A portable low-cost remote videography system for monitoring wildlife


Correspondence author. E-mail: saramaekross@gmail.com


1. Remote videography allows continuous and reviewable recording of unique behaviours with minimal disturbance to focus individuals. It is therefore an excellent, although often unaffordable, method for observing the behaviour of wildlife in the field.

2. We describe a digital video-based remote videography design that costs under USD 900 and requires relatively minimal maintenance. The system is portable and can record continuously or when motion is detected.

3. Using the threatened New Zealand falcon as a model, in a single season of camera deployment we were able to record a number of unique events, including a new prey species for the falcon and the complete depredation of one nest.

4. Only 16% of potential recording hours were lost, the majority of which were as a result of battery failure (52% of failures) or the camera becoming dislodged (33% of failures).

5. This system will be useful for researchers in all fields who require a reliable, cost-effective means of recording wildlife behaviour in remote locations.