Author: Cole Burton
Published in: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (Feb 1, 2017)
Scaling-up camera traps: monitoring the planet’s biodiversity with networks of remote sensors
Effective monitoring of global trends in biodiversity is an important component of international commitments to protect wildlife. Remote cameras (aka camera “traps”) are a rapidly growing technology with great potential to transform the way wildlife monitoring is done.
In this paper, an international team of experts in wildlife camera trapping highlight recent advances in camera technology and methods that are allowing us to better track changes in entire communities of animals across a variety of habitats. Just as meteorologists developed a network of weather stations to monitor global climate, we suggest that interconnected networks of remote cameras will soon monitor biodiversity at a global scale.
With modest investments in infrastructure, and a focus on collaboration and synthesis between wildlife scientists (including citizen scientists), such a network may soon shed light on pressing ecological questions, guide conservation policy, and ultimately help connect people with nature.