Development of a counting system for amphibians

 

To improve and simplify the counting of amphibians, e.g. to monitor the success of amphibian underpasses, a special wildlife camera was developed. Compared to conventional camera traps, the WLS-Amphicam can reliably detect amphibians despite their lack of heat radiation and document them by photo or video.

The advantages of the WLS-Ampicam over established counting methods are:

  • Quantitative recording of all migrating animals over long periods of time
  • Ability to reliably detect even juvenile animals that are difficult to record by conventional methods (direct observation difficult) or are quickly harmed (e.g. risk of suffocation in large accumulations in catch buckets)
  • Low invasiveness: No capture and no manipulation of animals necessary, thus avoiding stress, injuries and habitat disturbance and avoiding the risk of disease transmission between animals (e.g. chytridiomycosis)
  • Low workload: The WLS-Amphicam stores up to 128GB data and runs independently on a 12V battery, which can optionally be charged with a solar panel.

Besides detecting and counting amphibians, the system is also well suited for surveys of particularly fast and agile animals, such as stoats or weasels that are difficult to detect by common wild cameras.