WildTrax is an online platform for managing, storing, processing, and sharing biological data collected by environmental sensors. WildTrax provides tools for managing large data sets, and also creates opportunities to address broad-scale questions using novel approaches. Supported environmental sensors currently include autonomous recording units (ARUs) and wildlife cameras, while a third sensor, point counts, provides access to manage avian count data collected by humans.
WildTrax offers several benefits for users of environmental sensors, including:
- Improvement in processing speed
- More accurate, and higher quality data using the species verification
- Unlimited, online access to your data
- Seamless and flexible data sharing options with teams and collaborators
- Standardized approaches to data collection across networks of organizations and individuals
- Opportunities to discover data in your region of interest, coordinate with other groups, and address broad-scale ecological questions
- Centralized repository for long term data archiving
Sensors can be deployed in many ways, depending on the monitoring objective. Examples of methods and protocols are found here.
The set-up methods used by the ABMI are summarized below:
For cameras, choose a view that is not blocked by vegetation or other impediments for at least 10 m (try to anticipate vegetation growth). Set the camera (lens) height at 1 m and then focus the camera view on the reference stake at 80 cm above the ground. Your target detection zone should be approximately 3–5 m from the camera. Face the camera to the north (ideally) or south if possible to avoid visibility issues from direct sunlight.
The autonomous recording unit (ARU) should be at a height of 1.5 m above ground, facing north with the microphones unobstructed by leaves, branches, or (if applicable) the trunk of the tree to which it’s affixed. Choose a sturdy tree or support, such as a stake, so that the unit won’t topple over in high winds or if disturbed by a large mammal.
Creating an account, setting up an organization, and processing and publishing projects are all free.
Exceptions may occur if an organization attempts to upload tens of millions of images or recordings per year, in which case there may be some required cost recovery for the storage fees on AWS, where the media are stored.
Your upload and download speed are limiting factors when you interface with WildTrax. The platform attempts to resolve these issues by providing asynchronous uploading and caching large data sets, but be mindful of the volume of data you’re uploading and downloading and your internet connectivity before proceeding.