Science - May 31, 2018

Game-spotting on your screen

Text:
Tessa Louwerens

There are about 70 game cameras dotted about the Hoge Veluwe National Park, which take about a million snapshots of animals a year.

A deer captured with one of the camera's © NP Hoge Veluwe

The database now contains about four million photos, only half of which have been looked at. From this week on, anyone can help identify the animals.

‘The pictures give us an idea of how intensively the animals use the different areas of the park, and at what times,’ says ecologist Patrick Jansen of the Resource Ecology chair group. Those data can be used when evaluating management strategies, for example. According to Jansen, you don’t have to be an expert on animals to help. On hogeveluwe.nl/snapshot, participants are given a step-by-step guide to identification. ‘Everyone can pick out a fox, but it is not so easy to tell the difference between a red deer and a roe deer.’

Janssen says the response is very enthusiastic. ‘It was only announced a few hours ago but hundreds of people have signed up and about 40,000 photos have already been identified!’

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