Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2321–2343 | Cite as

Recommended guiding principles for reporting on camera trapping research

  • P. D. MeekEmail author
  • G. Ballard
  • A. Claridge
  • R. Kays
  • K. Moseby
  • T. O’Brien
  • A. O’Connell
  • J. Sanderson
  • D. E. Swann
  • M. Tobler
  • S. Townsend
Review Paper


Camera traps are used by scientists and natural resource managers to acquire ecological data, and the rapidly increasing camera trapping literature highlights how popular this technique has become. Nevertheless, the methodological information reported in camera trap publications can vary widely, making replication of the study difficult. Here we propose a series of guiding principles for reporting methods and results obtained using camera traps. Attributes of camera trapping we cover include: (i) specifying the model(s) of camera traps(s) used, (ii) mode of deployment, (iii) camera settings, and (iv) study design. In addition to suggestions regarding best practice data coding and analysis, we present minimum principles for standardizing information that we believe should be reported in all peer-reviewed papers. Standardised reporting enables more robust comparisons among studies, facilitates national and global reviews, enables greater ease of study replication, and leads to improved wildlife research and management outcomes.


Remote cameras Trail cameras Camera trap guidelines Ecological monitoring Camera trap methodology 



We would like to recognise the role of the following organisations whose support helped augment the preparation of this manuscript; The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, The Australasian Wildlife Management Society and the NSW Royal Zoological Society. Thank you to James D. Nichols and Andrew Bengsen who provided constructive comments on this manuscript. Marcella Kelly, Karen Hodges and an anonymous referee made several changes to this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Her majesty the Queen in Right of Australia 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Meek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • G. Ballard
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Claridge
    • 4
    • 5
  • R. Kays
    • 6
    • 7
  • K. Moseby
    • 8
  • T. O’Brien
    • 9
  • A. O’Connell
    • 10
  • J. Sanderson
    • 11
  • D. E. Swann
    • 12
  • M. Tobler
    • 13
  • S. Townsend
    • 14
  1. 1.Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, Biosecurity NSWNSW Department of Primary IndustriesCoffs HarbourAustralia
  2. 2.Environmental and Rural ScienceUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.Invasive Animals CRCCoffs HarbourAustralia
  4. 4.Nature Conservation SectionNSW National Parks and Wildlife ServiceQueanbeyanAustralia
  5. 5.School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of New South WalesCanberraAustralia
  6. 6.North Carolina Museum of Natural HistoryRaleighUSA
  7. 7.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  8. 8.The University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  9. 9.Mpala Research CentreWildlife Conservation SocietyNanyukiKenya
  10. 10.USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research CentreLaurelUSA
  11. 11.Small Wild Cat Conservation FoundationCorralesUSA
  12. 12.Saguaro National ParkTucsonUSA
  13. 13.Institute for Conservation ResearchSan Diego Zoo GlobalEscondidoUSA
  14. 14.Wildlife Ecology and ConsultingOaklandUSA

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