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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

Floating mount/base for cameratrap?

We're monitoring a wetlands ecosystem and after losing some cameras to flooding and treefalls and being interested in detecting some of the swimmers (beavers, otters, etc.) while...

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@Rob_Appleby @Freaklabs 

I haven't tried anything like a floating mount for camera traps so would love to stay posted on how it goes. It would open up a lot of possibilities, but it sounds quite complicated too.

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discussion

Thermal cameras for monitoring visitors in highly vulnerable conservation areas

Hi everybody, Im Alex González, a consultant and researcher in sustainable tourism and conservation. I'm currently consulting a conservation organisation for the development...

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You should talk with the folks at Arribada Initiative, like @Alasdair, as they've used thermal cameras to automatically detect polar bears & alert local response teams (to avoid human-wildlife conflict). The folks at ConservationAI are also doing similar work. RESOLVE also has the Trailguard system 

Most of the geofencing projects I know of are working with tags rather than cameras (e.g., LionShield, Save the Elephants) but it sounds like that wouldn't be as relevant for your needs.

The Conservation Tech Directory may have other examples as well.  

Thanks! Actually a major concern is wether thermal cameras could substitute the use of eco-counters, and therefore save money and reduce complexity in data analysis. 

I will contact them.

At Ol Pejeta, through the Kifaru Rising project, we have 19 FLIR thermal cameras that we use to address poaching as a conservation challenge.

The cameras have been deployed along a key fence line and are monitored 24/7 by a dedicated team.

The cameras have inbuilt analytics capabilities which allow us to design virtual fences/boundaries. 

An Alert is  generated whenever a human or vehicles crosses the virtual fence. Following an alert, appropriate ranger action is undertaken depending on the video content recorded with each alert.

I think the Alert feature available with these cameras could be leveraged to monitor the wildlife visitor interaction, seeing as a video clip is recorded with each alert, the thermal video clips could be reviewed to assess the wildlife-human interaction effects.

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discussion

MegaDetector v5 release

Some folks here have previously worked with our MegaDetector model for categorizing camera trap...

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Great news Dan! We will be giving the model  a go on some of our new eradication projects soon

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discussion

How do you store your camera traps?

Hi folks: I'm looking for creative ideas for storing camera traps when they aren't in the field. I've got drawers in the lab, but the cameras become a bit of a tangled mess. Just...

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Hi Erika, 

Suggestions coming in over on Twitter: 

I store my Cameras in one gallon plastic bags with a zipper lock. Most cameras will fit in that size bag. There is a note card that goes in the bag, The note card lasts longer in the bag and does not smear which it will if you write on the outside and is very important if you are running a lot of cameras. You can make a nice note card with a word processor and lay out everything you want to note. The Notes can be whatever you want to track but the most useful is the brand and model, the date the camera was purchased, The Date it went into the storage bag, Notes on if the camera has been updated. The camera number, the password if the camera needs a password, The person who put the camera in the bag with their full name and the date, A note on how the camera did on it's last deployment, Camera works fine, YES, or whatever might be wrong is listed. I would also list any special features that the camera can perform, such has WIFI enable, Cell Camera, etc. I also make sure the Cameras number is easy to see on the card. When the cameras go out they should have a camera number on the inside of the camera so you can track it in your field notes and make sure all the bags come back from deployment so they are ready for when the cameras come back in from the field. 

The batteries are removed from the camera, When I bring a camera in from the field I test each battery with a  battery tester. If all the batteries are still good that information is noted on the bag card that the batteries were tested and their strength. Keeping the batteries with the camera keeps you from mixing batteries of various strengths. Remove any bad batteries and note if a new one has been added. If you decide to replace all the batteries, Note on the card that they are NEW and their strength because all new batteries should be tested to make sure you did not get a bad one. If batteries are not available put that on the Note card, NOTE, removing the batteries will usually require all the settings to be redone, I still put on the note card, CAMERA NEEDS NEW SETTINGS. 

