What if you could help Panthera’s mission simply by looking at a picture and identifying the wild animal in it? Believe it or not, you can.
Camera CATalogue, a newly launched project with our partners at Zooniverse, allows people like you to participate directly in Panthera’s research.
Here’s some background:
Despite being one of Africa’s most iconic species, leopards have often been overlooked by conservationists because of their vast distribution and elusive nature. In 2013, Panthera began using camera-traps to intensively monitor southern Africa’s leopards. The results were alarming; most populations showed significant declines. In order to protect these leopards, we needed to understand more about what threatened them—so we expanded our monitoring efforts and increased the number of camera-trapping surveys in the region.
The motion-activated camera-traps we use cannot differentiate between wild cats and other animals so, as you can imagine, our traps generate a huge number of photographs. In order to get a reliable snapshot of the landscape, we need to analyze every camera-trap photo—and that’s where you come in.
Camera CATalogue enables citizen scientists like you to help us identify and classify all of the images our camera-traps take. When viewed collectively, these data help us to better understand the health of leopards, their landscapes, and the countless species those landscapes support. Armed with that knowledge, we can develop and implement effective conservation actions on their behalf.