Camera Traps / Feed

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. 


Solar panels in the tropics

We are deploying automated systems in the topics and hope to use solar panels, but this closed canopy in most places I'm seeing this as a challenge.Past the obvious: 'find a...

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Hi Tom,

I'm with Akiba, you have to test.  A collaborator has deployed solar-augmented kit in secondary jungle and some of them got enough light, and others didn't, so it can work.  The open circuit voltage of solar panels doesn't change a whole lot in dim light, but the current drops drastically.  So you would choose an oversize panel of the same voltage (or a bit higher).


I've been intrigued by this topic. Thinking about ways you could use drones or some kind of launcher to deploy panels above the canopy. Sadly I live in the great white north so I have no way of testing any concepts. Maybe even some kind of solar balloon that could float above the canopy. Interesting design problem.

Hey Tom,
Since the output is dependent on a couple of factors such as the solar irradiance of the place, shading from the canopy, the type of solar panels (mono, poly or amorphous) and orientation of the panels, etc, I'd suggest you use a software to simulate the different parameters to get an almost accurate estimation of the output. You can try PVsyst- it has a free month trial (I haven't used it before but I hear it's great) or any other PV software :)

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Does anyone have spare Bushnell Impulse traps?

Hi everyone! I am a research associate at the University of Bonn, Germany, and currently experimenting with custom camera trap firmware. Bushnell Impulse camera traps are well-...

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Hi @timmh I've posted a link to this on Twitter too so fingers crossed you get some replies!


All the best,



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Time-lapse cameras for monitoring nesting birds in the Arctic

Hi all,I'm a biologist at Arctic NWR and have been using time-lapse cameras for about a decade now to monitor nesting birds. We have used Plotwatcher Pros and Brinno TLC200s with...

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Hi Chris, 

We developed a time-lapse camera for Penguin Watch that ran for 3 years straight in Antarctica, so should be able to survive in the Arctic. With your Plotwatcher did you use any supplementary solar (we do in the summer months). If not, we're aiming to upgrade the camera and introduce a lower power camera module this year, which should get you the 500k images on 4 x AA 1.5v batteries, but we're a number of months away from that build so couldn't help you right away. It would be good to keep in touch to see where you get and we can help you downstream. 

More on the current camera here;

Thanks Alasdair! 

The Plotwatchers and Brinnos didn't require any solar for the 500K on 4aa batteries. We place the cams near the nest (actually at the nest peering into the nest bowl with a new design I came up with where the only thing above ground is a ribbon cable and the camera board attached to a metal rod we lag blot to the tundra, the batteries and main board are in a 1020 pelican case and buried; see below for an image of the above-ground portion of the cam and an image of a nest from a cam [if you look closely you can see one of the eggs just hatched and there are now 3 eggs and 1 chick in the bowl]). 


I'd be very interested in what you all are working on for the next design. How small would it be?

Thanks Chris,

Probably quite similar in size to your existing setup above, but we'd use two Li-ion rechargable batteries most likely (could be an 18500). I'll be sure to share more information later this year.



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BoomBox camera trap models?

As discussed in this other thread, I've been planning to mod some camera traps, and would like to learn from existing work on the BoomBox.I've been reading the BoomBox...

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Hi Pen-Yuan. 

I need to revise what I said before. Browning devices within a specific model number have similar PCBs, ie: we worked with the BTC-8A for the Spec Ops Advantage. They're currently on the BTC-8E which we've found to have a different PCB. So I think the rule we're using on Browning at the moment (and most vendors) are that the model number needs to match, else it's likely the PCB is different. This also happened to us with Bushnell Trophycams. We're running into this issue now with a Boombox customer planning a Browning deployment. We're currently getting the camera trap in so we can reverse engineer the newer model and interface it to Boombox. 


Hi @Freaklabs and anyone still here!

