Trail Cameras Help District Keep Tabs on Native Widlife
District ecologists have been using infrared-triggered wildlife trail cameras to detect mammals in our preserves for more than 10 years. These cameras have been used in an attempt to document evidence of uncommon animals, such as bobcat and mountain lion (no such luck). They have also been used to document wildlife utilizing a specific ecosystem or preserve and capture the changes in an ecosystem throughout the year.
Trail cameras are remotely activated cameras that are equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor. “Scent bait,” such as bobcat urine, a variety of deer scents and fatty acid scent disk, are often used to attract curious wildlife to the “camera trap,” where they will be photographed.
The beauty of trail cameras is that they capture images of animals in the wild with as little human interference as possible. They have been used to study nest ecology, detect rare species, estimate population size and species richness and research habitat use.
Some of the most interesting finds on our trail camera surveys has been red fox, woodchuck and coyote pups.