September was that time of the year again… What time?? Well, annual waterhole monitoring of course!!
As those who have been following us might know, every year in the peak of the dry season ORC deploys camera traps at each waterhole on the Ongava Game Reserve. The images are then classified with every animal recorded and added to our long-term database. The camera trap data also supplement the data collected by observers who monitor the waterholes for 96 hours but who are less reliable than cameras between midnight and sunrise.
Camera traps are a powerful tool for studying wildlife and are widely used by ecologists around the world as an effective way to gain insight into the diversity of wildlife in different locations and the size of populations. By developing an understanding of the abundance and distribution of various species, wildlife conservationists contribute to their conservation and provide crucial information to guide land-use management decisions.
Remotely-placed, motion-triggered cameras give us a unique view on animal life in the wild. They allow us to observe and understand the natural world with minimal human interference, which is critical to study cryptic and elusive species such as cheetahs. Camera traps are indispensable to an ecologist’s toolbox and so do CCF researchers heavily rely on the use of camera traps in their mission to save the cheetah.