I also put in the SD Cards, with SD size on the Camera Card. Some of my older cameras only take a 32 gig or smaller, while my new cameras take 125 Gig SD cards. If putting out a camera for a very long run I want to grab one that can take a large SD card. I usually have two SD cards for each camera so they can be swapped out but keep the same cards. Put on the Camera Card that the SD card should reformatted before the next deployment or you can reformat the SD card before the batteries are removed, but NOTE on the camera card that the SD cards are formatted and ready to go. This is a good idea so you know before storage that the SD cards work. 

Last I add one packet of Silica Dry packs. The bags are 5 grams. I use DRY and DRY. I got them in a 50 packet bag from Amazon, about 8 bucks. They are cheap and do a great job of removing all the moisture from the Camera, batteries, SD card, and keeps them dry for even very very long storage. 

Hope this helps, when the camera number goes up the more you need to keep them organized. 

I forgot to add, I put the cameras in the bag with the doors or camera halves OPEN so the moisture does not stay in a closed camera, we want everything to stay dry. 

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discussion

Camera Trap Image analyzer

How do I get started with trap tagger in analyzing camera trap data. Thanks in advance

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Hi Ann,

The best thing to do is contact Nic and Hannes directly: 

https://wildeyeconservation.org/contact-us/

They can provide you with an overview of the software and answer any questions you have. I've heard good things from a couple of others who have tried out TrapTagger.

 

Best,

Matt

Hello Matt,

Many thanks for your recommendation . I contacted Nic and we have planned a session where he will take me through the software.

 

Regards,

Ann

Hi Kate,

I highly appreciate your feedback. I love your idea of using wild ID .I have registered for the wild ID and am looking forward to using it in future. I wont hesitate to contact you incase of any inquiries.

Many thanks,

 

Regards,

Ann

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discussion

BoomBox camera trap models?

As discussed in this other thread, I've been planning to mod some camera traps,...

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Hi Pen-Yuan.

This is Akiba from FreakLabs. For using a non-verified camera trap, we normally work with you to get the camera trap open and take high resolution zoom shots of the critical parts. We try to identify the circuitry to tap into remotely that way. Sometimes it's a bit tricky and we actually need to get the camera in house to probe with an oscilloscope (unless you happen to have one and are handy with it). In that case, we ask to ship it to us and then we would ship it back once the interface is verified. Unfortunately Boombox isn't exactly plug-and-play since it's essentially an after-market camera trap mod. 

One of the tricky things about Boombox being based on consumer trailcams is that the models churn quite quickly. We've found that devices within a specific product name, ie: Browning Strike Force, Browning Strike Force Pro, Browning Strike Force HD Pro X, Browning Strike Force Extreme are just marketing differentiations but contain the same hardware.  That said, if it's not on the list, we'll likely ask to get pictures initially to see if we can verify or identify the critical parts on it that Boombox would hook into. 

Once you get Boombox, we take people through the steps of basic soldering technique to attach the wires as well as set up the software on their system so they can modify as needed and download into Boombox. 

We'll be adding more tutorials and videos on Boombox attachment, compatibility, and techniques soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, send us an email from the Boombox page and we can walk you through any questions you might have. 

Akiba 

Thank you Akiba/@Freaklabs!! Super informative. I didn't know much of the hardware inside different models are actually the same, but probably not a surprise.

OK, I'll have a look at what cameras I can obtain, and contact you through the email on the Boombox website. Thanks again!!

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discussion

Can deep learning identify seabirds? (species, within-species, individual)

Hello everyone,I am looking for insight on the feasibility of identifying seabirds from photos taken at sea (such as these...

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Update: I asked the same question on twitter so I'm sharing answers I got there:

Hi Yvan, 

I dropped this into the AI for Conservation slack group as well, you got this reply this morning: 

Steph 

Hi Yvan,

If you find something which reaches your expectation and especially the ability to identify individual with plumage patterns I will be intereted.

In the same idea that Ultralytics, there is : 

Which could probably answer your first and second requirements.

 

And find here a great website showing all the IA-based camera software, you may find solutions or contact throw this list:

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event

CV4Ecology Summer School

A three-week intensive summer school teaching Computer Vision Methods for Ecology, seeking to empower ecologists to accurately and efficiently analyze large image, audio, or video datasets using computer vision....