@hikinghack recently conducted an autopsy of the Browning Strike Force HD Pro X (BTC-5HDPX)  camera trap that I got, and I've posted some photos in this Flickr album: 


In particular, there's a close-up of the board: 


An initial look by my friend @htarold suggests that it might be possible to tap into the triggering mechanism: 

But I wonder if @Freaklabs has any insight into how this compares to Boombox camera traps that you have worked with??

The PIR motion sensor is at the top of the device board. You can see they are using a 3-pin analog motion sensor. From there it goes into a processing circuit. Unfortunately it looks like they built their own PIR processing circuit to determine motion so it would need to be reverse engineered to determine where to connect to.  

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Interview for Technologies in Conservation

Dear Wildlabs community, my name is Nikolas and I am a Master's Student from Lisbon. Like many of you, I grew up with a great passion for the wildlife that we are surrounded...

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I'd be happy to chat with you if you wanted! My expertise is within passive acoustic monitoring particularly. The Conservation Tech Directory might be useful for you in identifying relevant actors within the space.

My original background is in ecology and conservation, and am now in the elected leadership of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware which convenes researchers developing open source tech for science. I am not working on a specific piece of technology right now, but am happy to contribute some higher-level views for your interview if that helps.

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Best Camera Trap Models Database: Input Needed

Hi Wildlabbers, We received a question from the National Geographic Exploration Technology Lab about the most popular low to mid-range camera trap models within our...

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Many thanks, "mactadpole" for the promising remarks concerning the Browning Dark Ops Pro XD dual-lens BTC-6PXD:

"...we are extremely pleased with the BTC-6PXD. We went with these because they only use 6 aa batteries and they were smaller/lighter than the BTC-8A."

Given the similarity between the western Ecuador conditions you describe and those we face in Costa Rica the Browning - 180$ from Amazon where 37 reviews are predominantly favourable - sounds like the camera for us.  Your 12.2.2021 report is now over a year old, however.  Please, has anything changed since then?  Any other candidate we should consider?

Hi Shawn,

I am looking into camera traps to use for an arboreal project in Panama, I am really interested in your experience of mounting camera traps up trees. The photo shows an interesting mount, did you make it yourselves?

How were the seals on the Brownings? I have been tempted to go for reconyx cause they have really good o-ring seals but they may just be too pricy so looking for a reliable alternative.

Anything you can share will be useful.



Hi Ellie, did you compile this information and is it avaiblable somewhere?

I need to upgrade the camera system in Baiboosun Nature Reserve Kyrgyzstan and this info would be of great help.

Please check:


Thanks, Luciano.

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New paper - An evaluation of platforms for processing camera-trap data using artificial intelligence

We review key characteristics of four AI platforms—Conservation AI, MegaDetector, MLWIC2: Machine Learning for Wildlife Image Classification and Wildlife Insights—and two auxiliary platforms—Camelot and Timelapse—that incorporate AI output for processing camera-trap data. We compare their software and programming requirements, AI features, data management tools and output format. We also provide R code and data from our own work to demonstrate how users can evaluate model performance.


New paper - Real-time alerts from AI-enabled camera traps using the Iridium satellite network: A case-study in Gabon, Central Africa

Sending real-time alerts from ecological sensors such as camera traps in areas with poor data connectivity is complex and involves integrating a large number of potentially complex hardware and software components. Our results demonstrate that these components can be successfully integrated to achieve reliable, near real-time alerts from camera traps under challenging field conditions.


Otter video help!

Hello everyone!I have an otter (I'm pretty sure) on a couple videos from two of my trail cameras, is there ANY way I can clear these videos up at all?  I have tried but I...

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Android smartphone app

I have recently updated a camera trap app for Android smartphones and I am looking for some real world feedback. The app can be found here:

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Help - Innovative ways to track elephant movement

Hi, I am working on a study to track wild elephant movement within an overlayed matrix of crop fields. We seek to understand how various landscape variables impact crop-raiding...

