Directory of Camera Trap Publications


With the prolific growth in the use of digital wildlife cameras over the past 15 years, the number of papers on camera trapping have similarly ballooned. We have listed below some key papers pertinent to designing a camera trap study. We are currently working on making this repository interactive, with the hope that our members will be able to add to this repository in the future.


Camera Trap Papers Directory

We are making an effort to post links to new papers that we hope WildCAM members will find relevant for their own work. You can also check out WildCAM's 2019 annotated bibliography: This is a literature synthesis of camera trap methodology papers published in the last ten years. Encompassing literature on study design and data processing, it can be used as a review to give researchers and practitioners insight into what the peer-reviewed literature suggests regarding best practices.

A selection of camera trap papers is listed below (this is not meant to be an exhaustive list).


Review papers & meta-analyses

Ahumada, J.A., C.E. Silva, K. Gajapersad, C. Hallam, J. Hurtado, E. Martin, A. McWilliam, B. Mugerwa, T. O'Brien, F. Rovero, and D. Sheil. 2011. Community structure and diversity of tropical forest mammals: data from a global camera trap network. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366: 2703-2711.

Burton, A. C., E. Neilson, D. Moreira, A. Ladle, R. Steenweg, J. T. Fisher, E. Bayne, and S. Boutin. 2015. Wildlife camera trapping: a review and recommendations for linking surveys to ecological processes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52:675-685.

Caravaggi, A., P. B. Banks, A. C. Burton, C. M. V. Finlay, P. M. Haswell, M. W. Hayward, M. J. Rowcliffe, and M. D. Wood. 2017. A review of camera trapping for conservation behaviour research. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 3:109-122.

Hofmeester, T. R., J. P. G. M. Cromsigt, J. Odden, H. Andrén, J. Kindberg, and J. D. C. Linnell. 2019. Framing pictures: A conceptual framework to identify and correct for biases in detection probability of camera traps enabling multi-species comparison. Ecology and Evolution, 9: 2320- 2336.

Steenweg, R., M. Hebblewhite, R. Kays, J. Ahumada, J.T. Fisher, C. Burton, S.E. Townsend, C. Carbone, J.M. Rowcliffe, J. Whittington, and J.F. Brodie. 2017. Scaling‐up camera traps: Monitoring the planet's biodiversity with networks of remote sensors. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15: 26-34.

Wearn, O.R. and P. Glover-Kapfer. 2017. Camera-trapping for conservation: a guide to best-practices. WWF conservation technology series 1.1 181.


Introduction to using camera traps

Apps, P. J., and J.W. McNutt. 2018. How camera traps work and how to work them. African Journal of Ecology, 56: 702-709

Sollmann, R., A. Mohamed, and M.J. Kelly. 2013. Camera trapping for the study and conservation of tropical carnivores. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 28: 21-42


Sampling design & effort

Anile, S. and S. Devillard. 2016. Study design and body mass influence RAIs from camera trap studies: Evidence from the Felidae. Animal Conservation, 19: 35-45.

Cusack, J. J., A.J. Dickman, J.M. Rowcliffe, C. Carbone, D.W. Macdonald, and T. Coulson. 2015. Random versus game trail-based camera trap placement strategy for monitoring terrestrial mammal communities. PloS One, 10, e0126373.

Fonteyn, D., C. Vermeulen, N. Deflandre, D. Cornelis, S. Lhoest, F.G. Houngbégnon, J.L. Doucet, & A. Fayolle. 2020. Wildlife trail or systematic? Camera trap placement has little effect on estimates of mammal diversity in a tropical forest in Gabon. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.

Dupont, G., J.A. Andrew Royle, M.A.Nawaz, and C. Sutherland. 2020.Optimal sampling design for spatial capture‐recapture. Ecology. e03262.

Durbach, I., D. Borchers, C. Sutherland, and K. Sharma. 2020. Fast, flexible alternatives to regular grid designs for spatial capture–recapture. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Gálvez, N., G, Guillera-Arroita, B.J. Morgan, and Z.G. Davies. 2016. Cost-efficient effort allocation for camera-trap occupancy surveys of mammals. Biological Conservation, 204, 350-359.

