“Who’s living on my land?” is a citizen science project that helps regional private landholders discover what species are on their property. We teach landholders how to set up a camera trap to survey their land for wildlife using a motion sensor infrared cameras; then lend them the camera for a two week survey on their property.
At the end of the survey, landholders post the camera and the images back to us and we identify all the animals that came by the camera trap. We use the results of a citizen science wildlife survey to encourage landholders to participate in conservation initiatives like pest control and habitat restoration to support native wildlife on their private land.
How can private landholders contribute to conservation?
Australia has the world’s worst mammal extinction rate due to invasive species and habitat destruction. It is imperative that private landholders participate in efforts to reverse this, as 82% of the Australian landmass is outside the National Reserve System (90% of NSW). Private landholders can contribute to conservation efforts by taking part in landscape pest management activities and caring for habitat on their property. However, there is often a low level of involvement by landholders in conservation activities.
Camera trapping is an exciting and simple exercise that will increase their interest in the environment. Photographs help landholders connect to native species on their property because they are often nocturnal, rare and cryptic. Once engaged they are more likely to protect the resources that they depend on, such as hollows, fallen wood and a native understorey. Additionally, the photos will alert them to the presence of feral animals which will encourage participation in strategic pest management.
What is camera trapping?
Camera trapping is a non-intrusive wildlife survey method and provides long term photographic evidence of species observations. It involves setting up a motion detector infrared camera (also called a trail camera) and a lure; then leaving it out in the bush for a few weeks while it records all the animals that move in front of it.
The cameras are triggered to take pictures when it detects a change in infrared signature (i.e. heat in motion) and take colour photographs in the day time and black and white photos at night.
At the ‘Who’s living on my land?’ workshops, we will teach you how to set up the camera, how to choose a good site and lend you a camera for two weeks to survey for wildlife.
How can I take part in the ‘Who’s living on my land?’ project?
To borrow a camera and take part in the ‘Who’s living on my land?’ project, you must attend a workshop. We run around 10 workshops per year, mainly in the South East Local Land Services region. You can see when we are planning to hold our next workshops on the “Get Involved” page.