The Conservancy’s Herp-Cam has been renewed for a second season!
Last year Black Swamp Conservancy was chosen as one of only three organizations in the state to receive an equipment grant from Ohio Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (OHPARC). Staff installed the automated game camera trap in Forrest Woods from April through October and sent the collected photos to OHPARC. This year, OHPARC renewed the grant.
The trap consists of a short embedded drift fence that guides small animals through a bucket where an automated camera is activated by their motion. The goal is to monitor populations of amphibians and reptiles throughout Ohio. For the Conservancy, two years of photo information will help us improve species records at Forrest Woods and monitor how wildlife species are responding to our habitat restoration work.
For the second season, Conservancy Conservation Manager Melanie Coulter said they plan to keep the trap in Forrest Woods but move it to a site between a restored stream and the Marie DeLarme Creek. She said, “Last year we didn’t get any pictures of salamanders, skinks, or turtles even though we know they are there. This year we’re closer to the home territories of these less-mobile animals.”
The collected data is submitted to OHPARC’s Ohio Herp Atlas. That group also encourages citizen scientists to submit photos or other information.
Scroll through the images below to see some of the species we photographed with the game camera trap last year.