In an age when the threats facing the world’s animals are growing faster than the funds available to study and protect them, conservation needs help.
Fortunately, the rapid development of camera-trap technology has proved a huge benefit. As equipment has become cheaper, more durable, more portable and able to capture ever more detailed images, the digital remote camera has evolved to become one of the most powerful tools in the scientist’s armoury.
Rangers and researchers scour habitats for signs of rare species, but camera-traps can go further than merely counting pugmarks and scats in assessing wildlife populations and movement, feeding habits and territories. Crucially, they enable scientists to identify individual animals and even depict previously unknown species and behaviour.
The annual BBC Wildlife Camera-Trap Photo of the Year competition does more than merely celebrate aesthetics or even innovation.
Since the contest was launched in 2010, we have provided funding for many key projects, highlighting the importance of such images – and the efforts of the field researchers who captured them.