One of the biggest trail camera projects to be undertaken launched today in the Midwest.
Snapshot Wisconsin, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, aims to strategically deploy 4,000 to 5,000 motion-sensor cameras across the state.
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By combining the images gathered with remote sensing satellites and a crowd-sourced database, resource managers as well as ecologists will be able to determine what kinds of animals populate certain areas, how many, and when.
"We're really being ambitious with this," Phil Townsend, a UW-Madison professor of forest and wildlife ecology told DNews.
The results will not only improve the kind of information gathered about wildlife in the state but should reduce the cost normally associated with tracking animals.
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To date, ecologists like Townsend as well as employees of the Wisconsin DNR typically gather information about wildlife in a variety of expensive and labor-intense ways, including using radio collars, conducting aerial surveys, manning observation stations, combing through hunting records and other labor-intensive means.