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Looking for a place to discuss camera trap troubleshooting, compare models, collaborate with members working with other technologies like machine learning and bioacoustics, or share and exchange data from your camera trap research? Get involved in our Camera Traps group! All are welcome whether you are new to camera trapping, have expertise from the field to share, or are curious about how your skill sets can help those working with camera traps. 

discussion

Instant Detect 2.0 and related cost

I am doing a research project on rhino poaching at Kruger National Park. I was impressed with the idea of Instant Detect 2.0. I do not know the cost involved with installing that...

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Hi Kaarthika, hi all,

ZSL's Instant Detect 2.0 is currently undergoing Beta testing with external partners and so is still pre-production. We therefore do not have final pricing for the system. 

Saying this, we have got a manufacturing partner fully set-up who has already completed two full build rounds of the system, one in 2020 and another in 2023. This means we actually have a very good idea of the system's build costs and what these are likely to be when we can manufacture the system in volume.

While I cannot release this pricing yet, I am confident that we will have an unparalleled proposition.

In particular, the satellite airtime package we can supply to conservationists due to the generosity of the Iridium Satellite Company means that each system can send 3,600 (25-50KB) images a month from anywhere in the world for a single fixed fee. This equates to around a 97% discount to the normal commercial rates. 

We are currently very busy fundraising so that we can make this final step to scale the system. 

If we can secure this funding, we hope to go into volume production by mid-2024.

Best wishes,

Sam

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discussion

DeepFaune: a software for AI-based identification of mammals in camera-trap pictures and videos

Hello everyone, just wanted to advertise here the DeepFaune initiative that I lead with Vincent Miele. We're building AI-based species recognition models for camera-trap...

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Hello to all, new to this group. This is very exciting technology. can it work for ID of individual animals? we are interested in Ai for identifying individual jaguars (spots) and andean Bears (face characteristics). Any recommendation? contact? thanks!

German

That's a very interesting question and use case (I'm not from deepfaune). I'm playing with this at the moment and intend to integrate it into my other security software that can capture and send video alerts. I should have this working within a few weeks I think.

The structure of that software is that it is two stage, the first stage identifies that there is an animal and it's bounding box and then there's a classification stage. I intend to merge the two stages so that it behaves like a yolo model so that the output is bounding boxes as well as what type of animal it is.

However, my security software can cascade models. So if you were able to train a single stage classifier that identifies your particular bears, then you could cascade all of these models in my software to generate an alert with a video saying which bear it was.

Hi @GermanFore ,

I work with the BearID Project on individual identification of brown bears from faces. More recently we worked on face detection across all bear species and ran some tests with identifying Andean bears. You can find details in the paper I linked below. We plan to do more work with Andean bears in 2024.

I would love to connect with you. I'll send you a message with my email address.

Regards,

Ed

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discussion

Modifying GoPro cameras to be IR sensitive.

Hi all,As a sensory ecologist interested in visually-mediated behaviors of nocturnal animals, a major struggle I encountered early in my career was how to monitor these creatures...

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Hi Jay! 

Thanks for posting this here as well as your great presentation in the Variety Hour the other day!

Cheers!

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discussion

Metadata standards for Automated Insect Camera Traps

Have others watched this webinar from GBIF introducing the data model for camera trap data. I wonder if this is something we can easily adopt/adapt for our sorts of camera traps?

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Yes. I think this is really the way to go!

Here is another metadata initiative to be aware of. OGC has been developing a standard for describing training datasets for AI/ML image recognition and labeling. The review phase is over and it will become a new standard in the next few weeks. We should consider its adoption when we develop our own training image collections.

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discussion

Trail cam recommendations for capturing small, quick mammals at night?

Kia ora,can anyone recommend a trail camera model that is consistently triggered by quick, small mammals e.g. rats/mice/stoats at night? Or for a trail cam that captures sharp...

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Hi @MaddievdW have you considered using a 'tunnel' to help, well, funnel, small critters into a space with a camera that makes it a bit easier for detections? A few years back, we made a PVC pipe tunnel with a protected food lure that seemed to work well with even cheapy trail cameras (and in fact, we ended up having to block some of the IR illumination using a few layers of athletic tape over the LED array). Here's a rather blurry image of a bandicoot we got:

And another of an antechinus:

 

We weren't that concerned with image quality, as we were actually testing an RFID logger in the tunnel also, and simply wanted to know if we got critters with no tags and what species (if possible). So one thing I'd definitely consider if you go down this path is focal length of the camera. Here's a previous discussion on a similar idea: 

I guess you could always 'calibrate' it to a certain extent by just using a longer section of pipe. Here's what our set up looked like, but again, we had the RFID logger, so a camera-only version would be a bit simpler - the camera and battery was in the screw top section on the left-hand-side of the tunnel image and each entrance had RFID antennas linked backed to a logger in the same compartment as the camera:

All the best for your research,

 

Rob

 

Addressing each of the questions/issues posed: 

Triggering Camera:   

If you are getting triggers, but empty frames, during known visits by these lickety-split animals, the issue is the trigger speed.  Looking at the Browning selection guide, for example, https://browningtrailcameras.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/article_attachments/12697703673243

I see that the Elite-HP5 models have a 100 ms advertised min trigger speed, which is slightly (50 ms) than the Dark Ops Pro DCL.  This is equivalent to 2 earlier frames (at 60 FPS video), which could be significant with fast moving targets.  

