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In case you aren’t familiar with them, camera traps are robust cameras placed in selected locations in the bush to capture images of animals (or humans). Camera-trapping is a key method by researchers to capture information without having to be physically present. The absence of human interference is essential in that it records animals, reptiles and birds going about their natural routine.

Camera traps operate continually and silently, using a motion sensor and infra-red light beam. They provide proof of species present in an area, can reveal what prints and scats belong to which species, provide evidence for management and policy decisions, and are a cost-effective monitoring tool. They can also detect human activity, both legal and illegal.

According to Marilise Greyling, Project Manager of the FBIP Waterberg Biodiversity Project and the Executive Director of Waterberg Research Support Centre, camera traps at Summerplace Game Reserve will deliver important information.

“With its variety of habitat types, Summerplace is a very interesting area and we anticipate the diversity here is going to be quite amazing,” said Greyling. “Summerplace falls within a priority grid, which is currently under-sampled. So we have placed cameras to cover all habitat types on the reserve.”

The camera traps are checked every three months and data is then downloaded and examined. We look forward to seeing what the images reveal and should be able to share some of those in December 2023. We currently know over more than 40 large mammals resident at Summerplace Game Reserve and would love to be able to add to that list…

Check out the video below for more information and to see how the camera traps are installed. Also in the video are examples of images captured by camera traps at other wilderness locations.

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