the Haemadipsidae, but their status as a distinct family is supported by sequence analysis of the nuclear 18S and 28S rDNA and mitochondrial COI genes as well as the anatomy of their sexual organs and nephridia; the latter are located at the belly rather than along the body sides as in the Haemadipsidae proper. All Xerobdellidae have three jaws.Haemadipsidae probably originate in the Triassic, more than 150 million years ago (mya). The diversification of the large Asian genus Haemadipsa probably did not take place until the Eocene, about 50 mya.Because members of this family are terrestrial, feed on vertebrate blood, and digest blood meals fairly slowly, they are used in invertebrate-derived environmental DNA (eDNA) research. By extracting DNA from leech guts and sequencing vertebrate-specific genes, it is possible to identify which vertebrate the leech in question has fed upon, and therefore what animals are in the surrounding habitat. This methodology can be complimentary to camera trap biodiversity surveys, which often undercount smaller animals.Hairy-fronted muntjac
The hairy-fronted muntjac or black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons) is a type of deer currently found in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Fujian in southeastern China. It is considered to be endangered, possibly down to as few as 5–10,000 individuals spread over a wide area. Reports of hairy-fronted muntjacs from Burma result from considering the hairy-fronted muntjac and Gongshan muntjac as the same species. This suggestion is controversial. It is similar in size to the common muntjac.
Hairy-fronted muntjacs are extremely difficult to study because of their shyness. Camera-trap photographs have revealed the presence of hairy-fronted muntjacs where they were believed not to have existed for decades, for example in the Wuyanling National Nature Reserve.This species was for a very long time one of the most poorly known deer in the world. It was also considered highly endangered; up to 1975, it was only known from a few museum specimens, at least to western scientists. The species has been heavily harvested throughout the 20th century and in 1978 at least 2,000 animals were killed. The current population in China was assessed in the early 1990s to be ca 10,000 animals however it has declined much since and the current population is likely to be well under 7,000.Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei), also known as Hose's civet, is a viverrid species endemic to the island of Borneo. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (inferred to be 15 years) and suspected to be more than 30% in the next three generations due to declines in population inferred from habitat destruction and degradation.Diplogale is a monospecific genus.
Hose's palm civet was named after the zoologist Charles Hose by Oldfield Thomas in 1892. Hose collected the first specimen in Sarawak in 1891.What little is known of the species comes primarily from 17 museum specimens worldwide. Only in 1997, the first living specimen was obtained and released after 2 months – there remains no Hose’s civet in captivity anywhere in the world.Meru Betiri National Park
Meru Betiri National Park is a national park in the province of East Java, Indonesia, extending over an area of 580 km2 of which a small part is marine (8.45 km2). The beaches of the park provide nesting grounds for endangered turtle species such as leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, green turtles, and olive ridley turtles.Project Tiger
For the Wikipedia editathon about India, see Wikipedia:Project Tiger Writing Contest
Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure. The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger's distribution in the country. The project's task force visualized these tiger reserves as breeding nuclei, from which surplus animals would migrate to adjacent forests. Funds and commitment were mastered to support the intensive program of habitat protection and rehabilitation under the project. The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
During the tiger census of 2006, a new methodology was used extrapolating site-specific densities of tigers, their co-predators and prey derived from camera trap and sign surveys using GIS. Based on the result of these surveys, the total tiger population has been estimated at 1,411 individuals ranging from 1,165 to 1,657 adult and sub-adult tigers of more than 1.5 years of age. Owing to the project, the number of tigers has improved to 2,226 as per the latest census report released on 20 January 2015.