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discussion

Time-lapse camera trap recomendations

Hello camera trap gurus, I am searching for recommendations for a cheap (<90USD), rugged, and durable time-lapse camera for studying glacial melt. I've already been...

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Wow, I'd not come across the Kilocam before. What a cool piece of kit! Not remotely helpful to your question sorry (I honestly don't know of a cheaper, better option anyway), but could be the basis of a very cheap, time-lapse camera-collar...

Hi Meredith

We used some cheap Browning trail cams to record grey seal behaviour on the Farne Islands over the last autumn as a timelapse. We recorded an image every 1 min during the pupping season, which you probably don't need not need to record glacial melt, and they performed brilliantly. The batteries (8 x Lithium AA) lasted the whole of the season, from Mid October until the end of December, but we had to periodically swap the 32Gb SD cards as they would fill up after about 3-4 weeks. We also had to tape over the movement detector as that function still works even when timelapse is in operation. 

At the end of the season, we switched to every 2 min to pick up the final waifs and strays and to get some info on the moult, but, due to logistical reasons, we didn't have the chance to replace the batteries, nor could we change the SD cards. Even so, one of the cameras lasted until mid April i.e. over 6 months on a single set of batteries. We only had one of the eight cameras break and that was because a seal went over the top of the camera wrenching it from is anchorage point and eventually into the sea! It did get washed up but was in a sorry state after all that!. The others were all working perfectly and were ready for the seabird season.

Happy to provide more info if you need it

Richard  

Hi Meredith,

Here's a little more information about the Arribada cameras. They are solar powered and received enough power in the Antarctic winter continue photographing.  We programmed them to take an image every hour, which might frequent enough for you to monitor glacial ice. Even with 3 years of continuous monitoring, the memory card did not fill up. I think they are priced a little higher than 90 USD, but they can stand alone without maintenance for a long time. Depending on how remote your field site is, that might be beneficial.

We can send over some of the sea ice images we collected. They're fun and interesting to look at if nothing else.

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discussion

setting up a network of cameras connected to a server via WIFI

We need to set up a wildlife monitoring network based on camera traps in Doñana National Park, Spain (see alsowildlifeobservatory.org).  We are interested in setting...

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Great discussion! Pet (and other 'home') cams are an interesting option as @antonab mentioned. I've been testing one at home that physically tracks moving objects (and does a pretty good job of it), connects to my home network and can be live previewed, all for AUD69 (I bought it on special. Normal retail is AUD80): 

On the Wifi front, and a bit of a tangent, has anyone done any work using 'HaLow' (see below for example) as it seems like an interesting way to extend Wifi networks?

Cool thread!

I will be testing Reolink Wi-Fi cameras in combination with solar powered TP-Link long range Wi-Fi antennas/repeaters later this field season for monitoring arctic fox dens at our remote off grid site in Greenland. The long range Wi-Fi antennas are rather power hungry but with sufficient solar panel and battery capacity I am hopeful it will work. 
I am looking forward to explore the links and hints above after the field season. 
Cheers,

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discussion

Advice Needed: Camera Trap Occupancy Modeling for Small Data Set

Hello All!  I'm currently trying to analyze predator-prey spatial overlap using multi-species occupancy modeling. I've created 2-way (between two species)...

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Couple other papers looking at predator-prey interactions with camera trap data & multi-species occupancy models (though you may/probably know about some of them already!) -

Van der Weyde, L. K., Mbisana, C., & Klein, R. (2018). Multi-species occupancy modelling of a carnivore guild in wildlife management areas in the Kalahari. Biological Conservation, 220, 21-28. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320717316464. 

Murphy, A., Kelly, M. J., Karpanty, S. M., Andrianjakarivelo, V., & Farris, Z. J. (2019). Using camera traps to investigate spatial co‐occurrence between exotic predators and native prey species: a case study from northeastern Madagascar. Journal of Zoology, 307(4), 264-273. https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jzo.12645. 

Kleiven, E. F., Barraquand, F., Gimenez, O., Henden, J. A., Ims, R. A., Soininen, E. M., & Yoccoz, N. G. (2021). A dynamic occupancy model for interacting species with two spatial scales. bioRxiv, 2020-12. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.16.423067v2.abstract. 

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