Wingecarribee Shire Council¬’s environment team has started trialing the use of motion sensing cameras to capture wildlife living in our bush land areas.
So far the cameras have captured native animals including swamp wallabies, wombats and ring tail possums, as well as pests like foxes, rats and rabbits.
Council’s Environmental Projects Officer Joe Stammers explained that the four cameras would help staff monitor feral pests, as well as possibly filming some of our Shire’s threatened species.
“Two of the cameras will be used by Council’s Bushcare team in remote locations in our bushland reserves and will primarily be used to assist with feral pest control,” he said.
“The other two cameras will be made available to residents who participate in our Land for Wildlife program to monitor wildlife on private land.
The battery-operated cameras are mounted on trees in remote areas known to be wildlife hotspots and lie dormant until an animal wanders into their range. Upon detecting movement, the cameras become active, recording the creature with a GPS location, time and date stamp, making it easy for staff to log the data.
The cameras are also equipped with night vision, allowing them to capture footage of nocturnal wildlife.
“While the primary purpose of these cameras is to monitor animal numbers and locations, we’re also getting some great footage of animals in their natural habitat which we will be uploading online to Council’s Facebook page,” Mr Stammers said.
“It’s a unique way to see animals behaving naturally in their environment, and we’ve already captured some great moments including a wombat perching on a log to have a scratch and possums leaping from branch to branch.
“We’re very excited to see what else we come across in our bushland reserves and look forward to sharing these snapshots with the community.”
The camera trial has begun just in time for Threatened Species Day on September 7, a day which Council celebrates each year to focus attention on the plight of our threatened animals and plants. It is hoped that the videos will help encourage greater community support and hands-on involvement to prevent further losses of Australia’s unique natural heritage.
A brief video snapshot of some of the footage received from the cameras so far can be viewed on Council’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wingecarribeeshirecouncil.