This is something I have come across a few times now through the marvels of social media since my interest in trail cameras was sparked. Various research projects call on citizen scientists to help them classify data. You could be that citizen scientist.
How does it work?
A research project will post their photos captured by remote cameras on an online platform. Citizen register as users. You can then start going through photographs. Alongside each photograph there are lists of animals that you can tick. You need to tick every animal that you can see in the picture. You will mark the number of animals of each species and the behaviour they are participating in. You do not need to be scared of making mistakes as many people will look at each photographed and potential errors will be ruled out. Even if you do not immediately know what it is, there is an online guide with pictures and options to make it easy to narrow down the species you are seeing. There are also comparisons between very similar species. It is very easy, very user-friendly and a lot of fun.
How to register?
Visit https://www.zooniverse.org and register yourself as a user. Find a project and start classifying. That is how easy it is!
I am listing two of the projects that I have come across here that have are in Southern Africa. If you know of any other projects, you are welcome to share them in the comments.
The first project I would like to share is Snapshot Safari South Africa
With Snapshot Safari South Africa you can help classify animals in various reserves including, but not limited to, Pilanesberg, Madikwe and the APNR (Greater Kruger).
The second project is Wildcam Gorongosa
With Wildcam Gorongosa you helping to classify animals inside Gorongosa National Park. Many exciting things are currently happening in this park. Just yesterday they announced that the 6000th living species have been identified in this park.
Be part of the magic of science and start classifying.
5 thoughts on “Trailcamming in Southern Africa – How can you contribute to trailcam related wildlife-research without owning a trailcamera?”
Very interesting. Thank you for bringing these to our attention.
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It really is quite fun to do to!
I manage a private orchard forest in East Africa that houses healthy colonies of wild bees, three varieties of monitor lizard, others such as skunk, porcupine, wild hare, tortoise, squirrel, mongoose, a type of weasel-like furred animals.
Wild Guinea fowl thrives here, with Stork-like, long-curve-beaked, dark brown-feathered chicken-sized birds, and quite a wide range of small birds, and a mid-sized Buzzard-type bird. Snakes come in all colours, green, brown, black and duo/tri-coloured reptiles.
We have an insects galore here too, multiple types of flies, wasps, ant, termite and cricket varieties fed on by birds and a plethora of spider species.
Our taller trees provide a haven for rest and rejuvenation for large migratory birds twice a year, when they arrive in the late evening and leave early next morning. We had a visiting platoon of White Storks on the evening of 22 December 2021. Each had a wing-span so wide, and sharp 7-inch beaks that I felt compelled by caution to take cover in the tall shrubs just to enjoy the elegant sky dance display. This seems to be their favourite haven of its kind in my immediate locale.
These are just some of the creatures I’ve encountered during the day. I do not venture outdoors late at night, so I can’t tell what animals can be seen here after dark. Camera traps or trailcams can tell the night tales once we get some installed.
That is absolutely amazing! You should definitely get some trailcams installed. You will get some surprises, I think!