A recent workshop in Darwin on biodiversity monitoring with motion detection cameras was well attended by Kimberley groups, including Damibimangari, Balanggarra and Yawuru Rangers and Kimberley Land Council, Environs Kimberley and Department of Parks and Wildlife.
The workshop was part of the Territory Natural Resource Management 2014 Conference and attracted over 50 participants from WA, QLD and the NT. It was based on the results of a research project by the Northern Australia Hub of the National Environment Research Program conducted by Northern Territory Government Scientists.
Motion detection cameras are an attractive option for surveying and monitoring wildlife because they are less labour intensive than traditional scientific monitoring methods. Research Leader Dr Graeme Gillespie says the cameras can be left out until it’s practical to pick them up, which makes them a practical option for groups working in remote areas.
“In this project, we have done all the work of trialling different arrangements for setting up cameras, until we have found a method that consistently gives good detection rates for most species, so other groups can benefit from our experience,” he said.
We had a wide range of participants; people came from NRM Groups, Indigenous ranger groups, Environment NGOs, Industry and Government agencies.
Those involved had varying levels of experience in using cameras for monitoring. Some groups are just starting out, while others have been using them in different ways for quite a while.
Dr Gillespie said the participants learnt the benefits of camera trapping and how the method works, before they put their new found skills into action in bushland. The workshop also covered uploading and using data.
“There will be a lot of value in groups adopting the same method when they are doing general biodiversity surveys, because then we will be able to compare results from different areas,” he said.
More information is available on the project web page, and a video can be viewed at
Berribob Dangala from Warddeken Rangers in Arnhemland setting up a camera
A picture of Black Wallaroos, taken in Arnhemland