Candid Critters

Frank Graff talks with Dr. Roland Kays of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where researchers are launching the the largest camera trap animal survey ever attempted.

RALEIGH — Have you ever wondered what animals lurk in your backyard? Or in the nearby park? Or in the most remote parts of North Carolina? Researchers at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have asked these questions, and are looking to find the answers. 

The museum is launching a citizen science program called "Candid Critters." The program will be the largest camera trap survey ever, with a goal of 20,000-30,000 active sites over the next three years. The researchers are asking folks to borrow a camera trap from a nearby public library to set on approved public lands. Citizens can also use their own camera trap on either approved public lands or in their own backyard. Once cameras capture images of the critters nearby, the photos are uploaded to the project's website. 

Researchers say all of those images will provide data of where animals live in the state's 100 counties, as well as when and where the animals are most active and the habitats the animals live in. The data can be used to study how wildlife interacts with the environment, with humans, and with other species.

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