Project Title: Effectiveness of Trail Cameras for Wildlife Species Detection Under Various Conditions

Faculty Sponsor: Karmen Hollis-Etter

Department: Biology

Telephone: 810.762.3098


Student in mind: No

Number of hours to work per week: 1-6 hours

Project Description: Trail cameras are being used to detect wildlife species, collect demographic information, and observe animal behavior in wildlife research.  Many brands of trail cameras contain different features (i.e., motion sensors, time lag between photographs, different flash colors, etc.) which may alter the detection of wildlife species between encounters.  Research protocols will include cameras strategically placed in various habitats and weather conditions.  From a distance, observers will record animals visible at camera sites.  This data will be correlated with the camera data to determine if an image was effectively recorded.  

Student Tasks & Responsibilities: 1. Relevant literature search, 2. Camera set-up and monitoring, 3. Participate in collection of field data and observations, 4. Reviewing camera data compared to field observations, 5. Communicate with professional companies, 6. Meet and communicate with faculty advisor and research investigators (including potential graduate student).  Work will be conducted in cooperation with Research Biologists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  

Minimum Student Qualifications: 1. Detail oriented, 2. Ability to do field work under various conditions and during various hours, 3. Communication skills, 4. Computer skills, 5. Conduct professional literature search (preferred but not required), 6. Interest in wildlife biology