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Issue 3: October, 2018

Science Update: All About Badgers

We compiled a list of confirmed badger sightings from Phase One of the project using classifications by trail camera hosts, Zooniverse volunteers and the DNR project staff. This yielded a list of 64 records. Some classifications had to be excluded because the photos were inconclusive or identified incorrectly as badgers.

Some interesting observations from the data:

A badger captured on camera in Jackson County

A badger caught on camera in Jackson County

  1. Overall classification accuracy was nearly 76%. Although this is not as high as more common species, such as deer, is still fair for a species that is rarely caught on our cameras. Not only do badgers spend much of their time underground and out of sight, but when we do see them, they are often moving quickly across the frame of the camera.
  2. Fishers, racoons, porcupines and otters are commonly mistaken as badgers.
  3. All confirmed badger pictures contained only one badger. No two badgers have been seen together in a Snapshot Wisconsin photo, nor have badgers been seen in the same photo with another species. So, badgers are quite the loners it seems, which is accurate according to available literature.

Using the date and time information from these photos, we can generate charts to find the most active part of the day and year. There are two observed activity peaks for the badgers, both after daylight hours.

Badger detections by the hour of the day

Detections by the hour of the day

Badgers seem to be more active in fall, likely a result of increased movement during the breeding season. In winter, the detections go down drastically, probably because they spend longer periods underground during the cold season.

Badger sightings by the hour of the day

Badger Sightings by Month

As explained in this article [exit DNR], little is known about the life history or day-to-day activities of the species. We expect that our longitudinal data of badger presence and activity throughout the state will help further the understanding of Wisconsin’s beloved state animal.

Badger Detections across the State

Badger Detections across the State Prior to July 2018

Trail Camera Host Announcements: Ensure your data is used for County Fawn-to-Doe Ratios

Doe and fawn

Doe and Fawn from Dane County, July 2018

We would like to ask all trail camera hosts to check your camera this month if you have not checked your camera since September 1st. Our critical window for fawn-to-doe ratio calculation is July and August. We use this time period to calculate ratios because it is when fawns have become active but still have their spots, making them easily distinguishable from adults. Please make sure that all your photos from July and August are uploaded and classified if possible. Because the turn-around time to get photos classified on Zooniverse can be many months, we need volunteers to classify their own deer photos in MySnapshot from July and August in order for the data to be used.

The photos classified as fawns and does for July and August will be used to calculate a monthly camera-specific fawn-to-doe ratio. The fawn-to-doe ratios by camera and month are averaged by county and combined with additional survey information for input into equations to estimate deer population size on a county level.

Recently on the Blog

Did you miss any of our blog posts over the last month? Below are links to a few highlights. We usually have posts on Tuesday and Saturday.

Equipment sherpa

Taylor – the equipment kit Sherpa

Volunteer of the Month – Thomas from Marinette County

Thomas Galbraith

Thomas from Marinette County

October’s Volunteer of the Month is Thomas from Marinette County! Thomas has been a trail camera host since June 2017. Thomas is also an activate participant on Snapshot Wisconsin’s crowdsourcing platform,, where you may recognize him as @Swamp-eye. His username comes from the position of his camera overlooking the swamp on his property, the same piece of land where he was born and raised.

Thomas enjoys hunting, fishing, woodcarving and volunteering with Snapshot Wisconsin in his free time. He shared, “I have always been interested in the flora and fauna of this great county. I learned my hunting skills from my dad and my love of nature from my mom.” One of our favorite quotes from Thomas is, “you couldn’t find a better hobby than Snapshot Wisconsin.” We think we couldn’t find better volunteers!

Thank you, Thomas! Thank you to all our trail camera hosts and Zooniverse volunteers for helping us discover our wildlife together.

Photo of the Month

The Snapshot Wisconsin photo of the month highlights favorite photos shared by our volunteers. To enter one of your favorites from a Snapshot Wisconsin camera please send the image as a .jpeg attachment with the animal classification, county location and date taken along with the reason why you love the image to We will include your first name and county location in the newsletter featuring your submitted photo.

This month's images were submitted from a trail camera host in Iowa County and show a standoff between a deer and a coyote last April. Looks like the deer was telling the coyote to hit the road!

Other interesting photos from our cameras can be viewed and classified on our Zooniverse page.

Snapshot photo of the month

Deer and Coyote, Iowa County, April 2018

Last revised: Monday May 06 2019