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No one would deny that camera traps have revolutionised wildlife research and conservation. The age where researchers spent weeks on end in wilderness areas, painstakingly studying the subjects of their research and capturing data in notebooks is slowly disappearing. Fast forward to today and camera traps do that and more in a scientific and highly efficient way.

hyena in camera trap
A hyena photographed as part of the Chinko Project, one of more than 75 mammal species caught on camera traps. @African Parks

Commonly placed at watering holes and along game trails, camera traps are invaluable tools for documenting wildlife presence, species and numbers, population changes and movements and interactions between animals.

shoebill in camera trap
In Bangweulu Wetlands a camera trap captures a shoebill nest and chicks, three of which fledged successfully. @ African Parks

They are also useful in monitoring species affected by poaching as well as identifying threats to parks. Sometimes they even catch poachers on the job.

poachers in camera trap
In Majete Wildlife Reserve illegal fisherman were caught in the act, subsequently identified and arrested. @ African Parks

In addition, they are known to serve up humorous and quirky moments we would otherwise seldom witness.

chimpanzee in camera trap
Researchers at Odzala-Kokoua National Park use camera traps to study interaction between gorillas and chimpanzees and ways in which they compete for food. @ African Parks
Time and Tide
African Parks

African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments, wildlife organisations and local communities. We operate thirteen national parks in nine countries: Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Malawi and Benin. Please see www.african-parks.org or visit our Facebook page for more information.