Assessing conservation strategies using camera traps 

Snapshot Safari generates millions of images that provide data needed to identify successful management practices.

To address the urgent need for more accurate assessments of wildlife populations, the University of Minnesota Lion Center has deployed an unprecedented network of camera trap grids in dozens of wildlife parks and reserves in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe as part of the Snapshot Safari project. Some of the participating parks are managed as conservancies, some are privately owned, and some are government-run. With the help of accurate camera-trap censuses, we will be able to identify which sites are being managed most successfully — and hence, which conservation strategies should be incorporated into the toolbox for effective wildlife management.

Snapshot Safari looks to citizen scientists from around the world to identify wildlife caught on camera. With millions of images ready to be classified, participants have the opportunity to search for wildlife in remarkable ecosystems as Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve, Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, Swaziland’s Mlawula Reserve, and Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. We are working with conservation groups across Africa to use this data to ensure the protection and proliferation of African mammals.

Once classified and validated, the camera-trap data will be made available for scientific and educational purposes throughout the world. Snapshot Safari will enable researchers to closely examine questions of species coexistence, competition, trophic interactions, and other ecological relationships across a variety of habitat types, community compositions, and management strategies. The results will contribute to the development and refinement of important methods to conserve some of the most beloved species and ecosystems on our planet.

Ready to help us protect lions, elephants, rhinos, and all the beautiful wildlife of Africa? Jump over to Snapshot Safari and get started!”

 “Snapshot Safari is the start a new era in monitoring the health of Africa’s most important wildlife areas. These classifications will help conservationists learn what management strategies work best to protect these iconic species.” 

Craig Packer

Director of the Lion Center, University of Minnesota

“We at Gondwana see this as a wonderful synergy between technology and people resulting in real data directing our conservation management activities. Our EcoCamp guests love getting involved and our management team love the results!!” 

Jono Berry

Conservation and Sustainability Manager, Gondwana Game Reserve

“Snapshot Safari is incredibly important for the Ruaha landscape. It has amazing wildlife populations, but we have never had the resources to assess all our camera-trapping photos. This will provide invaluable data for conservation planning.” 

Amy Dickman

Founder, Ruaha Carnivore Project

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