Hamel, S., S.T. Killengreen, J.A. Henden, N.E. Eide, L. Roed‐Eriksen, R.A. Ims & N.G. Yoccoz. 2013. Towards good practice guidance in using camera‐traps in ecology: influence of sampling design on validity of ecological inferences. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4: 105-113.

Iannarilli, F., J. Erb, T.W. Arnold, and J.R. Fieberg. 2021. Evaluating species-specific responses to camera-trap survey designs. Wildlife Biology, 2021:1.

Kays R., et al. 2020. An empirical evaluation of camera trap study design: How many, how long and when? Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 10.1111/2041-210X.13370

Kolowski, J.M., J. Oley and W.J. McShea. 2021. High‐density camera trap grid reveals lack of consistency in detection and capture rates across space and time. Ecosphere, 12. p.e03350.

Meek, P. D., G. Ballard, A. Claridge, R. Kays, K. Moseby, T. O’Brien, A. O’Connell, J. Sanderson, D. E. Swann, M. Tobler, and S. Townsend. 2014. Recommended guiding principles for reporting on camera trapping research. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23: 2321-2343.

Neilson, E. W., T. Avgar, A.C. Burton. K. Broadley, and S. Boutin. 2018. Animal movement affects interpretation of occupancy models from camera‐trap surveys of unmarked animals. Ecosphere, 9: e02092.

O’Connor, K. M., L.R. Nathan, M.R. Liberati, M.W. Tingley, J.C. Vokoun, and T.A. Rittenhouse. 2017. Camera trap arrays improve detection probability of wildlife: Investigating study design considerations using an empirical dataset. PloS One, 12: e017568.

Palmer, M. S., A. Swanson, M. Kosmala, T. Arnold, and C. Packer. 2018. Evaluating relative abundance indices for terrestrial herbivores from large‐scale camera trap surveys. African Journal of Ecology, 56: 791-803

Rovero, F., F. Zimmermann, D. Berzi, and P. Meek. 2013. "Which camera trap type and how many do I need?" A review of camera features and study designs for a range of wildlife research applications. Hystrix, 24: 148-156.

Si, X., R. Kays, and P. Ding. 2014. How long is enough to detect terrestrial animals? estimating the minimum trapping effort on camera traps. PeerJ, 2, e374.

Sollmann, R., B. Gardner and J.L Belant. 2012. How does spatial study design influence density estimates from spatial capture-recapture models? PloS One, 7: e34575.

Tobler, M. W. and G.V. Powell. 2013. Estimating jaguar densities with camera traps: Problems with current designs and recommendations for future studies. Biological Conservation, 159: 109-118.


Setting up your camera trap- things to consider

Henrich, M., S. Niederlechner, M. Kröschel, S. Thoma, C.F. Dormann, F. Hartig, and M. Heurich. 2020. The influence of camera trap flash type on the behavioural reactions and trapping rates of red deer and roe deer. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 6:339-410.

Moll R.J., W. Ortiz-Calo, W.D. Cepek, P. D.Lorch, P.M. Dennis, T. Robison, and R.A. Montgomery. 2020. The effect of camera-trap viewshed obstruction on wildlife detection: implications for inference. Wildlife Research 47, 158-165.

Tourani, M., E.N. Brøste, S. Bakken, J. Odden, and R. Bischof. 2020.Sooner, closer, or longer: detectability of mesocarnivores at camera traps. Journal of Zoology. 1-12.


Estimating animal density

Burgar J., F. Stewart, J. Volpe, J. Fisher, and A.C. Burton. 2018. Estimating density for species conservation: comparing camera trap spatial count models to genetic spatial capture-recapture models. Global Ecology and Conservation, 15:e00411.

Choo, Y.R., E.P. Kudavidanage, T.R. Amarasinghe, T. Nimalrathna, M.A.Chua, and E.L. Webb. 2020. Best practices for reporting individual identification using camera trap photographs. Global Ecology and Conservation. e01294.

Foster, R.J. and B.J. Harmsen. 2012. A critique of density estimation from camera‐trap data. The Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 224-236.

Nakashima, Y., K. Fukasawa, & H. Samejima. 2018. Estimating animal density without individual recognition using information derivable exclusively from camera traps. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55: 735-744.

