Game Cameras for Wildlife Observation

Project Title: Game Cameras for Wildlife Observation

Long Title (if desired): Game Cameras for Collecting Data on Local Wildlife for Field Biology Classes

Project Lead's Name: Susan Hoffman

Project Lead's Email:

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-3125

Project Lead's Division: CAS

Primary Department: Biology

Other Team Members and their emails: Brian Keane,

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: Biology, Biological Sciences, Institute for the Environment & Sustainability

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 40

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 3

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: The primary goal of this project is to use game cameras to collect data on local wildlife for biology classes with a field component, especially Biology 410/510 (Mammalogy) and Bio 311 (Vertebrate approach for solving Zoology). The laboratory portion of both classes includes exercises that problem. involving preserved specimens, but we also try to make the classes more relevant by incorporating as many experiences as possible with live animals in their natural habitats. However, most local mammal species are both nocturnal and highly mobile, so they are hard to observe, especially within the limitations of daytime class hours. Both classes already study smaller animals using trap-and-release methods, but game cameras are the most practical way to observe larger species. Also, game cameras are used extensively by professional researchers and game managers, so any student interested in a wildlife biology career would benefit from having experience with this technique. The cameras in use this fall for Bio 410 were borrowed from private individuals; this proposal is for the purpose of acquiring dedicated class cameras, so that we can achieved better coverage of the area (at the Ecology Research Center) and can leave them up for longer periods of time. Bio 410 is taught in the fall term, while Bio 311 is taught in the spring term, so the same set of cameras can be used by both classes.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: One significant benefit would be that students interested in wildlife biology careers would learn how to properly use a piece of equipment that is standard for that field. In addition, all students will gain understanding of and appreciation for large mammal and bird species. The cameras could also be used for a variety of possible inquiry-based undergraduate and graduate research, both within the context of the classes and as part of independent study projects, and could be made available for use by other advanced field biology classes, such as Field Ecology (Bio 333).

How will you assess the success of the project: The project will be assessed based on usage and on compiled data. All animal pictures taken by the cameras will be collected to form a database of local wildlife observations. Students in Bio 311 will use data from their surveys of vertebrates to estimate species diversity and relative abundance in different habitats. They will also be able to examine how different survey techniques influence estimates of species diversity and abundance. Students in Bio 410 will make similar estimates but will use only the data from mammal species. They will write lab reports that can be compared to past years, when only a few borrowed cameras were available, to assess whether the additional equipment gives them a more complete picture of local wildlife activity. In addition, students in both courses will be able to use the data for mammals to look at seasonal and annual differences in species diversity and relative abundance.

Total Amount Requested: $1,319

Budget Details: 10 Cameras: Browning Strike Force HD 850 Trail Cameras at $119.99 each

10 Memory Cards: SanDisk Ultra 16GB SD Cards at $11.88 each

Sold by multiple vendors at approximately the same prices. Prices given are Walmart list prices.

Is this a multi-year request: No