Scaling Up Camera Trap Surveys to Inform Regional Wildlife Conservation

  • Start Date: May 05, 2020
  • End Date: May 06, 2020
  • City: Kimberley BC
  • Venue: Kimberley Conference Centre
  • Call for Presentations closes February 2, 2020


PHOTOS: Remote Camera Trap images, Cole Burton

Conference description

The exponential growth in the use of camera traps (aka remote cameras, trail cams) is revolutionizing wildlife monitoring. Improvements and cost-reductions in camera trap technology, advances in statistical and computing methods for analysis, and a growing awareness of the need to monitor wildlife across large spatial and temporal scales, are all leading to increasing use of this powerful tool. Hundreds of thousands of cameras are being deployed to survey wildlife around the world, including many thousands deployed in western Canada by academic researchers, government and industry practitioners, and citizen scientists. This growth in sampling has the potential to transform our understanding of the ecology of terrestrial vertebrate wildlife, and inform their conservation and management at regional scales. However, the dizzying pace of growth in camera trap methodology can temper this potential, creating confusion or disjunction in implementation. The emergence of global and regional camera-trap networks is aiming to improve standardization and coordination among surveys, but the success of these networks will depend on effective communication and collaboration among researchers and practitioners.

This two-day conference will address key questions in the development and application of camera trap methods. By showcasing established and emerging case studies, the conference will be a forum for sharing lessons on fundamental topics such as sampling design, data management and analysis, and multi-project collaboration. It will be an excellent opportunity for scientists, managers, students, and citizen scientists to network and learn about current thinking on the science and application of camera trapping for wildlife ecology and management. The conference will include speakers and a poster session addressing various aspects of camera trapping, a field trip opportunity, as well as a workshop focused on coordination and standardization of key aspects of camera surveys, such as sampling design, camera protocols, and data management and analysis.


Keynote speakers

Jorge Ahumada, BSc, PhD, Senior Wildlife conservation scientist, Moore Centre for Science, & Executive Director of Wildlife Insights

Senior conservation professional with more than 20 years of experience in environmental science, conservation, and management of large diverse programs in Latin America and globally. Jorge is known for his design and implementation of multi-institutional partnership collaborations with governments, non-government organizations, and companies. Jorge has a deep passion for nature and wildlife, he looks forward to connecting with us and sharing his depth of knowledge and experience with the use of camera trap networks for wildlife conservation. 


Roland Kays, BSc, PhD, Research Associate Professor, North Carolina State University, & Head of the Biodiversity Lab,  NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Referred to fondly as “Mr. Camera Trap,” Roland is a zoologist with a broad interest in ecology and conservation, especially of mammals. He studies research questions that are scientifically interesting but also have real-world relevance through educational or conservation value. Roland is an expert in using new technologies to study free-ranging animals, especially to track their movement with GPS tags and camera traps. He combines this high-tech work with traditional methods, collecting data through field work and studies of museum collections.


Invited speakers

  • Cole Burton, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Terrestrial Mammal Conservation, University of British Columbia. Scaling up insights from camera trapping in western Canada with the WildCAM network
  • Emily Chow & Holger Bohm, BC FLNRORD. Kootenay remote camera wildlife monitoring project
  • Kim Dawe, PhD, Quest University Canada. Monitoring dynamics of mammal intensity of use in outdoor recreation hot spots in the Sea to Sky Corridor
  • Jason Fisher, BScH, MSc, PhD, Senior Research Scientist – InnoTech Alberta, and Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria. The Changing Face of Mammal Communities on the East Slopes of the Rocky Mountains
  • Virgil Hawkes, LGL Limited. Using camera traps to assess wildlife occurrence and distribution in Alberta’s oil sands region


Who should attend this conference?

CMI conferences attract people from a variety of disciplines and professions. This conference will inform scientists, ecologists, managers, government decision-makers, and community members (e.g., hunters, naturalists). Additionally, this conference will be of use to post-secondary students currently studying, or who have an interest in studying, the monitoring, ecology, or management of terrestrial vertebrate wildlife.


We welcome presentations and posters that address the following themes in camera trapping:

  • Supporting management of species of conservation concern
  • Improving understanding of animal community dynamics (i.e., multi-species surveys)
  • Linking animals and their environments
  • Advances in large-scale sampling designs
  • Advances in image processing and data management
  • Advances in statistical analysis of camera trap detections
  • Linking camera traps to other methods to improve understanding
  • Large-scale, multi-project collaborations
  • The use of camera trap studies in promoting public engagement in wildlife conservation
  • Recruiting volunteers and citizen scientists to assist with large-scale camera trap studies – opportunities and challenges
  • Emerging themes in camera trapping

Presenters are asked to refer their presentation back to the question: “What are the lessons learned that can inform future surveys and/or management applications, particularly at large spatial scales?”


If you would like to give a 15 minute MS PowerPoint presentation* with an additional 5 minutes for Q & A at this conference, please send title, abstract (max 300 words), a short bio, and full contact information to the Columbia Mountains Institute by February 2, 2020. Please note that all presenters are required to provide a text summary of their talk before the conference for inclusion in the conference proceedings. Proceedings document will be publicly available on the CMI and WildCAM websites.

*Additional time may be requested for proposals needing more than 15 minutes to be considered by event organizing committee.

Posters and displays about your projects are welcome. Please send title, abstract, or description of your initiative, a short bio, and full contact information no later than February 2, 2020. Your abstract will be included in the conference proceedings.

Submission guidelines for presentations, posters, and summary papers appear on our website here. Please review prior to submission.

Presenters receive discount on registration fee.


Our event partners & sponsors

Columbia Mountains Institute is pleased to work with these agencies in hosting this event: WildCAM Network, University of British Columbia, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, InnoTech Alberta, University of Victoria and LGL Limited.

We thank LGL Limited for their financial support of this event.









Event sponsors and commercial exhibitors are encouraged to contact CMI after reviewing the information found here.



Member: $240*

Non-member: $285

*Individual memberships for 2019 are $40 and can be purchased within the registration form. As we are late in the season a 2020 membership will be included.

Registration includes all conference sessions and field trips, catered coffee breaks and buffet lunches.  Registration for workshops will be first come first serve and may include a small additional fee – details to be determined soon.

Registration opening soon!


Where to stay

We have set up a discounted room block at the Trickle Creek LodgeThis lodge is on-site and will take you just a few mins to walk to the event at the Kimberley Conference Centre. All rooms include a kitchenette. Note that at this time of year there are not any decent breakfast options on site, so pan to bring your own or give yourself enough time to go into the town site of Kimberley for breakfast (~8min drive).

When booking, note that you are with CMI to get the discounted rates. For rates and booking instructions, see HERE.




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