Friday, June 6, 2008

SECOND LESSON: CAMERA TRAPPING

Photo: I set the lures for the camera trap


When first time I met this guy, he was not that friendly. I call him Bel and he is local Sarawakian that runs the camera trapping project. Even though he looks very serious at first but when get to know him and work with him, he really put every single sweats on his works. I learn a lot from him and almost in all mammals project we are doing it together.

My first experienced working with him was joined his trip set up camera traps in Tubau. It was a funny experienced because I didn’t know what we are going to do. My first thought about camera trap was, we sit behind the tree inside the forest and waiting for animals to pass by and we snap that camera. What a simple thinking was that and when I saw how they set up camera traps inside the forest then I start to think how science is really advanced and techniques keep changing over time. After trip to Tubau, he brings me to collect camera traps at Samarakan. It was really challenging when we have to walk almost three hours to get to that camera. Moreover, it’s only one camera and really feels not worth to walk that far just for one camera. Actually it’s really worth it at the end because the photo that we got from that camera is really precious and interesting. It was the first record of Marbled Cat in the plantation area.

After that I did joined camera trap field trip and it was really interesting. It is the best methods for doing survey for secretive and nocturnal mammals. The tricky part in setting camera trap is to choose the best site to set it. If we set it at the wrong site, we will end up with zero photos. However, the lures bait is really effective.

The most unforgettable experienced when I join camera trapping trip was when my first time join them to do inspection on the camera in the field. It was my first time and Bel did take my video. It was really funny. Can’t describe it well here but I almost ruin the camera. Hahahah…

Skills that I gain from the trip were:
1. Handling camera trap unit
2. Choose camera trap site
3. Set up camera trap
4. Inspection of camera trap
5. Using GPS unit to navigate camera trap site

I am lack in doing analysis of camera trap data. For sure I will learn about it soon. Thank you so much to my dearest friend Bel for teaches me a lot about camera trapping project. This is a very priceless experienced and knowledge that he shared with me.
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