Camera traps have been a key part of the conservation toolkit for decades. Remotely triggered video or still cameras allow researchers and managers to monitor cryptic species, survey populations, and support enforcement responses by documenting illegal activities. Increasingly, machine learning is being implemented to automate the processing of data generated by camera traps.
A recent study published showed that, despite being well-established and widely used tools in conservation, progress in the development of camera traps has plateaued since the emergence of the modern model in the mid-2000s, leaving users struggling with many of the same issues they faced a decade ago. That manufacturer ratings have not improved over time, despite technological advancements, demonstrates the need for a new generation of innovative conservation camera traps. Join this group and explore existing efforts, established needs, and what next-generation camera traps might look like - including the integration of AI for data processing through initiatives like Wildlife Insights and Wild Me.
Our past Tech Tutors seasons featured multiple episodes for experienced and new camera trappers. How Do I Repair My Camera Traps? featured WILDLABS members Laure Joanny, Alistair Stewart, and Rob Appleby and featured many troubleshooting and DIY resources for common issues.
For camera trap users looking to incorporate machine learning into the data analysis process, Sara Beery's How do I get started using machine learning for my camera traps? is an incredible resource discussing the user-friendly tool MegaDetector.
And for those who are new to camera trapping, Marcella Kelly's How do I choose the right camera trap(s) based on interests, goals, and species? will help you make important decisions based on factors like species, environment, power, durability, and more.
Finally, for an in-depth conversation on camera trap hardware and software, check out the Camera Traps Virtual Meetup featuring Sara Beery, Roland Kays, and Sam Seccombe.
And while you're here, be sure to stop by the camera trap community's collaborative troubleshooting data bank, where we're compiling common problems with the goal of creating a consistent place to exchange tips and tricks!
Header photo: ACEAA-Conservacion Amazonica
Wildlife Insights is excited to announce the public release of their new platform! Read on to learn about all the useful features you'll find on Wildlife Insights, and check out WILDLABS' Tech Tutors episode with...
27 July 2021
Read our interview with Tasmin Alexander, early career conservationist and member of the CLP Future Conservationist Award-winning Preuss's Monkey Project research team. Working in the Obudu Plateau in Nigeria, this team...
2 June 2021
Read our interview with early career conservationist and CLP Future Conservationist Award recipient Owino Raymond, who is working with camera traps along the Kenya-Somalia border to understand and reduce conflict...
21 May 2021
Check out the new research article "Environmental DNA metabarcoding as a useful tool for evaluating terrestrial mammal diversity in tropical forests." Recently published in Ecological Society of America's Ecological...
6 April 2021
This year's iWildCam competition is now live on kaggle. Go beyond just classifying species or detecting animals - this year the challenge focuses on counting how many individuals of each species are seen in a burst of...
12 March 2021
National Geographic is offering funding up to up to $50,000 for conservationists conducting research on how the pandemic has impacted wildlife and conservation work. If you are interested in researching aspects of the...
10 March 2021
WildID is excited to share their new camera trap processing and detection tools with WILDLABS! Using machine learning to identify Southern African wildlife species in large quantities of camera trap data, WildID's tool...
8 March 2021
Based on one of the largest camera trap surveys ever attemped, Internet of Elephants' new mobile game Unseen Empire draws on the real field experiences and camera trap data sets of a single decade-long survey, giving...
8 March 2021
Today we're celebrating the #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge by shining a spotlight on one of our favorite WILDLABS collaboration success stories: the BoomBox! This collaboration between Dr. Meredith Palmer, Jacinta ...
26 February 2021
Last year, Tim van Deursen and Thijs Suijten shared their new "Hack the Poacher" system with us, presenting a unique way to detect poachers in real-time within protected national parks. Read on to learn about their next...
29 January 2021
In this case study from WWF's Northern Great Plains Program, Black-footed Ferret Restoration Manager Kristy Bly discusses how infrared FLIR cameras help teams detect and monitor the highly endangered black-footed...
19 January 2021
WILDLABS member Meredith Palmer shared this great course module based around Snapshot Serengeti camera trap data, and developed for university biology courses. This material is ideal for introductory level biology...
25 November 2020
6 February 2023 5:42pm
2 February 2023 1:50pm
31 January 2023 11:26am
26 January 2023 12:28am
28 January 2023 1:41am
12 January 2023 6:56pm
23 December 2022 10:50am
20 January 2023 3:24pm
11 January 2023 6:37am
25 January 2023 2:54pm
25 January 2023 2:09am
18 January 2023 5:15pm
1 June 2022 6:46pm
24 November 2022 10:07am
16 January 2023 2:53pm
14 January 2023 10:01am
9 February 2021 8:39pm
13 January 2023 3:43am
The British Ecological Society's journals always have topics that will interest our conservation tech community - in this particular issue, you'll find research on a large-scale camera trapping effort to monitor mammals, as well as the role of citizen science in data analysis for that project.
New paper - An evaluation of platforms for processing camera-trap data using artificial intelligence
13 January 2023 12:14am
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
13 January 2023 12:12am
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.
11 January 2023 5:00pm
10 January 2023 11:04am
9 January 2023 12:53pm
6 January 2023 12:49am
5 September 2022 6:57pm
22 December 2022 12:13am
15 December 2022 3:32pm
28 October 2022 4:50pm
7 December 2022 4:21am