About Smithsonian Wild

Welcome to Smithsonian WILD! This site is designed to showcase some of the exciting research conducted by the Smithsonian Institution and its collaborators around the world, and to highlight the incredible diversity of wildlife that exists in a range of habitats across the globe.

The use of motion-triggered 'camera traps' has become an incredibly useful tool for scientists to answer an enormous range of conservation and ecological questions. Researchers attach these unique cameras to posts or trees, often along forest trails, and when a camera's sensor registers an animal's body heat and movement, a photograph is taken. The studies highlighted here demonstrate the range of applications of this method, and how these cameras give us a glimpse into an animal world that is rarely seen by anyone. You can search the site by following the trail of interesting animals or the lure of diverse sites around the world.

You will notice that the images on this site vary considerably in quality, resolution and color. This is because the researchers involved in these studies have used a range of different camera models. Earlier camera models utilized standard film technology and took single photos when triggered. More recent camera models take digital photos and have the capacity to take many photos at each trigger event. We have included not just the most striking photos from these studies, but all the photographs. We think this will give you a better sense of the diversity of images captured by the cameras. This also allows us to show you 'near-video' sequences, which often display the movements and behavior of the animals.


 

Our hope is that while you are being entertained by the amazing photographs, you will also learn about the animals, their diverse habitats, and what is being done to conserve them.

At present we are accepting new photographs and datasets from professional survey efforts. If you have a dataset you think would be appropriate for this site, please contact William McShea (smithsonianwild@si.edu). We hope in the future to accept photographs from citizen scientists as well, so keep checking back with the site for relevant updates.



This application uses the Flickr API but is not endorsed or certified by Flickr.