Special cameras help scientists look at wild animals
For a long time, it was hard to answer some questions about wildlife. Where do wild animals live? How many are there? What do they eat?
These questions are now easier to answer. New digital cameras are helping scientists look at animals. The cameras can snap pictures without being seen. A person might scare the animal. The cameras know when an animal is nearby. When it moves, the camera takes a picture. This is called a "camera trap."
The cameras have changed how scientists are able to see animals.
Pictures From All Over
Roland Kays is a scientist. He has many pictures from camera traps. The pictures came from all over the world. Now the pictures are in a book. The book is about animals that have been photographed using camera traps.
George Shiras used camera traps more than 100 years ago. He took pictures of deer and other animals. But his cameras were very big and heavy. They could only take one picture at a time. Technology got better over the years. But there were still problems.
The new digital cameras are much better. They can take many pictures. The cameras even work when it is very hot or raining. Pictures from these cameras have helped scientists. They showed that wild animals are living in a dangerous place in Ukraine. It is in Europe, by Russia. People are not allowed to live there. The air is poisoned. People who go there get sick. Scientists did not know animals were living there. The cameras showed them. The scientists could not see the animals with their own eyes.
A picture tells us a lot, Mr. Kays said.
Cameras Are Important For Scientists
Pictures can also help scientists study tigers. The scientists can see the tigers up close. They can count them. They can find out how much food the tigers need.
Cameras help scientists follow animals. Some animals are in danger. They might disappear. Pictures from the cameras are important. They tell scientists if the animals are doing Ok, Mr. Kays said.
Mr. Kays studied wild cats with other scientists. They found that wild cats are rare. There are not many pictures of them. Other animals eat the cats, Mr. Kays said.
Their cameras sometimes found animals in the middle of eating. Mr. Kays thinks that is "pretty cool."