Camera Trap Recommendations

There are a huge variety of camera traps available. We recommend a few camera trap models based on their reliability and strong performance in trigger tests (the time between when an animal walks in front and the camera takes a picture, a similar recommendation was published here). The Reconyx, Browning, and Bushnell cameras have short trigger times (<1s) and very sensitive motion sensors, resulting in similar detection data from a given place.

We have not examined all models but cameras with longer trigger times will create more empty frames as fast moving animals will pass all the way through the frame of view before the image is captured. When scientists analyze the data, we might think a site had low animal activity but actually it was just sampled with a longer trigger delay. We keep an eye on the tests of equipment run by Lure can be used to slow down the movement of animals to facilitate use of these slower models but care must be taken depending on study aims. If you are wondering which cameras to buy, we suggest Reconyx, Browning, or Bushnell models. 

In terms of camera settings, we like to set the cameras to take multiple pictures per trigger (e.g. burst mode) with no delay between triggers. The software we use, Wildlife Insights, automatically combines these together into a 'sequence' or pseudo video of the animals moving in front of the camera. We prefer cameras with infrared (IR) flashes to reduce the impact on the animals, but don't have strong preferences for 'no glow' cameras.  We usually use 'high' or 'very high' sensitivity settings for the motion sensor, reducing this only if blowing vegetation is a problem.