Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

New guide for camera monitoring terrestrial wildlife

[August 2015]

A new comprehensive method for wildlife monitoring using motion detection cameras in northern Australia has been launched.

Funded under the Northern Australia Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP), the method has been detailed in, A guide for the use of remote cameras for wildlife surveys and surveillance in northern Australia.

The guide is a culmination of several years’ work by Northern Territory Government scientists, who have adopted the standardised protocol as part of its wildlife monitoring activities.

“We trialled different arrangements for setting up cameras in various settings, until we found a method that consistently gives good detection rates for a wide range of species,” said lead researcher Dr Graeme Gillespie.

“The guide is freely available and will enable other groups, such as rangers and land managers, to learn from our experience, avoiding the time and expense of trailing different methods using the technology.

“There is also the added benefit of users being able to compare their results with data from other areas if everyone is using the same protocol.”

Dr Gillespie said the method is already delivering promising results in northern Australia.

“The motion detection cameras are proving to be far more sensitive at detecting a range of rare species than conventional sampling methods, such as cage traps,” he said.

“We discovered that threatened species, such as the northern quoll and the black-footed tree rat are persisting in several areas of the Northern Territory where they were thought to have disappeared.”

Rangelands NRM has supported a range of research projects by NERP in support of innovation and improved natural resource management in the Western Australian rangelands.

Download the guide
Images courtesy National Environmental Research Program, Northern Australia Hub:
1) Djelk Ranger Patricia Gibson setting up a motion detection camera. Photo – Jaana Dielenberg.
2) A feral pig is captured on a motion detection camera. Photo – NT Department of Land Resource Management.