Moeller A.K., Waller S.J., DeCesare N.J., Chitwood M.C., and Lukacs P.M. 2022. Best practices to account for capture probability and viewable area in camera-based abundance estimation. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 10.1002/rse2.300

Silver, S.C., L. Ostro, L.K. Marsh, L. Maffei, A.J. Noss, M.J. Kelly, R.B. Wallace, H. Gomez, and G. Ayala. 2004. The use of camera traps for estimating jaguar Panthera onca abundance and density using capture/recapture analysis. Oryx, 38: 148-154.

Sun C., Burgar J.M., Fisher J.T. and Burton A.C. 2022 A cautionary tale comparing spatial count and partial identity models for estimating densities of threatened and unmarked populations. Global Ecology and Conservation, 10.1016/j.gecco.2022.e02268

Rovero, F. and A.R. Marshall. 2009. Camera trapping photographic rate as an index of density in forest ungulates. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46: 1011-1017.

Royle, J.A., J.D. Nichols, K.U. Karanth, and A.M. Gopalaswamy, A.M. 2009. A hierarchical model for estimating density in camera‐trap studies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46: 118-127.


Estimating relative abundance

Gerber, B., S.M. Karpanty, C. Crawford, M. Kotschwar, and J. Randrianantenaina. 2010. An assessment of carnivore relative abundance and density in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar using remotely-triggered camera traps. Oryx, 44: 219-222.

Jenks, K. E., P. Chanteap, D. Kanda, C. Peter, P. Cutter, T. Redford, J.L. Antony, J. Howard, and P. Leimgruber. 2011. Using relative abundance indices from camera-trapping to test wildlife conservation hypotheses–an example from Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Tropical Conservation Science 4: 113-131.

Silveira, L., A.T.A Jacomo, and J.A.F. Diniz-Filho. 2003. Camera trap, line transect census and track surveys: a comparative evaluation. Biological conservation 114: 351-355.

Sollmann, R., A. Mohamed, H. Samejima, and A. Wilting. 2013. Risky business or simple solution–Relative abundance indices from camera-trapping. Biological Conservation, 159: 405-412.


Single & Multi-species occupancy

Guillera‐Arroita, G., M.S. Ridout, and B.J.T Morgan. 2010. Design of occupancy studies with imperfect detection. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1: 131-139.

Mattfeldt, S.D., L.L. Bailey, and E.H.C Grant. 2009. Monitoring multiple species: estimating state variables and exploring the efficacy of a monitoring program. Biological Conservation, 142: 720-737.

Neilson, E. W., T. Avgar, A.C. Burton, K. Broadley, and S. Boutin. 2018. Animal movement affects interpretation of occupancy models from camera‐trap surveys of unmarked animals. Ecosphere, 9: e02092.

Robinson, Q. H., D. Bustos, and G. W. Roemer. 2014. The application of occupancy modeling to evaluate intraguild predation in a model carnivore system. Ecology 95: 3112-3123.

Rota, T., M.A.R Ferreira, R.W. Kays, T. D. Forrester, E. L. Kalies, W.J. McShea, A.W. Parsons, and J.J. Millspaugh. 2016. A multispecies occupancy model for two or more interacting species. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 7: 1164-1173.

Wang, Y., M. L. Allen, and C.C. Wilmers. 2015. Mesopredator spatial and temporal responses to large predators and human development in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Biological Conservation, 190: 23-33.

Yue, S., J.F. Brodie, E.F. Zipkin, and H. Bernard. 2015. Oil palm plantations fail to support mammal diversity. Ecological Applications, 25: 2285-2292.

Using camera traps to study animal behaviour

Burton et al. 2024. Mammal responses to global changes in human activity vary by trophic group and landscape. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Chen et al. 2023. Combining camera trap surveys and IUCN range maps to improve knowledge of species distributions. Conservation Biology.

