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Animal Ecology Scientists Increasingly Rely on Motion Detection Cameras to Study Species' Natural Habitats

Published by Ellen on May 10, 2012 9:05 AM

The rise of motion detection cameras used in studying animal patterns is a direct result of their ability to provide scientists with new findings and discoveries. Camera traps, otherwise known as trail cameras, film animals when researchers can't. Instrumental in the study of Animal Ecology, camera trapping records the behavior of species in their native environment, thereby enabling scientists to advance in their field.

Weather-proof video cameras are preferred among scientists as this feature protects the camera from harsh weather elements and temperatures that are common in deserts, rainforests, tropical regions, and mountainous areas. The motion detection function of cameras - one of the advantages of scalable IP video - is designed to record based on the detection of animal movement. This function plays a vital role in documenting species that are nocturnal or hide when scientists are present. In addition to motion detection, researchers also prefer tamper resistant cameras due to animals' curiosity of these devices. Animals such as Sumatran Tigers have garnered a reputation for pawing at and knocking over cameras.

In recent years, video has recorded the behaviors of rare or endangered species. In 2011, the African Golden Cat was recorded by a motion detection camera in its native land of Africa. Video was able to capture the cat's reclusive behavior, giving scientists a greater understanding of the daily life of this introverted animal. The species' unwillingness to be near humans has made it near impossible for scientists to study the African Golden Cat. Thanks to the deployment of a weather-resistant camera, animals like the African Golden Cat have provided scientists and researchers with discoveries that would never have been found otherwise. Scientists have spoken up about the importance of using video versus flash cameras, the former of which raises greater awareness of the conservation of species.

Video documents the existence and behavior of endangered species in the wild; changes in population; and their survival techniques in habitats compromised by deforestation and destruction. The technology of video has paved the way for discovering new species, including the grey-faced sengi and Annamite striped rabbit. Camera traps have become one of the few ways for scientists to analyze, understand, and sometimes discover unknown species.

ht_Annamite_striped_rabbit_Nesolagus_timmin_081215_ssh.jpg recently donated six outdoor day/night Vivotek IP8332 cameras to monitor and record the breeding habits of Giant Pandas living at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve in Ya'an China. You can read more about it in our Giant Panda Case Study.