Red Brocket Deer

Camera trap photo of a Red Brocket Deer in the Amazon. Photo: World Wildlife Fund

One of the features on the newly redesigned website of The World Wildlife Fund that I have enjoyed is the camera trap photo galleries from the Amazon, Russia, Nepal, and Ecuador.

To obtain data on wildlife and their habitats, scientists install cameras with infrared triggers in wilderness areas.  Photos or videos are automatically taken when the sensors detect animal movement.  This may sound high-tech, but these installations are actually constructed of basic point-and-shoot cameras mounted within waterproof boxes.  Both film and digital cameras are utilized; the digital cameras have the obvious benefit that they can take more photos without reloading, but they also run through their battery life more quickly.

Careful planning determines where the cameras are placed; scientists study animal tracks in the target area and, when applicable, interview local human inhabitants on the animal behavior they have observed.  Frequently, the cameras are set up along creeks and game trails.  Of course, researchers monitor the cameras frequently to make sure they are still functioning and to retrieve images.  The cameras must be moved periodically, as the animals will start avoiding the flash.


Camera trap photo of a tapir, Amazon. Photo: World Wildlife Fund

Although the information they provide is useful in wildlife conservation studies, the quality of camera trap photos is serendipitous.   Here at Natural Habitat, we want your own gallery of wildlife photos to be extraordinary!  To instruct and assist you in the fine art of animal and nature photography, Natural Habitat Adventures offers photo tours and expeditions.   From photographing the Northern Lights to African photo safaris, from polar bear photo tours to our Yellowstone photo safari, learn from our expert naturalist photographers how to find, frame and capture the world’s spectacular wildlife in your own camera trap!