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Why would you want to avoid alerting the rangers ?

You don't need high tech for this; elephants leave very obvious tracks and sign. 

Hi Tyler,

Would like to introduce you to Ceres Tags products

  • Ceres Tags products come in boxes of 5, 10 and 24. 
  • There are some software partners such as Earthranger, Mapipedia and possibly CiboLabs that would be able to assist you with your mapping vegetation requirements
  • Ceres Tag does not require any towers, base stations and infrastructure. This allows you to see any movements from the heard outside of their normal herd (boundary alerts), and you will not be disturbing any of the flora and fauna with infrastructure set up. 
  • For the timing you are looking at, Ceres Wild pings directly to satellite 24 times a day. For Ceres Trace and Ceres Ranch there are 4 within 24 hours. Taking into consideration, when you set up alert areas, you will get them directly to your phone/laptop via your software of choice
  • Ceres Ranch is a reusable tag that has just been launched. Use it on this project, remove the tag and then use the tag on your next project
  • The software you choose will assist with the history of your animal movements. Ceres Tag is integrated with 11 software partners and in-development with 18 software partners
  • Understanding it is a short-term project, you would be able to use Ceres Tags products without the additional expense of setting up and removing infrastructure- towers, gateways
  • With Ceres Tag, you are purchasing the box of tags and picking a suitable software to deliver the information you require. On average, a box of 10 Ceres Trace Tags, is the same as 1 LoRaWAN tower. 


I just came across this interesting paper in which seismic monotoring of animals like elephants was mentioned. 

This is the study refered to:




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Camera Trap repairs - suggestions?

Hi everyone!I'm currently working with FFI (Fauna & Flora International) in São Tomé and Príncipe, and a bunch of 'problem' camera traps from the field site have been sent...

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Thanks a million, @Rob_Appleby @Freaklabs @StephODonnell ! Apologies for the delay on my end - I was busy shifting to (and settling into life on) Príncipe island. A live trouble-shooting session would be very much appreciated, thank you! Given that it is December, and I suspect everyone will be off for holidays quite soon, would sometime in January work? The week of the 9th? Or possibly the week after, depending on when everybody is back from hols. In the meantime, I will check what we have on our field site (for future reference), as well as if we have a multimeter in our Cambridge office.


Many thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you on when is a good time in January for this.


Kind regards,


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Cameratrap flash overexposure

Hi,Having used the Bushnell E2 trophy cam and had no problems I recently purchased an E3 trophy cam. I am having issues with over exposure of the flash. I have tried it in a few...

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I have not used Bushnell camera traps for quite a while, so this may not apply, but most makes have a flash intensity adjustment. If you have already tried that without success then opaque or translucent tape over the LEDs will do the same job.

We have used cut pieces of translucent milk jug plastic to make a flash attenuator.  Stack as many as you need to reduce exposure and tape on. 

Hi @LucyHReaserRe I've found a couple of layers or three of athletic/sports tape does the trick. This kind of thing: 

Good luck,



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Camera Issues

Hello! I am having some inconsistent issues with some of my trail cameras. We have cameras that have SD cards, and are set but take no images for weeks. Most recently we had a...

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Thank you so much! this was great information! I will look into the SD card. The SD cards were working fine, but they have stopped. If they were incompatible they wouldn't have worked at first, right?


As for batteries, I am confused. Our photographer at work said lithium doesn't do well in the weather and temperature changes. On here it sounds like you guys are saying lithium is better then alkaline (which the user manual also says to use), who do I listen to?? And how do I find lithium batteries that fit the cameras?  

Hi Britnee,

Sometimes cards do just stop working/become incompatible. It could be a firmware glitch, but it's a bit like how a USB thumb drive can stop being recognised in a PC sometimes. I'd try a good quality card no larger than 32GB and with a class 10 rating, format it in the camera and then test it. You could also try formatting the cards that previously worked and trying them again. 

