If you were at last week's Sunset Safari at ZSL London Zoo you might have seen our Conservation Technology team demonstrating how and why conservationists use camera traps to help protect and monitor wildlife.
Wildlife camera traps are cameras set up so that any approaching animal will automatically trigger photos or video sequences to be taken. The resulting images are then used by our conservationists to better understand the distribution of animals, their behaviour and the threats they face.
Camera traps are often disguised so they can easily blend in with the surrounding environment. This was demonstrated at the Sunset Safar as tiny cameras were hidden within the display.
By covering cameras in moss or hiding them within a case that resembles a rock or a tree stump animals are much less likely to be drawn towards the cameras, thus decreasing the chance of animals detecting them. This also keeps the technology hidden from humans who may wish to remove it, especially those engaged in the illegal wildlife trade.
We believe that camera trap technology is a key tool in the fight against poaching and at ZSL we are leading the way with our Instant Detect system.
Instant Detect provides an early warning system through satellite-enabled cameras and sensors that can detect metal, helping to alert rangers to the possible presence of poachers with weapons. It is currently being used in Kenya to tackle rhino and elephant poaching.
Our camera installation will be travelling up to Latitude Festival next. For all those attending the festival we will be located in the Kids Area so do come say hi and come check out our Camera Trap Photo Booth.
You can also be part of this work by downloading our Instant Wild app on to your iPhone, which allows you to identify animals in live images captured from our global network of camera traps.
Why not also Champion this area of work by becoming a wildlife Champion for Conservation Technology and signing up to give just £3 a month. In return you will receive regular updates on the work of ZSL and also a special Champions welcome pack with fun resources and tips for championing wildlife every day.
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An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.