Incredible Serengeti Live Project - Uses 200 Camera Traps!
At this very moment in Serengeti National Park, 200 cameras are flashing throughout the night, in corners of the park where tourists never go.
These are camera traps – remote, automatic cameras that take pictures of passing wildlife - and we, the Serengeti Lion Project, are conducting the largest-ever camera trap survey to better understand the Serengeti ecosystem. Our camera traps capture over 1,000,000 images of wildlife each year, capturing the grandeur of the wildebeest migration and rarely seen species from aardvarks to zorillas. We’re asking your help to transmit these photos by satellite from the Serengeti to the US, where they can be analyzed to advance science and conservation. Join us in this unprecedented initiative to bring cutting edge technology to the wilds of Serengeti, and you’ll get first access to witness the Serengeti Live on your computer.
Over the last 45 years, our project has discovered a lot about lions – everything from why they have manes to why they live in groups. Now we’re turning our sights to understanding how the king of beasts coexists with his competitors. Whereas lions completely overwhelm leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs, hyenas often thrive amongst lions – even though lions steal more food from hyenas than the other way around! So how do lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs manage to co-exist in so many parts of Africa – even though they will kill each other if they get the chance?
To answer this question, we have set out 230 camera traps on a 1,000km2 grid across the same area as our 23 radio-collared lion prides in the Serengeti. We use these photographs to measure how competing carnivores use their habitat in space and time. Our “problem” is that we’re drowning in an ocean of data. The cameras capture >1,000,000 images each year, but we can only bring them back to Minnesota for analysis when friends or colleagues fly home from Tanzania. So our exciting discoveries get stranded in the Serengeti for months on end, waiting to be hand-carried home to the U.S.
Our goal is to get the Serengeti online. We’re asking for your help to get the Serengeti Live on the World Wide Web. With satellite internet we will be able to transmit images from Serengeti every day,and can make them accessible to you online. We also invite you to follow along with us on our scientific journey through our Facebook Page, Website, and Blog. Our project helps to identify the conditions that permit coexistence of top predators and how these relationships might be affected by impending environmental change. These insights will guide strategies for species reintroduction, conservation, and ecosystem management.
You can learn more about the project and even help contribute on RocketHub - CLICK HERE