Sensors to stop stealthy predators


Data collected by Parks Victoria using infrared camera trapping is helping keep track of  threatened species and monitor the control of predators like cats and foxes. It sounds very technical but according to a recent Surf Coast Times article it’s easy, cheap and causes minimal disturbance to native wildlife.

How does infrared camera trapping work?

Digital cameras are set up at various montitoring sites and help researchers to determine the effectiveness of their current fox and cat control methods.  The cameras not only collect images of predators but have taken some great pictures of rarely seen native wildlife.

The monitoring is helping to collect data on mammals and birds where is the past information was based on estimates and guess work.

A fox is caught in the act as it passes an infrared motion sensor site. Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria

Where are the cameras located?

Monitoring has taken place over 4 years in more than 40 sites in the Anglesea Heath and the Great Otway National Park.

The results so far…

The data collected has shown small mammal numbers are increasing and rare animals like the Bandicoot are being spotted  more frequently.

The research has also found rainfall is a key factor in wildlife population changes. When there is better rainfall in a season more animals were caught on film. This is because  better plant growth means more insects for the wildlife to feed on which then results in a  better breeding season with more babies.

Lots of small mammals have been spotted by the cameras. Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria.

Have the cameras caught anything interesting?

Two male Scarlet Robins were caught having a territorial dispute.

Also spotted were the White Footed Dunnart, Southern Brown Bandicoots, a long-nosed Bandicoot, Button Quail, Owlet NightJars, Echidna, Possum and Currawong.

To read the full article click here.

More information about Parks Victoria and this project is available at www.parks.vic.gov.au or by calling 131 963.

Cats and foxes are highly prevalent on the Surf Coast to learn more about these predators check out these links.

Who let the cats out? A blog about cat curfews on the Surf Coast.

Predatory pests targeted in Juc  a blog about fox trapping in Jan Juc.

Click here  to learn about more ways you can help to protect native wildlife.

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