Study Design Assistance

Here we offer some suggestions on how to set up camera trap studies to survey communities of animals.  While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are general strategies and best practices that can help you meet the most common research or monitoring objectives. We present these here as our initial suggestion, but hope this will initiate discussion for continued improvement through comments from professionals and amateurs alike. 

There are numerous objectives you can meet with a camera trap study. Here we focus on comparisons of animal communities over space or time using unbaited camera traps set in a stratified random design. Other designs would be more appropriate for single-species studies (where bait may increase detections of desired species) or evaluation of how animals respond to a specific feature (e.g. road underpasses, bird nests). 

Follow these links for suggestions of how to use camera traps to study animal communities at four different spatial scales: