discussion / Camera Traps  / 5 October 2016

Standardization Discussion: Nomenclature

So I cant find a standard, so I want some opinions.
And so we've ended up calling a "Camera Trap Station" a "Camera Trap" but I've just been told that's probably wrong, and "Trap Station" is more widely used.
I'd really prefer a one word for it, not 2 or 3.

Can I define:
Survey: A time period at a specific site (or sites)
Site: A geographic area, not necessarily defined with GPS coordinates. For example XYZ National Park, or even XYZ National Park - South
Station: A geographic location defined with GPS coordinates (or UTM) and altitude where 1 or more camera are placed.
Camera: physical device that takes images or videos.
Station Session: The period over which a trap station is data is being recorded w/o human intervention


Camera trapping is the new kid on the block, and it is still talking like a 5-year old ! It will take some time, and some journal editors insisting on uniform and properly used terms before everyone can be sure what everyone else is talking about.

For what it's worth, here is what I understand when I read the terms you list;

Survey - the process of designing the study, putting out and servicing the camera traps, collating and analysing data and writing it up. So much much more than just the time that the camera traps were in the field.

Site - a spot on the ground. Usually these days specified as a GPS location. What you describe as a site I would call a study area.

Station - I do not recall having read this in connection with camera traps, and I would not use it. I admit that this is not consistent; I have read and I would use "bait station" or "feeding station" interchangebly with "baiting site" or "feeding site". It is of course possible to station a camera trap at a baiting site, or site a camera trap at a feeding station !!

Camera - is certainly a physical device that takes photos, but you cannot record animals with just a camera, you need someting to trigger it. A self-triggering camera is a camera trap (or trail camera, game camera etc).

A station session (see above about station) would be OK is site was substituted for station.