Passive Monitoring for Wildlife: Lessons Learned from 10 Years of Camera Monitoring.Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 15:20 to 15:39 Theatre 3
Collecting accurate wildlife data is important for environmental monitoring and environmental assessments. Some monitoring methods, such as low-level aerial surveys, can disturb wildlife. Passive monitoring using wildlife cameras offers a solution that provides good quality data with limited disturbance to wildlife. We report on our use of wildlife cameras during the last 10 years in NWT and Nunavut at seven mining projects. We discuss best practices for camera use and lessons learned. Key challenges include: 1) identifying hypotheses that can be tested using cameras, 2) appropriate experimental/monitoring design, 3) addressing low encounter rate, 4) measuring effort, 5) the use of machine learning, and 6) appropriate statistical tests to evaluate the hypotheses. Used appropriately, wildlife cameras can be a powerful tool for monitoring wildlife populations, but due consideration of their limitations are required well in advance of their deployment to make effective use of this monitoring technique.