The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers for a new study called Snapshot IN, which will use trail cameras to gather information on Indiana wildlife.
Volunteers must have at least 10 acres and be willing to set up a provided trail camera on their property this fall.
The state hopes to find between 20 and 100 volunteers, according to wildlife biologist Shawn Rossler.
“Gathering accurate data on the distribution and relative abundance of wildlife species statewide can be extremely challenging for biologists,” Rossler said. “Working with citizen scientists, the DNR hopes to understand how animals are using various land types in Indiana.”
Snapshot IN will run during October and November, when many wildlife species are active.
The state will provide each landowner with the same camera model with the same settings.
Volunteers cannot use attractants or baits during the study. Attractants include birdseed, compost, grill residue or chemical attractants. Volunteers should try to place the camera near a game trail or water source to capture animals in a place they would naturally congregate.
All materials will be loaned by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife and must be returned in acceptable condition at the end of the sampling period. All photos and videos will be property of the state. At the end of the survey period, copies of photos and videos of interest will be provided to landowners.
“The results from this year’s pilot study will be used to fine-tune protocols and improve the study design for coming years,” Rossler said.
If you are interested in becoming a Snapshot IN volunteer, click on “Service project listing” at wildlife.in.gov/8301.htm.
Due to limited supplies, not all applicants will be contacted to participate.