State surveys have reported a significant increase in the tiger population which is estimated to cross 3,000 during the 2018 count (as part of a four yearly tiger census). The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has confirmed that the tiger census will be undertaken in 2018 and the final numbers will be available by January 2019.Roosevelt's muntjac
A single specimen of the Roosevelt's muntjac or Roosevelt's barking deer (Muntiacus rooseveltorum) was presented to the Field Museum in 1929 following the Kelley-Roosevelts expedition organized by Theodore (Jnr) and Kermit Roosevelt. The specimen is slightly smaller than the common muntjac and DNA testing has shown it to be distinct from recently discovered muntjac species. It is a subspecies of Fea's muntjac, whose home range is mountains further northwest separated by lower land. However, without further evidence, the exact position of Roosevelt's muntjac cannot be stated. Berlin Zoo supposedly held this species between 1961 and 1972 (following an import from Northern Vietnam) but it could have been an Indian muntjac subspecies annamensis.Roosevelt's muntjac was believed to have been extinct since 1929. However, there have been several recent claims to have rediscovered the species, from evidence including skulls owned by villagers in the Truong Son (Annamite) mountains of northern Laos and far northwestern Vietnam. More recently, photographs from a camera trap at Xuan Lien Nature Reserve in Vietnam appear to have identified two individuals.Saola
The saola, siola, Vu Quang ox, spindlehorn, Asian unicorn, or, infrequently, the Vu Quang bovid (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), is one of the world's rarest large mammals, a forest-dwelling bovine found only in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos. Related to cattle, goats, and antelopes, the species was defined following a discovery of remains in 1992 in Vũ Quang Nature Reserve by a joint survey of the Vietnamese Ministry of Forestry and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Saolas have since been kept in captivity multiple times, although only for short periods. A living saola in the wild was first photographed in 1999 by a camera trap set by WWF and the Vietnamese government's Forest Protection Department (SFNC).Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is a protected area and tiger reserve along the Western Ghats in the Erode District of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. First declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008 and enlarged in 2011, it covers a forest area of 1,411.6 km2 (545.0 sq mi) and is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. In 2013, it became the fourth tiger reserve as a part of Project Tiger in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park. The sanctuary covers parts of Sathyamangalam taluk and Gobichettipalayam taluk of Erode District in north western Tamil Nadu.Sumatran ground cuckoo
The Sumatran ground cuckoo (Carpococcyx viridis) is a large, terrestrial species of cuckoo. It was introduced to Western science in 1879 and was formerly considered conspecific with the Bornean ground cuckoo but was given status as a unique species in 2000. This elusive species was initially known from just eight specimens and evaded notice from 1916 until 1997, when it was rediscovered and photographed by Andjar Rafiastanto. The Sumatran ground cuckoo's diet is thought to consist of invertebrates, small mammals, and reptiles.Sumatran striped rabbit
The Sumatran striped rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri), also known as the Sumatra short-eared rabbit or Sumatran rabbit, is a rabbit found only in forests in the Barisan Mountains in western Sumatra, Indonesia and surrounding areas. It is threatened by habitat loss, leading the IUCN to rate it as Vulnerable.Sungai Kial Forest Reserve
The Sungai Kial Forest Reserve is a protected area of tropical rainforest habitat in Peninsular Malaysia near the town of Tanah Rata in the state of Pahang. The reserve is 100–250 km2 (39–97 sq mi) (uncertain boundaries), but is connected to, and part of, a large forest complex in the Cameron Highlands Forest Complex (> 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi)). Here the altitude ranges from 1,000–2,000 m (3,300–6,600 ft), making the likely forest type tropical hill or montane forest, and most likely possessing a high representation of tree species in the dipterocarp family.A camera trapping survey was carried out here in 1999, led by Wan Shaharuddin of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (as part of the Tiger Research Unit) and discovered a range of species including the marbled cat, leopard cat, asian golden cat, muntjac, malay civet, masked palm civet, common porcupine, brush-tailed porcupine, pangolin, sun bear, wild boar, banded linsang, short-tailed macaque (probably meaning the pig-tailed macaque) and wild dog (probably dhole). Despite being connected to the larger Cameron Highlands forest complex there were no tigers detected, which could be due to the relatively low sampling effort (just 575 camera trap nights).Wildlife of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has long been known for its rich and diverse wildlife, as recorded in Baburnamah (Persian: بابر نامہ, "Memoirs of Babur"). Many of the larger mammals in the country are categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as globally threatened. These include the snow leopard, Marco Polo sheep, Siberian musk deer, markhor, urial, and the Asiatic black bear. Other species of interest are the ibex, the gray wolf, and the brown bear, striped hyenas, and numerous bird of prey species. Most of the Marco Polo sheep and ibex are being poached for food, whereas wolves, snow leopards and bears are being killed for damage prevention. The fur, however, is being sold to aid workers and foreign soldiers as souvenirs on local markets.
A leopard was recorded by a camera-trap in Bamyan Province in 2011. The long-lasting conflict in the country badly affected both predator and prey species, so that the national population is considered to be small and severely threatened. Between 2004 and 2007, a total of 85 leopard skins were seen being offered in markets of Kabul. Contemporary records do not exist for any of the smaller cat species known to have been present in the country, all of which were threatened already in the 1970s by indiscriminate hunting, prey depletion and habitat destruction.Will Burrard-Lucas
Will Burrard-Lucas (born September 1983), is a British wildlife photographer and entrepreneur. He is known for developing devices, such as BeetleCam and camera traps, which enable him to capture close-up photographs of wildlife.Zanzibar leopard
The Zanzibar leopard (Panthera pardus pardus syn. Panthera pardus adersi) is a leopard population on Unguja Island in the Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania. It is the island's largest terrestrial carnivore and apex predator. In 2008, it was considered extinct due to persecution by local hunters. Increasing conflict between people and leopards in the 20th century led to the demonization of the Zanzibar leopard and determined attempts to exterminate it. Efforts to develop a leopard conservation program in the mid-1990s were shelved when wildlife researchers concluded that there was little prospect for the population's long-term survival.
In 2018, a leopard was recorded by wildlife biologist Forrest Galante using a camera-trap, thus renewing hopes for the population's survival.The Zanzibar leopard was described as a leopard subspecies by Reginald Innes Pocock, who proposed the scientific name Panthera pardus adersi in 1932. In 1996, it was subsumed to P. p. pardus.
Wildlife and animal trapping
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