Help us Identify Australian Wildlife in Our New Camera Trap Project

Are you a keen naturalist who can identify Australian animals and birds? Science for Wildlife would love your help on a new and exciting volunteer project!

Our camera trap project will be kicking off in April 2021 and will allow us to be better informed when it comes to protecting and preserving Australian wildlife during future bushfire seasons.

All you need to be able to help is access to a computer and the internet.

About the S4W Camera Trap Project

This time last year, the 2019/20 bushfires had been put out and the S4W team were winding up their emergency response work. In response to these fires, we had installed a range of water and food stations throughout the Blue Mountains area to provide local wildlife with resources while the surrounding bushlands regenerated.

Whilst installing and maintaining these food and water stations, we wanted to evaluate their use and effectiveness, and so we put out camera traps to capture photographic data at each location. Covid-19 then prevented us from bringing the cameras back in for some months and our priority work for the rest of 2020 had to focus on undertaking broadscale surveys in order to map surviving koalas to inform population recovery.  

Now, we’re back on track and have collected a huge amount of image data from our 80 camera traps. We are hoping to find volunteers to help us look through the camera trap images and see what we can discover! Fortunately, this summer has been kinder, but more hot summers and droughts will come and our findings from the camera traps will help to guide welfare efforts for koalas and other species during the next extreme weather event.

Our water and food stations were installed in a range of locations, including in trees and on the ground, so our online volunteers will be looking for a range of arboreal and ground animals, as well as birds. 

Featured: Koala image captured by S4W camera trap

Questions we hope to answer

  • Which water stations designs were used, were some used more than others?
  • Were the water stations still used after the heavy rains arrived?
  • Which species of animal used the water and the food drops?
  • Which sites had more surviving wildlife using the resources we put out, and how does that relate to fire intensity in that area?
  • Where were feral animals present, and how many were there compared to native wildlife?

We will provide all required background information to be able to answer the above questions when looking through the camera trap images.

If you’re a keen naturalist and feel reasonably confident identifying Australian animals and birds then please join our Camera Trap Project, register here:

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/drkellie/s4w-bushfires-water-and-food-stations

With your help, we’re looking forward to discovering what was happening out in the bush after the fires, and this valuable information will help to save native wildlife in the future. For further information on our other projects at Science for Wildlife, visit our projects page here.