Species overview

Mammals may be secretive, nocturnal (night-active), diurnal (day-active), arboreal (tree-dwelling), aquatic (water-dwelling),
or fossorial (burrowing).  For these, and other, reasons, field techniques designed to reveal the ecology and habitat requirements of mammal species are myriad. 

Click on the links below to find out more about:

Detection/Non-detection surveys
DNA sampling
Pitfall traps
Call surveying
Social surveys

Camera Traps
Pocket cameras in protective cases are placed on animal trails and other areas of high wildlife activity. The cameras have either a passive sensor that detects heat and movement or a laser beam that, when broken by a passing animal, activates the camera. This technique can provide approximate measures of species abundance (the number of times a species is photographed in a given period of time), or if deployed according to rigorous methods can be used to produce estimates of population size for individually recognisable species such as tigers.

Spoor Counts
The term ‘Spoor’ refers to the signs left by terrestrial animals, including faeces, footprints, and scrapes in the ground used as territory indicators. This evidence of species ’recent presence can be compiled into an index that gives a relative measure of a species’ abundance, for example the number of elephant faeces encountered per kilometre walked.


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