Wisconsin and NASA are teaming up to document the abundant wildlife of the state by using 5,000 trail cameras.
Snapshot Wisconsin, as the project has been named, is “an unprecedented effort to capture in space and time the deer, bears, elk, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, and any other wild animal that lumbers, hops, lopes or slithers across the Badger state,” according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the school leading the charge on this project. “Snapshot Wisconsin aims to provide one of the richest and most comprehensive caches of wildlife data for any spot on our planet.”
The project began May 17 and so far 500 motion-sensor cameras have been placed in strategic locations. The goal for 5,000 trail cameras should be reached over the next few months through the help of volunteers.
Each camera will be equipped with GPS, with the data collected being paired with NASA’s vast databank of satellite imagery and other potentially relevant data. This partnering of data will allow researchers to track movement and migration that has been virtually impossible up to this point.
Volunteers will collect images throughout the calendar months, uploading them to Zooniverse, where a team of more than 8,200 registered ‘citizen scientists’ will help in the identification of each of the animals.