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An improved camera trap for amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and large invertebrates

October 18, 2017

Camera traps are valuable sampling tools commonly used to inventory and monitor wildlife communities but are challenged to reliably sample small animals. We introduce a novel active camera trap system enabling the reliable and efficient use of wildlife cameras for sampling small animals, particularly reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and large invertebrates. It surpasses the detection ability of commonly used passive infrared (PIR) cameras for this application and eliminates problems such as high rates of false triggers and high variability in detection rates among cameras and study locations. Our system, which employs a HALT trigger, is capable of coupling to digital PIR cameras and is designed for detecting small animals traversing small tunnels, narrow trails, small clearings and along walls or drift fencing.