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Wildlife Trail Camera Trap used by the BBC to Capture Footage of the Elusive Bhutan Tiger

Using a Wildlife Trail Camera Trap to Capture Elusive Species

Last night was the last episode of the three part BBC Lost Land of the Tiger Natural History program which saw wildlife and natural history experts using Bushnell Wildlife Trail Camera Traps to capture camera trap footage of the elusive Bhutan Tiger living at 3000m and above. The discovery of these tigers has stunned wildlife experts as it has previously been unheard of for tigers to live and breed at this altitude.

The BBC's Natural History film crew attached these camera traps to trees and rocky outcrops and caught a number of species on camera from foxes to snow leopards, and despite an unsuccessful attempt at capturing footage of the tigers on conventional camera, they caught some incredible footage of the Bhutan tiger on their camera traps.

What is a Wildlife Trail Camera Trap?

A wildlife camera, trail camera or camera trap as they are commonly known, is a secret camera designed to capture footage of wildlife during the day and at night. These wildlife cameras are housed in a compact weather tight casing and are strapped to a tree or post.

The camera trap employs Infrared and Motion detection equipment. When an animal or human walks into the area of the camera, the motion detection triggers the camera and it takes footage of whoever or what ever happens to be in front of it. This can be either a series of still images or a short video clip.

During the day the camera uses the ambient like from the sun and takes video or still photographs in full colour, but at night the Infra Red, or IR as its know, illuminates the animal resulting in a black and white photograph or video clip. This infrared is completely invisible when using cameras such as the Spypoint or Stealth Cam Prowler, and therefore the animal never knows it is being watched.

Using an SD memory card, literally thousands of images, and hundreds of video clips can be captured over a period of weeks, without need for human intervention until the batteries need replacing (normally 30+ days average use) or to retrieve the images from the SD card.

The BBC used these camera traps in mountain areas of Bhutan to capture footage of rare species of wildlife such as tigers, snow leopards and foxes. You can view this remarkable Bhutan Tiger footage on the BBC Website.

What are Camera Traps used for?

Trail Cameras were originally developed for the US hunting market, where hunters would "stake out" a plot of ground over a period of weeks to determine deer species and size visiting the area. Recently their use has really taken off for wildlife observation and research.

These camera traps can be set up in your garden, forest or local woods and used to monitor nocturnal and day time activity of badgers, foxes, deer and squirrels etc.

They have also been used as security cameras, either for watching for predators around a pheasant pen, or to keep an eye on people who may be entering your property or place of work.

Catching a Glimpse of an Elusive Species

Nocturnal species such as Badgers, Foxes and Otters are often rare to be seen during the day, and often the only way to see them is to sit out at night with night vision.

By using a camera trap you can keep an eye on wildlife 24hrs of the day.

Danny, a customer of Scott Country, owns holiday cottages on the banks of the East Lyn. He uses camera traps to take footage of otters, fish (using a waterproof camera) and birds. He recently captured this footage of a Night Heron using his Stealth Cam Prowler HD.

Badger research is another use for these wildlife cameras and we have supplied research agencies with Stealth Cam and Spypoint cameras for this purpose.

We currently have a Spypoint IR/C wildlife camera running at
Caerlaverock Castle, as they have a set of badgers who are very "inquisitive" and we hope to have some amazing footage shortly.

Which is the best Wildlife Camera Trap?

At Scott Country, we supply Spypoint, Stealth Cam and Bushnell trail cameras as they use covert infra red devices for taking nocturnal pictures.

From experience we have found that the Stealth Cam Prowler HD is the best camera trap for taking video footage as it uses a High Definition camera to record HD video footage and 8mp still images. The Spypoint cameras have the best detection system, and as they do not use interpolation (zooming in of pixels) their still images are the best quality.

The Bushnell camera traps are very compact and easy to use and have a long battery life, should you wish to leave the camera unattended for extended periods.

For capturing video and still images of wildlife, we recommend that you use a wildlife camera that uses covert infrared, so as not to disturb the nocturnal habits of animals. Some trail cameras use infra red which is at a wavelength that can be seen, and therefore will alert the animal to the presence of the camera, resulting in poor image results and the animals habitat being disturbed.

Visit our website for more information on Wildlife Trail Camera Traps.