UPDATE: The eMammal survey efforts in the D.C. are closed for the winter. Check back in the spring for updates!
What animals are using your backyard? How does your backyard compare to others?
If you live in the Washington D.C area join eMammal to run a camera trap and find out!
The Smithsonian and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have a citizen science camera trap project and we need your help! We want you to help us understand how animal communities change from urban to suburban to rural and wild areas, and what human factors affect that. Are habitat corridors important? If you live next to Rock Creek Park will you have more animals? Where are the coyotes hanging out and why?
The eMammal project has already worked with hundreds of volunteers to survey 32 parks from South Carolina to Maryland, but we have launched a new venture into urban ecology with the opportunity for you to be on the cutting edge of citizen science. We are looking for volunteers to get more pictures of urban and suburban back yards in our current pilot project surveying an urban to wild gradient from Washington D.C. to West Virginia. We hope to expand this research to other cities in the future.
Here’s a summary of how it will work:
- You tell us that you are interested and where your backyard is located using this form.
- You receive another form to give us some simple information about your backyard
- You receive a invitation from us to officially participate in the project (if your yard meets some basic conditions).
- You complete the online training course.
- You use your camera (Bushnell or Reconyx models only for now) or borrow one of our cameras (supplies are limited so sign up early!).
- You go to your site and strap the camera to a tree.
- You come back 3 weeks later to retrieve the memory card.
- You use our eMammal software (downloaded from the eMammal website) on your computer to identify the species in each picture.
- You upload the pictures using the eMammal software. We review the pictures to confirm the species identification and then archive them in our database.
- In the near future we will have these results available for you to review and compare to other locations at the new eMammal website (emammal.org – still under construction)