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Tech Corner
Camera Traps

Camera traps are pretty standard fare on most NGM mammal stories. Michael is the master and uses them very effectively. Instead of using passive camera traps, where the animal triggers the camera by crossing an invisible beam, essentially taking its own photograph, Michael needed and tried something different for temperamental wildebeest during their migration. Our photo engineering department designed and built a new type of trap so Michael and Nathan Williamson could set up camera traps with a view of the river crossing—equipped with live video feed. That allowed them to drive off a short distance, monitor the camera traps remotely, and actually see what the camera was seeing. Then when the river crossings start, with the live video feed in the camera they were able to trigger the multiple still and video cameras they had set up to capture the wildebeest jumping off the cliffs into the river and swimming across—while actually viewing what was going on in the camera viewfinders.

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Photo: Nathan and Mohamed examine a camera trap
Nathan inspects one of the team’s camera traps.
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