Camera Trapping at Bernheim

By Andrew Berry

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A camera trap is a remotely activated camera that is equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor, or uses a light beam as a trigger.

Bernheim has used these cameras for the past eight years as a way to observe our wildlife. Our dedicated natural areas crew works year-round to place and monitor these motion detecting cameras as a way to better understand our wildlife populations. The project began as a way to monitor our feral (wild) hog problem and has expanded to document the arrival of our golden eagles during winter migration. Since then it has continued as an important tool for our land managers and has opened our eyes to a wealth of wildlife that few of us expected.

Camera trapping is a non-intrusive method of wildlife surveying that provides a glimpse into how animals behave when people are not around. No animals are physically captured; instead they are photographed using motion detecting cameras set up on bait sites or along trails. Bait sites consist of road kill deer that are collected from neighboring highways and placed in natural areas to attract scavengers such as eagles, coyotes, and bobcats.  No animals are ever killed or hurt in our camera trapping activities. The images we collect help us to manage our land for these magnificent creatures and to protect the habitats that they need to survive.

Enjoy the photographs above. We hope you will come away with a greater appreciation for the wildlife found here at Bernheim.

Want more of the bobcat? Be sure to watch this video of the bobcat exploring, caught on a trail camera:


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