Granados A., Sun C., Fisher J.T., Ladle A., Dawe K., Beirne C., Boyce M.S., Chow E., Heim N., Fennell M., Klees van Bommel J., Naidoo R., Procko M., Stewart F.E.C., Burton A.C. 2023. Mammalian predator and prey responses to recreation and land use across multiple scales provide limited support for the human shield hypothesis. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10464

Burton C.A., Beirne C., Sun C., Granados A., Procko M., Cheng C., Fennell M., Constantinou A., Colton C., Tjaden-McClement K., Fisher J.T. and Burgar J. 2022. Behavioral “bycatch” from camera trap surveys yields insights on prey responses to human-mediated predation risk. Ecology and Evolution, 10.1002/ece3.9108

Bridges, A. and A.J. Noss. 2011. Behavior and activity patterns. In Camera traps in animal ecology (pp. 57-69). Springer, Tokyo.

Caravaggi A., M. Gatta, M. Vallely, K. Hogg, M. Freeman, E. Fadaei, J.T.A. Dick, W.I. Montgomery, N. Reid, and D.G. Tosh. 2018. Seasonal and predator-prey effects on circadian activity of free-ranging mammals revealed by camera traps. PeerJ, 6:e582

Douglas C. Heard, Kathryn L. Zimmerman. 2021. Fall supplemental feeding increases population growth rate of an endangered caribou herd. PeerJ9:e10708

Frey, S., J. T. Fisher, A. C. Burton, and J. P. Volpe. 2017. Investigating animal activity patterns and temporal niche partitioning using camera-trap data: challenges and opportunities. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 3:123-132.

Procko M., Naidoo R., LeMay V. and Burton C.A. 2022. Human impacts on mammals in and around a protected area before, during, and after COVID-19 lockdowns. Conservation Science and Practice, 10.1111/csp2.12743

Smit, J., R.A, Pozo, J.J. Cusack, K. Nowak, and T. Jones. 2019. Using camera traps to study the age–sex structure and behaviour of crop-using elephants Loxodonta africana in Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Oryx, 53: 368-376.

Smith, J.A., J. P. Suraci, J.S. Hunter, K.M. Gaynor, C.B. Keller, M.S. Palmer, J.L. Atkins et al. 2020. Zooming in on mechanistic predator‐prey ecology: integrating camera traps with experimental methods to reveal the drivers of ecological interactions. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89: 1997-2012.


Camera traps for citizen science

Arandjelovic, M., C.R. Stephens, M.S. McCarthy, P. Dieguez, A.K. Kalan, N. Maldonado, C. Boesch and H.S. Kuehl. 2016. Chimp&See: An online citizen science platform for large-scale, remote video camera trap annotation of chimpanzee behaviour, demography and individual identification. Ethology, 124:365 –377.

Jachowski, D. S., T. Katzner, J. L Rodrigue, and W. M. Ford. 2015. Monitoring landscape‐level distribution and migration Phenology of Raptors using a volunteer camera‐trap network. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 39: 553-563.

McShea, W. J., T. Forrester, R. Costello, Z. He, and R. Kays. 2015. Volunteer-run cameras as distributed sensors for macrosystem mammal research. Landscape Ecology, 31: 55-66.

Swanson, A., M. Kosmala, C. Lintott, R. Simpson, A. Smith, and C. Packer. 2015. Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna. Scientific Data, 2.

Camera trap-related tech & tools

Norouzzadeh, M. S., D. Morris, S. Beery, N. Joshi, N. Jojic, and J. Clune. 2021. A deep active learning system for species identification and counting in camera trap images.  Methods in Ecology & Evolution. 12: 150-161.

Whytock, R. C., J. Świeżewski, J.A. Zwerts, T. Bara‐Słupski, A.F. Koumba Pambo, M. Rogala, ... and K.A. Abernethy. 2021. Robust ecological analysis of camera trap data labelled by a machine learning model. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 00: 1-13.



MacKenzie, D.I., J.D. Nichols, J.A. Royle, K.H. Pollock, L. Bailey, and J.E. Hines. 2017. Occupancy estimation and modeling: inferring patterns and dynamics of species occurrence. Elsevier.

O'Connell, A. F., J. D. Nichols, and K. U. Karanth. 2011. Camera Traps in Animal Ecology: Methods and Analyses. Springer, New York.

Rovero, F. and F. Zimmermann. 2016. Camera trapping for wildlife research. Pelagic Publishing Ltd.



Some of these resources may not be open access. If an article is not open access, we recommend contacting the corresponding author to request a copy or checking common repositories such as Research Gate for now. We are working to make the resources within the library more broadly available in the future.