WildCAM Protocols

Guide to camera trap set up

We have developed a guide highlighting some of the major considerations camera trap users should have in mind when deciding where and how to set up their camera traps. It is meant as a general guide for those who may have limited experience with formal sampling methods but are interested in having their camera trap photos used in research to support wildlife science and management.

WildCAM guide to camera trap set up (updated February 2021)

We also have streamlined the guide to camera trap set up into a short document, perfect for printing and tucking into your field notebook, for training field technicians and for quick reference when reminding oneself of protocol. There is a short reminder list as well as a synopsis of all features.

WildCAM condensed deployment protocol (streamlined March 2022)

To facilitate standardization of data collection in camera trap set up, we have also created WildCAM data collection sheets that can be used in the field during camera deployment and during camera visits or retrieval. Our datasheets are consistent with metadata standards developed by Wildlife Insights and the RISC Wildlife Camera Metadata standards. We encourage you to use them and hope they are useful for users when deploying, checking, and retrieving cameras in the field.

WildCAM datasheet for camera trap deployment (updated Februrary 2021)

WildCAM datasheet for camera trap visits or retrieval (updated May 2020)

We welcome feedback from others so if you there is anything that you think should be added to the above guide, or to the datasheets, please let us know. You can contact us at one or all of the following emails: info@wildcams.ca, cole.burton@ubc.ca, or wildco.lab@gmail.com .

Data exploration & analysis

WildCo postdoc Dr. Chris Beirne has created a great resource about how to create reproducible research with camera trap data. This document highlights some of the different analyses you can run with camera trap data and importantly, also links to some useful data exploration scripts in R.

The WildCo Lab also has a GitHub page with additional R scripts you can download and use to explore your own data, including for single and multi-site studies and using R to extract GIS data for your camera trap project.

Classifying animals from camera trap images

The WildCo Lab has prepared a guide highlighting some of the characteristics that you can use to tell species apart in camera trap images. We welcome your feedback! If you have any images that nicely show some of the characteristics mentioned in the guide, or if you have any tips for identifying species, please let us know (wildco.lab@gmail.com) so we can include it in this guide! (updated May 2021)

Sampling design recommendations

We are currently in the process of designing a standardized protocol to help researchers decide which sampling design is most appropriate for their research goals. When complete, we will post it here, so please be sure to keep checking our website for related news and updates. In the meantime please refer to our resource library page for recommended resources.