Using Cameras Effectively To Monitor Wildlife

Scientific Disciplines
Biological Sciences - Terrestrial
grizzly bear
ursus arctos
Alter Enterprise LLC.
Volume 17, No. 1-4

Using cameras effectively to monitor wildlife
Ryan Alter,* Alter Enterprise, LLC., 107 S. Easy Street, Missoula, Montana 59802,
Tracy Holland, Alter Enterprise, LLC., P.O. Box 593, Lolo, Montana 59847,
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 dur-
ing 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 upload-
ing, 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.