Wildlife camera trap

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Wildlife camera trap


One popular use for wildlife camera traps is in hunting. Hunters need to see what kind of game wanders in the area, and trail cameras allow them to do that without needing to spend hours sitting in a hide, waiting for something to come along.

Hunters will often set their sights on one particular quarry that interests them and will follow it for several weeks. Trail cams allow for them to do this easily and remotely. They can use multiple cameras to check on the paths used by their quarry and find where it wanders so they can set traps or lie in wait for it.


Animal camera traps can be useful for keeping an eye on whether dangerous creatues are treading near livestock or close to human habitation, and, of course, they are used by conservationists to keep a check on the animals under their care in nature reserves. The rangers can watch animals from afar and keep them under constant observation, being able to see any animals that are sick or trapped and move to help them, and they can also see what kind of predators or invasive species are also in the area. Cameras used for this purpose are often damaged unintentionally by the animals as they wander.

Set up

Always an important consideration is just where to set up your camera. There are a few things you should remember.

All animals make tracks and often have favourite routes that they take to get to and from places, find these tracks and you will be able to find a good place to site the camera to get good shots.

As most modern cameras are triggered by either heat or motion, sometimes both, they will have an optimal range for the trigger to be activated, this will be stated be the manufacturer. You need to place it close enough to capture clear footage but not too close that it might be damaged by the animal as it passes through.

In the end though, there will always be a risk of damage to any wildlife camera, animals climb trees, or rub against them, and they may tread on a camera that’s hidden in the undergrowth.

And, of course, the most unpredictable thing of all, the weather. Always bear this in mind when choosing a trail cam. Is it going to be scorching, or freezing, or raining? Make sure to choose a camera that can stand up to the whatever weather is thrown at it in the climate you’re filming in.


A final boon of camera traps is their use, purposefully or not, as a security system. If there are problems with poaching or rustling and trespassing, then trail cams can come in useful for catching pictures of people in the act. They are less cumbersome than a complete CCTV system and are often designed to be camouflaged, so are less visible. Even if you don’t intend them to be used for security they can be unwittingly turned to that use, catching snaps of any trespassers that pass close to them. And as they only shoot when there’s a subject to trigger them then you don’t need to watch hours of footage to find the evidence.