Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 717-726.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018035

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Impact of ground and canopy camera-trapping installation on wildlife monitoring

Fang Yihao1, 2, Ren Guopeng2, Gao Ying1, 2, Zhang Shuxia2, Wang Haohan2, Li Yanpeng2, Huang Zhipang2, Cui Liangwei1, *(), Xiao Wen2, *()   

  1. 1 Faculty of Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224
    2 Institute of Eastern-Himalaya Biodiversity Research, Dali University, Dali, Yunnan 671003
  • Received:2018-02-05 Accepted:2018-05-22 Online:2018-09-11
  • Cui Liangwei,Xiao Wen;

Camera trap technology is increasingly used in wildlife research, and has become an important tool to assess biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity is monitored from the ground with limited visual access to the wildlife present in the canopy layers. The impact of this limitation on the results of biodiversity assessments is unclear. In this study, a region characterized by rich biodiversity - the southern section of Biluo Snow Mountain - was monitored using 20 camera-trappings from January 2016 to July 2017. We installed cameras in groups of two working synchronously: one in the understory (0.5-1.5 m) and one in the overstory (5-10 m). For 2,319 trapping days, the cumulative monitoring period averaged to 112.5 days. We photographed 44 species of wild animals (not including rodents such as rats), 20 of which were mammals and 24 were birds. The similarity index of canopy and ground species was 29.54%. Fifteen species appeared only in the canopy, 16 species appeared only on the ground, and 13 species were photographed in both forest strata. Obvious differences in the species composition present in different forest strata were observed, suggesting that monitoring two strata is necessary. Results show that the detection rate of species by camera traps can be improved by installing cameras in forest strata corresponding to the habitat of target species. Our method of camera trap monitoring in different forest strata can also be used to study the spatial selection and niche differentiation of wild animals. To fully assess the diversity of wild animals in forest ecosystems monitoring at different forest strata is essential; new monitoring standards must incorporate multi-strata monitoring.

Key words: camera-trapping, ground, canopy, wildlife surveillance, species differences, monitoring standards

Fig. 1

The location of camera-trappings"

Table 1

The condition of installing and running of camera-trappings"

Camera code
North latitude
East longitude
Altitude (m)
Efficient camera day
No. of independent photo
Capture rate (%)
A1T 25.95387° 99.02626° 2,650 183 37 20.22
A1G 25.95416° 99.02644° 2,640 179 134 74.86
A2T 25.95587° 99.02233° 2,690 182 92 50.55
A2G 25.95644° 99.02199° 2,700 183 128 69.95
A3T 25.95634° 99.02401° 2,630 160 20 12.50
A3G 25.94829° 99.02451° 2,720 183 98 53.55
A4T 25.94075° 99.03471° 2,530 119 61 51.26
A4G 25.94059° 99.03476° 2,500 173 2 1.16
A5T 25.94637° 99.03595° 2,320 125 9 7.20
A5G 25.94679° 99.03623° 2,300 112 81 72.32
B1T 25.72784° 99.17677° 2,630 80 31 38.75
B1G 25.72707° 99.17143° 2,640 81 11 13.58
B2T 25.72072° 99.20972° 2,480 69 34 49.28
B2G 25.71856° 99.20375° 2,460 69 18 26.09
B3T 25.72188° 99.17846° 2,380 50 40 80.00
B3G 25.7216° 99.17867° 2,350 78 71 91.03
B4T 25.72591° 99.17498° 2,500 79 18 22.78
B4G 25.72631° 99.17955° 2,510 79 32 40.51
B5T 25.71978° 99.20995° 2,570 71 120 169.01
B5G 25.71798° 99.20969° 2,750 64 19 29.69
CRG 462 41.32
CRT 594 49.46

Fig. 2

The number of the species monitored by camera-trappings on ground and canopy"

Fig. 3

The distribution of animals monitored by camera-trappings on ground and canopy"

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