Lithium batteries can indeed suffer in the cold (how cold is getting there?), but alkalines are, generally-speaking, a poorer choice all around. Are you using the best quality Duracell or Energizer alkalines? They might be up for the task. You could also consider a rechargeable sealed lead acid or gel battery. They suffer a little in really cold weather (all batteries do to some degree I think), but you could compensate by getting a higher-than-necessary capacity model (for example, double what you might need for a normal deployment). You mostly just need to make or order the correct lead to plug the battery into the camera. It should say somewhere in the manual what connector it uses, but it's usually something like a 1.7mm DC plug (e.g. 

) but you'll have to double-check. 



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Conservation Technology Intern (Vietnam) 

Meredith S. Palmer
*New closing date!* WILDLABS and Fauna & Flora International are seeking an early career conservationist for 12-month paid internship position to grow and support the Southeast Asia regional community in our global...

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Feedback Wanted: Security Enclosures

Hi all, If you could design and build a security enclosure for a camera trap what would you do? I am interested to hear any and all thoughts on security enclosure...

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(Not sure how I missed this thread earlier).    

I think different usage models lead to different security box enclosures.  E.g:

1. High Risk Locations: You need the camera to be in a particular location, dictated by something other than optimal theft deterrence, for a long time.  Or your site features very large animals (elephants).  Here it seems like you pay the price (in weight) to make the thing as secure as possible (including on steel pole sunk into concrete!).

2. Low Risk/Exploratory: You have flexibility on where to place the camera, perhaps aimed at capturing specific animals or behavior, and can place the camera to try to make it less conspicuous to thieves.  Also, you may be changing the location frequently.  Finally, rules associated with the site may limit disturbance.  Here, you'd like some protection, but you'd like to reduce weight and impact to the site.   

We do a lot of (2).  For this, we use camera-specific, relatively thin gauge, two-piece commercial steel enclosures -- e.g. from  These enclosures feature 1/4" holes in the back for securing to a tree; and methods for using a padlock and/or a cable lock to secure the camera in the box.  These do a very good job protecting from most animals (bears, not elephants), and deter opportunistic homo sapiens. 

Hi all,

Thank you for all your insights. I think @rcz133 has summed it up nicely: security enclosure design depends on the required usage.

I've tried to go for a design that I hope will work in most deployment scenarios. It should provide good mechanical protection from animals and if locked up properly should deter opportunistic theft as proper tools would be needed to get in.  

Thanks to Cambridge Design Partnership, I now have a finished design and will be having some built for testing in the next few weeks.

The final specifications were:

  • 16 gauge stainless steel.
  • The enclosure is made of two parts that are easy to place together into a whole.
  • The two enclosure parts fit together tightly with mechanical retention.
  • The two enclosure parts are locked together by a padlock and/or a python lock.
  • When using a python lock this also locks the camera into the enclosure.
  • When locked the enclosure cannot be pried apart with a screwdriver or knife. 
  • The enclosure locking point positioning makes it difficult for the padlock to be bolt cropped.
  • It is easy to place the camera into the enclosure so that it aligns with all lock points and apertures.
  • The enclosure securely holds the camera in place with minimal horizontal movement using internal guides or fixtures. 
  • The bottom half of the enclosure with the camera inserted can be affixed to a tree with a strap or python lock before the top half of the enclosure is attached. 
  • The enclosure can be affixed to a tree using a strap, python lock or 1/4" mounting screws points.
  • The enclosure allows water to easily exit through holes in the bottom and does not allow it too pool in the corners.
  • The enclosure provides some cover above the lens aperture to provide sun screening and rain protection to the lens. 
  • The enclosure is powder coated in a matt colour scheme of dark green or brown for ease of camouflaging.

Once I've got the prototype enclosures I am keen to put them through their paces and do some testing to destruction to find their weaknesses.

If anyone has any tests they would like to see performed please let me know in the thread. 



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