New Camera Trapping Gallery

We just added a Camera Trapping Aquatic Fauna sub-gallery to the Gallery page with some images of aquatic fauna caught using a camera trap.

Camera traps are mostly used for surveying for terrestrial fauna, however, we are finding that they can be particularly effective for capturing some aquatic mammals and water birds.  In the instance of the survey where these photos came from, we know there were platypus present, however, we did not catch any on camera.  We did catch a few post-surfacing ripples, indicating that a platypus may have triggered the camera, but that the camera’s trigger was too slow.

The primary issue seems to be that most passive camera traps detect movement in the infra-red spectrum.  To trigger the camera there needs to be a large enough temperature differential, between the moving fauna and surrounding environment for the camera's sensor to detect.  Setting up on water means the camera can have false triggers from the water (not that we experienced this).  Plus, in the case of our survey, there may not have been enough of a differential between the water and platypus, when it surfaced, due to its outer coat being wet and with a similar temperature to the water.  The Rakali and duck were caught becasue theer were not 'in' the water and thier outter body temperature would have been different enough from the background/water for the camera to sense.

We have spoken FaunaTech about what make and model of camera might give us the best chance of capturing a platypus.  At this stage though it seems we may need to look at something more like a thermal imaging camera.

 Native Water Rat or Rakali Hydromys chrysogaster
 Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa