Using Cameras Effectively To Monitor WildlifeVolume 17, No. 1-4, 2011 • Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TWS) - Presentation Abstract
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There are two important wildlife management issues that can be solved by using the appropriate wildlife camera. The first is human interference in wildlife behavior studies. As much as researchers try to do everything possible so animals won’t notice their presence during a study, most wildlife have a keen senses that alert them to humans nearby and cause them to react differently to situations. Using motion-sensored cameras eliminates the human factor and allows wildlife to behave more naturally. Another important issue that wildlife conflict managers come across is not having enough time in the day. Our study used remote uploading, wireless wildlife cameras to help biologists involved in conflict management situations with grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). The biologists were able to easily set up the cameras near residents who had complained of grizzly bears damaging property. Having the cameras automatically upload pictures allowed the biologist to observe the wildlife conflicts and the status of the deterrent measures from a remote location. The biologists could view the pictures almost immediately through their email and know what was occurring at the site. If there was a trap or deterrent set up, the biologist could see whether an animal was caught and needed to be removed, or could similarly observe that the trap was empty and would save themselves a trip to the site. This saved innumerable man hours of physically checking the traps and conflict sites and even saved the life of an owner’s dog that had unknowingly been trapped in a leg snare.