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Snapshot Serengeti Captures Candid Moments on the Plains

Photo © Snapshot Serengeti

Scientists are asking for help from the public in a new research project dubbed “Snapshot Serengeti.”  A recent BBC Nature article describes this latest ‘citizen science study’ by the Zooniverse project, led by the University of Oxford and Adler Planetarium.   Hundreds of camera traps have been set up across the Serengeti, and each takes a succession of three shots when triggered by motion detectors.  The photos are uploaded to an interactive website called Snapshot Serengeti, where the public is asked to help identify species based on their physical characteristics. The goal of the project is to paint a broad picture of life on the Serengeti, allowing researchers insight into big-picture trends like carnivore interactions and predator/prey relationships. In their research, the team found that members of the general public could identify species as accurately as scientists, so the project is meant to capitalize on the high volume of visitors to the Serengeti each year.  Even if you aren’t a recent visitor to the park, the candid shots captured by the remote cameras are worth perusing!