Here's how the Calgary Captured wildlife monitoring program works

Sep 14 2018, 8:10 pm

The Calgary Captured wildlife monitoring program has been running since February, and has recently released some results found by its citizen scientists.

According to data from the first season (collected between May and August 2017), a total of 120,000 images have been classified through the program, with 45,000 of those images containing some form of wildlife.

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An image can only be confirmed as classified through the program if it has been reviewed by five unique participants, at which point the image will be removed from circulation.

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Amount of animals seen (Calgary Captured)

According to the results, over 2000 independent events featuring deer were observed, far more than any other animal. Coyotes were seen in nearly 150 events and moose in 21.

The most elusive species seen so far have been weasels, porcupines, and red foxes, with no more than one even including these animals in the 45,000 images.

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Days to first detection of each species (zooniverse.org)

The recent release from the City of Calgary delves a little further into exactly how the program works, stating that cameras are placed in key areas throughout the city, and will be triggered by the slightest movement in front of them.

There are over 60 cameras currently in place, and the camera’s managers need to swap out memory cards once every three weeks for each one.

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A cougar (Calgary Captured/zooniverse.org)

There is also the dangers of weather, battery depletion, or the animals themselves damaging the cameras, meaning that they all need to be checked on a regular basis.

Once the memory cards are collected, they are uploaded to the Calgary Captured Zooniverse portal where the public can sort through and identify any species of animals that may be evident in each photograph.

Anyone hoping to join in on the citizen science can head over to zooniverse.org and start looking through the next season of photos!

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Calgary Captured photo screen (Calgary Captured/Zooniverse.org)

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