How to Make Camera Traps

Written by michaelj
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How to Make Camera Traps
Setting camera traps requires proper assessment of the location. (digital camera 6 image by Harvey Hudson from

Camera traps are simple cameras armed with infrared sensors that detect motion, then take photos. They are referred to as camera traps, since they are hidden so as not to interfere with wildlife movement. Camera traps are important in conservation of wildlife by monitoring their behaviour in their natural habitat. Though camera traps are effective since they reduce interference of wildlife by humans, they may not necessarily capture intended images. Since motion triggers the camera to take a photo, any movement not necessarily wildlife could trigger the camera to snap.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plastic box
  • Camera
  • Battery
  • Memory card or film
  • Infrared sensor
  • Laser beam
  • Straps
  • Bear guards -- optional
  • Stand -- optional

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  1. 1

    Assemble all the equipment you need for the task. Make sure that they are in good condition and ready to use. Insert the battery into the camera. Test the battery by taking a few photo clicks. Ensure that the battery is big enough to power the camera and for a number of months.

  2. 2

    Slot the memory card into the camera if it is digital or film if the camera is analogue. Check the memory card to ensure it is empty since the camera will be in use for a long time. Place the camera inside the plastic box and strap it well inside. Make the camera as rigid as possible to prevent it from toppling while inside the plastic box.

  3. 3

    Attach the infrared sensor just below the camera's lens. Make a hole on the plastic box for the lens and sensor. Adjust the lens and sensor to ensure that they both face in the same direction through the peep holes of the plastic box. Attach the laser beam to the infrared sensor. Handle the sensor and laser beam carefully, since they are delicate and expensive to purchase.

  4. 4

    Close the plastic box carefully, ensuring that the side with peep holes for the camera and sensor are well maintained. Strap the plastic box carefully on its sides so that it does not pop open while the camera is in use. Use bear guards around the plastic box to prevent wildlife from interfering with the camera.

  5. 5

    Search for a location for the camera to be positioned. Look for an open space that is remotely located and highly elevated to install the camera. Ensure the place is obstacle-free so that the camera is able to clearly capture the wildlife. Maintain an angle that can capture the animal wholly and from an appropriate distance. Use a stand if finding the landscape is flat.

  6. 6

    Disguise the plastic box with a colour similar to tree barks or leaves to shield the camera from wildlife, since the animals would move away if they sense that the device may endanger them.

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