N.C. starts ‘Candid Critters’ program to capture wildlife on camera

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina has started a statewide camera trap project called N.C. Candid Critters in which volunteers run cameras to share pictures of animals.

Karen Mulcahy of Kinston is one of dozens of volunteers across the state who has jumped on board with the project.

“I happened to stumble across it and it looked interesting so I sent my name in, did the training, and got started,” said Mulcahy.

The citizen science project uses motion activated camera traps to capture images of animals. The pictures are then used as data for scientific research and to map animal sightings.

The goals of the survey are to engage the public in citizen science, increase awareness of surrounding wildlife and collect date on animal abundance and distribution.

Getting involved with the project is easy. You can pick up an approved camera at a local llibrary (click here for a list) or buy one of your own. Set it up at about knee height on a tree, and leave it for about three weeks.

Mulcahy was surprised by what she captured during her first three week deployment.

“I saw white-tailed deer several times, a pair of coyotes, fox,” said Mulcahy. “The pair of coyotes was most surprising being that close to the house.”

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is also involved with the project and has two cameras on their grounds.

“The more we know, the better that we can understand how those animals are utilizing the habitat and therefore preserve that habitat for them,” added Hap Fatzinger, director of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

Mulcahy added: “It’s fun! You get a view of the world when you’re not there. It’s always interesting to see what’s wondering by,” about getting involved in a citizen science project like this one.

For more details, including how to sign up, click here.



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