Monday, 15 October 2012

Camera Trapping On Safari

All of our Safari guests are able to be involved with our work with leopards during their safari. For example camera trapping is a key research tool, but more than that it is great fun and helps you to understand leopard behaviour that much more.
From the very first game drive you're encouraged to think about leopards. Where they walk, why they would be in a certain area, that sort of thing.
Then on day two or three you put a camera trap out on the reserve at a place where you think leopards will pass. The choice is yours, but we are on hand to advise if required. From our prospective its great to see how our safari guests quickly get a feel for leopard movement.
As all of you who have kindly joined Taras camera trap club will know, camera traps are simply motion activated cameras, that we place at certain points on the reserve to monitor our leopards.
On the final day of safari, we haul in the camera traps and take them to our research base (known by all on the reserve as the Conservation Village), where we can review your pictures and see what you photographed. But of-course it isn't just about leopards, we often get some wonderful pics of other animals, and even some rare examples, such as the Mellers Mongoose below.
As well as being a fun activity (and the winning picture does get a prize), the pictures are entered into the INGWE - research data base and contribute towards our leopard research. The very close up picture below, with Diamond sniffing the camera, if a little blurred still gives us the data we need i.e. we can identify which cat it was.
We also hope that camera trapping will have added to your awareness of the bush and leopard behaviour, which is after all, one of the elements that makes an On Track safari unique.

Written by Will Fox
OTS Manager

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