North Carolina’s Candid Critters is a citizen-scientist run camera trap survey of North Carolina. Help us figure out what mammals are living where in our state to help wildlife conservation and management.
What are our main objectives?
- To engage North Carolina citizens of all ages, backgrounds, and experience with the wildlife of their state through camera trapping
- Collect wildlife data useful for management and conservation questions
What are our scientific questions?
- Is the deer population in NC increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?
- Where are coyotes and how abundant are they in NC?
- Where are other species of concern in NC? Including bear, elk, weasels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, armadillos, woodrats, feral pigs, chipmunks, and skunks.
How will we accomplish theses goals?
The NC Candid Critters project is working with citizen science volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to set camera traps (motion and heat sensitive trail cameras) around the state to help us learn about our wildlife. Citizen scientists gets to explore the outdoors and learn about the critters living in their community, while helping us gain information that can be used for conservation and management purposes. Cameras are set out for 3-week periods, and all images are reviewed and uploaded by citizen science volunteers in a custom software program called eMammal.
What is eMammal?
eMammal is a set of tools used to collect and manage camera trap data. We use eMammal as an online database for our pictures; this is kind of like a digital filing cabinet for all the pictures collected by our project, and other projects around the world. eMammal was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (grants 1232442 and 1539622).
Interested in participating in this project? We are accepting signups now from all counties!
Participants can check out cameras through participating libraries across the state! Cameras are available for volunteers throughout North Carolina. Cameras that are borrowed from us can be placed on pre-selected sites on public lands or on your own land (residential yards are limited to one site/volunteer). We are interested in surveying a variety of sites across the state that include forested, open, and developed areas.
Volunteers who already own a camera trap may deploy the camera where the participant has permission as soon as the online training is complete! Camera trap models used in this project are restricted to cameras with a trigger speed of <0.5 sec/trigger so we can make sure the camera captures as many animals as possible as they pass by. Please check the list below to determine if your camera is an accepted model.
Approved Camera Trap Models:
Browning: Strike Force Elite HD, 2017 Strike Force HD Pro
Bushnell: Trophy Cam HD, Essential, Aggressor
Moultrie: M999I, M-1100i
Primos: Proof Cam 02, Proof Cam 03
Reconyx: HC 500, HC 550, HC 600
SpyPoint: Solar, Force 10, Force 11D, Force GM
Stealth Cam: G30, G42NG, G45NG Pro
If you would like to purchase a camera for this project, we would be happy to advise you on camera models.
Candid Critters is a collaboration between NC State University, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the State Library of NC, NC Cardinal, the Public Libraries of North Carolina, and the Smithsonian.