Thursday, 17 November 2016

A year in the life of a camera trap in the Fynbos

Last year, October 2015, members of Biosphere Expeditions stuck out a Bushnell camera trap on a fence line on a remote part of the Kouga Mountains, in land adjacent to Blue Hill Nature Reserve. Due to its remote location, it was not collected until October this year: it had spent an entire year deployed snapping away wildlife of the fynbos. While we were expecting the batteries to be flat after only a few months of recording, incredibly, the camera still had power to snap a shot of the person removing the camera.

The camera recorded 240 photos; including setting up and taking down the camera: several events either side. Over 70 photos were associated with a fire; which the camera survived; and it also survived being rearranged by a baboon. In the latter case, only just: one of the cable ties had been snapped during the encounter with the baboon, which clearly had made a long and dedicated effort to ripping it off its post.

As in many cases, many photos were blank, or unidentifiable; but otherwise apart from baboon the camera recorded klipspringer, red-tailed rock-rabbit, sengi, Cape rockjumper, striped polecat and a black-backed jackal; the last being the only species recorded in the 2 months post fire period.

Here are some of the highlights.

Setting up the camera
Red-tailed Rock Rabbit was quite common

The only antelope recorded was Klipspringer, here a female

Juvenile, female and male Cape Rockjumper were the only birds recorded

There was no clear reason the camera took a photo of this pretty sunset
The approaching juvenile delinquent

At least 20 photos of him fiddling with the camera

Giving up just in time

Striped Polecat was recorded surprisingly frequently: more so here than at any other Blue Hill NR location

Sengi, or Elephant Shrew

Male Cape Rockjumper

The approaching Fire

In the post fire months, only Black backed Jackal and Polecat were recorded.

... and the resident male Klipspringer

Taking the camera down after 1 year.


  1. I love the story of the year. Impressed that they camera survived fire and boons

  2. Great work on the camera traps. It is very difficult for them to make it past 1 year.


  4. This is SO COOL! thanks for posting :)


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