Environmental monitoring is an important part of understanding and caring for the land and water. Wildlife cameras can be an extremely useful tool for monitoring, providing insight about different animals by capturing photos of them over time.

In a community-based monitoring context, there is great potential to use wildlife cameras for monitoring in a way that prioritizes Indigenous knowledge and supports community values, as they allow for community leadership in the process, connecting people to the land, and providing opportunities for knowledge-sharing. The main objective of this report is to provide guidance to those wanting to start a community-based wildlife camera monitoring program. Information within this report comes from a broad collection of published research, as well as tips and tricks learned from personal experience, summarized to create an outline for developing a community-based monitoring program. This report takes the reader through different stages of the design and implementation process, including a section explaining what wildlife cameras are and how they can be used for wildlife monitoring, creating a basic design for a camera program, different things to think about before cameras go out on the land, and actually using the cameras.

Overall, this report aims to help the reader:

1) decide if wildlife cameras are a good fit for their monitoring goals and needs,
2) understand the basics for creating a wildlife camera monitoring program in a community setting,
3) better understand how to use wildlife cameras to accomplish their specific goals, and
4)understand some different ways that photos and information from wildlife cameras can be used to answer various monitoring questions.

A Guide to Using Wildlife Cameras for Ecological Monitoring

Author: Claire Kemp, Kathryn Yarchuk, Dr. Allyson Menzies, Dr. Jesse Popp

Year: 2022

Media Type: Toolkit