Written by Kaitlyn Bernarde
Snapshot Wisconsin (a volunteer-based project for wildlife monitoring) is looking for volunteers to help quantify our wildlife populations. This statewide program works with residents to collect and upload pictures to an online database, identify the animals, and then map where animals are throughout the state.
Snapshot Wisconsin started in 2016 in just 2 counties and has since expanded to all 72 counties in Wisconsin. The program aims to:
- Understand where animal populations are around Wisconsin
- Develop maps of population distribution across seasons
- Work with NASA to link population data with satellites to make better maps
As of April 3, 2019, Snapshot Wisconsin has 1,615 volunteers, 1,898 cameras, and over 27 million photos collected. (Source)
There are two ways for residents to get involved:
- Wisconsin residents can apply online to host a trail camera on their property. To be considered, applicants must:
- Have access to 10 acres of continuous land
- Have basic computer skills
- Check the camera at least every 90 days
- Participate in the program for at least 1 year
Once accepted, volunteers are given a FREE trail camera and training by Extension Forestry Educators.
Snapshot Trainings will be held in late April and May 2019 around Wisconsin.
- Residents can also volunteer with the program by identifying animals at https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/snapshot-wisconsin.
Simply click on a photo and select which species you think is in the picture, then record the size, the quantity, and the animal’s coat. Identifications are recorded with date, time, and location of the photo to create data for wildlife, vegetation, and forestry management (Source).
According to Kris Tiles, Snapshot Trainer and Natural Resource Educator with Extension Marathon County:
“Many landowners I work with love their woodlands because of the wildlife. This program not only helps the state get a better handle on wildlife populations, it helps landowners learn more about the wildlife using their land. Snapshot is also a great tool for bringing the next generation into managing the land alongside you.”
If you’d like to get involved, you may apply online here to host a trail camera. If you’re already a Snapshot Wisconsin trail camera host, please forward this article to a friend or family member who might want to volunteer too.
Questions? Visit their website or FAQ page, or contact project staff at DNRSnapshotWisconsin@wisconsin.gov or 608-572-6103.
This Snapshot Wisconsin DNR program is in partnership with Extension, UW-Madison, Adler Planetarium, Zooniverse, Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers, Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration, and NASA.
4-H Program Coordinator | University of Wisconsin Extension–Cooperative Extension
Kaitlyn Bernarde is the Marathon County 4-H Program Coordinator for UW-Extension, where she has worked since April 2018. She is a graduate of Marathon High School, has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, divides her time between volunteer management and expanding access to 4-H programs. Her passion is strengthening Marathon County youth and adults via education, opportunities, and experiences. In her free time, you can find her exploring Wisconsin with her husband, consuming the news of the day, and trying a new cup of coffee with her family. Email Kaitlyn Bernarde.
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