Motion cameras to monitor fauna on Nullaki Peninsula

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A fox caught on camera in the Nullaki.
Camera IconA fox caught on camera in the Nullaki. Credit: Supplied

The native and feral fauna on the Nullaki Peninsula will be closely monitored under a new plan by the Nullaki Conservation Initiative.

The NCI, a subcommittee of the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, aims to answer the unknowns about animal habitation in the area.

The Nullaki area has been mapped into 18 sectors, with each sector set to have a camera trap.

“The specific site is based on access, owner permission, and location to provide an even spatial coverage of the Nullaki,” NCI’s David Barr said.

“Some areas — the Wilson Inlet sandbar, along the feral management fence — may be given special attention

“Once a site has been selected for a camera trap, it must be prepared.

“Since the cameras are motion-activated, excess vegetation is trimmed to reduce false triggers.

“The camera is mounted securely about 40cm from the ground, facing south where possible to reduce the effect of moving shadows as the sun passes.

“The cameras have an infrared flash to allow capturing images at night without disturbing the target animals.”

The cameras will be serviced about every 30 days, which involves swapping the memory card and batteries, and inspecting the site.

Mr Barr said once the data had been collected, the first task was to remove the false alarms.

“There is a trade-off between being able to detect small mammals such as mardos and bushrats, and accepting that windblown branches will trigger the camera too,” he said.

“The images are loaded by site and visit date, than reviewed by WICC staff, who identify any native or feral animals seen.

“This is done twice by two different operators, for accuracy. Once this data is collated, it is time to run reports.”

The data will help the group gauge the scale of the problems with pests such as foxes and cats.

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