How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature
Microscopes and telescopes help scientists study things too small or far away to see with the naked eye. Camera traps help zoologists study animals too shy or elusive to see with their own eyes. By recording all animals that have walked through its field of view in previous weeks, these motion sensitive sensors essentially allow scientists to see back in time. The often beautifully candid pictures they capture offer a unique perspective on wildlife and help create large datasets showing which species use which parts of the globe. Dr. Roland Kays will use pictures and stories from his new book and his own research to show how scientists use camera traps to help understand how animals and humans can share the planet. This will include a trip up Mt. Kenya, following the trail of Teddy Roosevelt’s historic expedition, and local discoveries made by citizen scientists running camera traps in their own back yards here in North Carolina. Sales and signing of Roland’s new book, “Candid Creatures,” will follow the Café.
About Our Speaker
Dr. Roland Kays is head of the Museum’s Biodiversity Lab and a Professor in the Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Program at NC State University. Kays is interested in how, where and why animals move, and his research typically involves bringing the latest technology into the wild parts of the world to discover new things. His work has allowed him to explore tropical rainforests, African savannas and suburban woodlots. His primary expertise is with mammals, and he has studied lions, coyotes, sloths, agoutis, ocelots and kinkajous. He was co-discoverer of the olinguito, a new species of mammal from Ecuador. However, he feels that any species can lead to good research if the scientific question is interesting, and he has also worked on toucans, egrets, orchid bees and even the movement of plant seeds.
“Candid Creatures” reveals the secret lives of animals through motion-sensitive game cameras. Drawing from archives of millions of color and night-vision photographs collected by hundreds of researchers, Kays has selected images that show the unique perspectives of wildlife throughout the world. Each image captures a moment frozen in the camera’s flash as animals move through their wild habitats. The reader learns how scientists use camera traps to address conservation issues and to create solutions that allow humans and wild animals to coexist. More than just a collection of amazing animal pictures, the text, maps and illustrations in “Candid Creatures” work together to describe the latest findings in the fast-moving field of wildlife research.