"We discovered that randomly placed cameras have a big influence on the species recorded," Oliver Wearn of the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London, who worked on the study, said in a press release.
"This is something I was taught in school," Wearn said. "I remember doing a project on which plant species were most abundant on our playing field, and being taught to fling quadrats over my shoulder in a random direction before seeing what plants lay within it, rather than placing it somewhere that looked like a good place to put it – the same principle applies here."
As Wearn indicates, camera traps often work extremely well. Many wild animals are experts at spotting and avoiding conservationists, which probably look just like hunters to them, even if conservationists try to be as inconspicuous as possible, often sitting silently for hours on end hoping to spot certain animals.
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Camera traps, on the other hand, can remain in place for months at a time, no matter the weather. The animals smell our human "scent" too, and run when they detect us around. The bay cat is a predator, but a small one, so it wouldn't be eager to take on a person.