Terrestrial monitoring workshop with motion detection cameras

10 December 2014

Over 40 stakeholders from across northern Australia gathered in Darwin in November for a one day workshop on biodiversity monitoring with motion detection cameras.

The workshop was part of the Territory NRM 2014 Conference and was organised to share the results of a Hub research project by Northern Territory Governments scientists working together with Djelk and Warddeken Rangers.

Motion detection cameras are an attractive option for monitoring wildlife because they are much less labour intensive than traditional scientific monitoring methods. The cameras can also be left out until it is practical to pick them up.  This makes them an ideal option for groups working in remote areas.

“During our research, we trialled different arrangements for setting up cameras, until we have found a method that consistently gives good detection rates for a wide range of mammal species, so other groups can benefit from our experience” said research leader Dr Graeme Gillespie.

“We had a wide range of participants.  People came from Indigenous rangers groups from across QLD, NT and WA, also from NRM groups, Environment NGOs, Industry and Government agencies”.

“They also had varying levels of experience in using cameras for monitoring.  Some groups are just starting out, while others have been using them in different ways for quite a while”.

During the workshop, the participants learnt about the different camera types, setting cameras in the field, targeting different species, using baits and data storage.  Once they understood the method, they put their new found skills into action in bushland.

“There will be a lot of value in groups adopting the same method when they are doing general biodiversity surveys, because then we will be able to compare results from different areas,” Dr Gillespie said.

Warddeken rangers who have already been using the protocol have produced a video to help explain some of the key points of the method to others.

The finer detail of the method and helpful background information on things like different camera models can be found in this report. Workshop participants were asked to give feedback on a draft of the guide.

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