I have found, BTW, counterintuitively, that for Browning SpecOps and ReconForce models (Elite-HP5) that camera gets to first frame sooner when taking videos vs. when taking stills.  I don’t understand this completely, but it’s a thing.  

If you are not getting any triggers, then the PIR sensor is somehow missing the target.  Make sure you understand the “detection zones” supported by your camera.  These are not published, but can be determined with some patience and readily available “equipment” – see my post on “Trail Camera Detection Zones” at https://winterberrywildlife.ouroneacrefarm.com/2022/08/01/deep-tech-trail-camera-detection-zones/

Putting more than one camera at a site may also increase the probability that at least one triggers (and may improve lighting, see below)

If you’re consistently missing triggers, you may have to consider a non-PIR sensor.  Unfortunately, this removes you from the domain of commercial trail cameras.  Cognisys makes a number of “active” sensors based on “break beam” and (now) lidar for use with DSLR-based camera traps.   You would also have to come up with your own no-glow lighting source, and hack the DLSR camera to remove the (built-onto-the sensor) IR filter.  In our experience, these sets are 10x more expensive and time consuming vs. commercial trail camera sets, and are only justified by the potential for (a few) superior images. 

The species-specific triggers and sets mentioned on this thread seem like a better option. 

 

Avoiding daytime false triggers: All the commercial trail cameras I’m aware of have a single type of trigger sensor. It is based on a Passive InfraRed (PIR) sensor and Fresnel lens.  Apps, Weldon and McNutt cover this admirably in Peter Apps, John Weldon McNutt, “How camera traps work and how to work them,” African Journal of Ecology, 2018.

These sensors trigger on changes in certain areas of the thermal field – in practice a combination of a heat and motion in one or more detection zones. They are not decomposable.

Some cameras (e.g. Browning SpecOps, and maybe the Dark Ops Pro?) allow you to set hours of operation so that the camera only triggers at night, for example.  This would cause you to (for sure) miss “off hours” appearances by your target species, but would avoid daytime false triggers. 

No Glow Image Quality: The good news about longer wavelength “No-Glow” flashes is that animals are less sensitive to them. The bad news is that the CMOS image sensors used by cameras are also less sensitive to the longer IR. Less signal leads to lower quality images.  Others have mentioned adding supplemental no-glow illumination.  An easy way to do this would be to set up two cameras at each of your sites.  When they are both triggered, each will “see” twice as much illumination, and image quality will be improved.  Browning SpecOps models (at least) have dynamic exposure control on video which allows this scheme to work (with only a frame or two of washout) while the algorithm adjusts exposure). For an example of this effect, see opening porcupine sequence in our video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itx7KnlxKS4

 

Hi Maddie,

This camera has a very quick reaction time. 

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discussion

Good Thermal/ Night Vision Cameras?

Hi! I am doing research for starting up my thesis and am trying to figure out the best equipment to do it. My idea is to get night time data of seals hauling out (laying on...

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@LucyHReaserRe At this area in the past, we have tried using a normal trail IR camera, but with very limited sensitivity. I have thought about adding the IR fog lights out there to help, but was leaning towards the thermal cameras to allow for more types of data to be taken from the images in the future i.e. age class based on heat signatures. 

Thank you all for providing input, I will look into each of these ideas! 

I'm jupping into the discussion, with a similar objective. I'm looking for a thermal camera trap, (I know cacophony). it would be use to improve invasive speices monitoring especially for rats and feral cats.

Any idea?

Thanks

Hi @mguins , as @kimhendrikse mentioned resolution (and also brand) for thermal cameras can dictate a big jump in price. GroupGets has a budget Lepton (FS - short for 'factory second' I think) if you wanted to check one out: 

They also have a bunch of other Flir products and boards for interfacing with Leptons etc., so worth a browse of the shop. It could also be worth taking a look at Seek modules, some of which @Alasdair has experience with : (e.g. 

They also have modules you can connect to a mobile phone: 

@TopBloke I'd be very keen to see your Lepton camera trap too! 

 

Cheers,

 

Rob

 

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discussion

Turn old smartphone into IA camera trap?

I know that there is several IA camera trap development ongoing from the poachercam to trailguard...ects... I also know that it is possible to turn an old phone into a security...

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Any news regarding this topic ?

Despite the power challenges noted in this thread, I think the “used” stream of smart phones is a viable platform for trail cameras.  Having successfully hacked in custom features into closed source trail camera firmware (https://github.com/robertzak133/unified-btc-reverse) , I am also hoping that software development on smart phones is a better way to do feature innovation on trail cameras.

I have just “started” on a trail cam app for iPhone 12 pro (not that “old” yet, but it will be by the time I’m done, and it’s the first iPhone with LIDAR).    I have done some toy apps on the iPhone before, but am mostly blissfully unaware of how much work this will be :) None-the-less, goal is to have a prototype working in the back yard by July 15, 2024.  I’ll post a project link on this thread as soon as it’s up.  

