Do you ever wonder what’s lurking in your yard at night?
Answering that question is at the root of a research project called “NC’s Candid Critters,” concocted by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. State University.
Residents of the central and western parts of the state are being asked to participate in the project, which organizers say is going to be largest camera trap survey of its kind. Camera traps are motion-activated cameras that allow scientists (and non-scientists) to collect pictures of animals without disturbing them.
For information on how to participate, visit NCCandidCritters.org.
Since the project’s launch in eastern North Carolina last December, participants have already sent in more than 50,000 images that will ultimately be used by scientists to learn more about the distribution of mammal species across the state, which in turn informs future wildlife management and conservation efforts.
The goal of N.C.’s Candid Critters is to monitor up to 30,000 sites spanning the entire state over the next three years, which would make it the largest-ever mammal survey of its kind.
“To collect massive amounts of camera trap images from across all 100 counties in North Carolina, we really need the public’s help. The more people that participate, the more we can learn about North Carolina’s critters,” said project coordinator Arielle Parsons of the Museum of Natural Sciences’ Biodiversity Research Lab.