Citizen-Science and Large Carnivore Monitoring  

Using tourist photographs to facilitate ecological data collection and monitor large predator populations in northern Botswana. 

An important aspect of wildlife conservation is monitoring of wildlife, and this can be very costly in terms of both time and resources, particularly in the large landscapes of Africa. Citizen-science is emerging as a tool for ecological data collection and processing and could be a solution for areas where wildlife monitoring is needed but resources are limited.  This is where your safari snaps become so important!

Working with Dr. Kasim Rafiq from the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, a system will be available to visitors of Mapula and Sable Alley for photo contributions towards science.  By uploading your photographs of lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena and cheetah on this in-camp system, we will soon have a better understanding of the large predator guilds in these areas and an ability to make informed decisions on conservation priorities. Moreover, the viability of this monitoring method will be evaluated for potential use in other environments, including national parks in the United States.

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