What is a camera trap?
You may well of read or heard about the camera traps we use as part of our leopard research, but our safari guests often ask me “exactly what is a camera trap?”
Our guests are able to be involved with our work in conservation and in particular leopard research. So here is a brief explanation with a few of the CT pics that we've captured over the years for good measure.
First lets put the name in context. I know that it sounds menacing, but a camera trap actually just takes pictures of any animal that walks passed the camera.
In fact a camera trap is nothing more than a remotely activated camera that is equipped with a motion sensor of some sort.
Although trail cameras have primarily been developed for locating deer for hunting in North America, the same devices can also be used by researchers to record the movement of animals in remote locations.
In our case we site camera traps along game paths for several months at a time and only visit those cameras to upload the pictures for ID analysis and data capture back at base.
That may sound easy but it isn’t always. There is a skill in thinking like a predator and then selecting the place, height, mounting and sometimes camouflage, to ensure you get some good shots.
Having said all of that; there is one other point about camera trapping. It’s great fun. Even after all these years its still a thrill to know that you’ve set a camera just right and got some great shots of leopards. Our safari guests join in the fun and often have competitions to see who can get the best picture. It’s a great way to be involved and experience the bush. Who said that research couldn’t have a fun side.
I have uploaded a free eBook of a selection of camera trap pictures to our website. Just click the link to view.
Written by Will Fox
CEO On Track Safaris