Project update from WildCAM's Wildlife Data Coordinator

Hello again! 

Those of you with your eyes on the WildCAM newsletter or blog space might remember me from my introduction in January – I'm Jamie, WildCAM’s Wildlife Data Coordinator. Over the past 8 months, I’ve been working on a project in collaboration with (what is now) the Ministry of Forests and UBC’s Wildlife Coexistence Lab, comparing aerial and camera trap surveys in BC. The goal of the project is to determine the “best” method of estimating medium- and large-bodied mammal densities, so government wildlife managers can set sustainable harvest quotas. 

I’m excited to share a little update on my work! 

Firstly, I’ve been writing a handbook – the working title is Using Camera Traps to Estimate Medium and Large Mammal Density: Comparison of Methods and Recommendations for Wildlife Managers. The handbook goes over the importance of density estimation for wildlife management, BC’s current standards for density estimation and how camera traps might fit into a new standard. It summarizes the different camera trap data-based density estimation models available to practitioners, explaining how the models work, their assumptions, their advantages and limitations, and how they’ve performed in simulations and field tests. The handbook also includes tools to help practitioners decide which camera trap data-based models might best suit their study system. This resource should hopefully be available to the membership in the next couple of months! 

At the outset of the project, we were also curious whether we’d be able to compare aerial and camera trap surveys using data from existing studies in the province. After speaking with many WildCAM members and some non-members, and mapping the overlap between the two methods, we found little spatial and temporal convergence – so, we’re now turning our sights to future simulation and field work. 

I’d happy to discuss any part of this project with folks who are interested – please feel free to send me a message at if you have any questions, comments or thoughts! 

There is much on the horizon – I hope to give you another update soon!