I’m just working on requirements now.  My primary focus is on improving image quality, and capture efficiency vs. existing trail cameras for wildlife photography. For example:

  • Using camera image quality library to improve low light captures, exposure, etc. 
  • Improving trigger versatility and accuracy using LIDAR sensor
  • Tracking auto-focus based on LIDAR
  • Negative trigger delay for daylight shots
  • Support for custom lighting via “ensemble” sets

It seems wrong not to leverage cellular connectivity, though this is a lower priority for me because most of our sets are beyond cell phone coverage. 

I did find an interesting app – “Motion Detector Camera” by Phil Bailey https://apps.apple.com/us/app/motion-detector-cam/id461753935   this app uses some parameterizable motion detection algorithm to trigger still images (free version). It’s pretty slick.  I’m starting w/ LIDAR because I want to have a trigger that works in the dark. 

Note that none of these require any AI processing of the images, though I have no doubt a smart phone would be a great place to do that one way or another.   Do you have specific usage models/requirements in mind for in-phone image processing/classification? 

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discussion

Q&A: UK NERC £3.6m AI (image) for Biodiversity Funding Call - ask your questions here

In our last Variety Hour, Simon Gardner, Head of Digital Environment at NERC, popped in to share more about their open £3.6m funding call supporting innovation in tools for...

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This is super cool! Me and @Hubertszcz and @briannajohns and several others are all working towards some big biodiversity monitoring projects for a large conservation project here in panama. The conservation project is happening already, but hubert starts on the ground work in January and im working on a V3 of our open source automated insect monitoring box to have ready for him by then.

 

I guess my main question would be if this funding call is appropriate/interested for this type of project? and what types of assistance are possible through this type of funding (researchers? design time? materials? laboratory field construction)

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discussion

Camera traps statistics

Hello Community,I am currently working on specifying some camera trap projects and am particularly interested in gathering statistics on the average number of detections per...

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discussion

Bushnell cameras with date-time issues.

We have 3 or 4 cameras that reset the date and time to the factory default on a regular basis.  Resets to   10/01/2016  for example.   Could this be a problem...

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I think this is a known problem with some Bushnell models. The battery connection only needs to be interrupted for an instant (by being moved for example) and the camera resets. If a coin battery, are they still charged?

I am having similar problems with a campark camera. It's more than 4 years old, so it could be the button cell. I am also suspecting that humidity plays a role : the re-set happened a couple of times after long rain periods ( half a day or so ). Perhaps it was coincidence, perhaps some corrosion is going on.

Thanks folks.   Will go check and let you know what I learn.

Mike

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discussion

Live Streaming from a Remote Location (no cell tower access)

I have set up a live camera on a remote Malleefowl mound & whilst it is working, I would like to improve the video quality. I am using Starlink internet (satellite) & a...

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"The WiFi Solar Camera comes loaded with various features such as live monitoring ( via smartphone app ), motion sensor recording and notification alerts on detected movement, night vision, cloud storage of footage, an audio system to facilitate communication"

Hi Colin, Many thanks for your replies. Yes, Starlink provides full internet access. Our current Wifi Nest camera contains a web server & provides a html code to embed the live stream into a web page for public access. Most security cameras, due to privacy reasons, do not stream to a web page without requiring a username & password. Not a viable solution for public viewing.

We are looking for a camera with PTZ functionality that can stream to a web page without requiring a username & password.

Cheers, Graeme

Graeme, Maybe speak to a web IT expert. You may be able to have an interface on the webpage which provides the login credentials to the camera, but then passes the image (and control) to another page. Make a "masking" page that keeps the camera happy, but access and control is via another page.

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article

#Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge: Judges' Panel Honorees

WILDLABS Team
Please join us in celebrating this year’s top #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge Honorees as chosen by our panel of leading conservation organization judges, and enjoy the story contained within these entries about how our...

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discussion

360 Camera for Marine Monitoring

Hi all, I'm trying to set up a low-cost, 360 camera for underwater use. The main criteria are:1. It needs to run for 1 week, with 3* 2 hour intervals of recording per day,...

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Hi Sol,

For my research on fish, I had to put together a low-cost camera that could record video for several weeks. Here is the design I came up with

At the time of the paper, I was able to record video for ~12 hours a day at 10 fps and for up to 14 days. With new SD cards now, it is pushed to 21 days. It costs about 600 USD if you build it yourself. If you don't want to make it yourself, there is a company selling it now, but it is much more expensive. The FOV is 110 degrees, so not the 360 that you need, but I think there are ways to make it work (e.g. with the servo motor). 

Happy to chat if you decide to go this route and/or want to brainstorm ideas.

Cheers,

Xavier 

Hi Xavier, this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing, the time frame is really impressive and really in line with what we're looking for. I'll send you a message.

Cheers,

Sol

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discussion

Live Streaming Camera

Does anyone know of a network camera that can stream live video direct to a browser page without requiring a password? Our Nest Outdoor camera (2mp) can but we are looking for a...

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