How is WildCAM different from other camera trap networks?
WildCAM is western-Canada focused. The network seeks to inform wildlife management strategies for mammals at the landscape- scale through coordinated research effort across BC and Alberta. Our members include academic researchers, government biologists and managers (from federal, provincial, and municipal agencies), First Nations biologists, and researchers from non-governmental organizations. By focusing on western Canada, WildCAM can complement other camera trap networks and initiatives across North America.
What type of camera should I use?
We have provided some information about camera model selection here. There are a number of camera models to choose from which vary in cost, durability, settings, etc. Most studies recommend using Reconyx cameras. We suggest checking out Trail Cam Pro, where you can compare costs and settings associated with various camera models.
What do I need to know about setting up my camera?
WildCAM is currently developing a Best Practices Guide for implementing camera trap studies, which will be posted on our website in the future. In the meantime, there are several excellent resources listed here that can guide your camera trapping efforts.
I am a citizen scientist. Can I still join WildCAM?
Yes! Any individual using camera traps is encouraged to join, regardless of whether you have 2 or 200 cameras. Citizen scientists are an important part of wildlife monitoring efforts, especially in areas not currently part of established research projects. These efforts are extremely useful in helping scientists better understand where different species are located across the province and how animal occurrences can vary across habitat type, elevation, or proximity to various types of human land use (e.g. logged forest, agriculture, urban areas, etc).
Is WildCAM going to post photos of people in camera trap photos on their website or anywhere else?
While camera trap photos contributed by WildCAM members may be posted on our Photo Highlights reel, WildCAM does not make photos of people public, and photos of wildlife will never be shared without consent. If you choose to contribute your data to a given research project, you will share directly with the Project Leads. If you share your raw camera trap photos, we will blur out the identities of people in those photos.
Will WildCAM make my camera trap locations public? How will my data be shared with members?
Data are not made public. On our Projects page, general locations of individual project sites are shown on the map of BC and AB. If you are a member who does not wish to have their project site included on the website, please let us know and we will ensure this information is not posted. With respect to individual camera trap locations, this information will never be shared publicly. Members can request data from other members for research purposes but whether or not data are shared is completely up to whoever owns those data.