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Establishing a new African Penguin Colony: predator monitoring Hagen, Christina, and Mark Brown.. BirdLife South Africa, 11 Jul 2016. Experiment. doi: 10.18258/7369
We will use camera traps to monitor the presence of animals around the new colony sites. Cameras will be placed at strategic points such as paths, or natural bottlenecks that animals will be more inclined to walk along. We will also periodically monitor the site for animals tracks and scat.
We will be working at two different sites and they will have different challenges. At De Hoop Nature Reserve, the site is fairly remote, so the challenge will be to get to the site often enough to change the batteries so no data is lost. I will enlist the help of the park rangers to help change the batteries.
At Plettenberg Bay, the site is fairly open to the public so the challenge will be that the cameras will be vulnerable to theft. For this reason, I plan to buy security boxes to house the cameras in. I will also enlist the help of local NGO Nature's Valley Trust to monitor the cameras.
At both sites we will use cameras that can connect to the cell network and send photos directly to my computer. This reduces the risk of data loss. The placement of cameras will also be very important so that they have the best chance of capturing photos of animals and that there aren't too many things in the landscape (e.g. plants) that will move and trigger the camera- we don't want thousands of photos of plants! I have received advice from various colleagues who have used camera traps before to assist me with the placement of the cameras.
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