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Snapshot Wisconsin A volunteer-based project for wildlife monitoring

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Let's discover our wildlife together! Snapshot Wisconsin is a partnership to monitor wildlife year-round, using a statewide network of trail cameras. The project provides data needed for wildlife management decision support. It is also a unique opportunity for individuals, families, and students to get involved in monitoring the state’s valuable natural resources.

How it works

Trail camera

Deployed Snapshot Wisconsin camera

Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer-based project which utilizes a statewide network of trail cameras to monitor wildlife year-round. From coniferous forests to vast prairies, volunteers host trail cameras throughout Wisconsin’s landscapes. The photos of diverse wildlife captured on Snapshot Wisconsin cameras are hosted online, where they can be classified by volunteers across the globe. The resulting dataset is used to inform WDNR management decisions, and help us learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife.

Volunteer application

Apply to volunteer as a trail camera host and receive a unique opportunity to view local wildlife in their natural habitat. Free training and equipment are provided to accepted applicants. The requirements include access to at least ten contiguous acres of land, basic computer skills and the ability to check the camera every 90 days for at least one year. From bevvies of playful otters to gray foxes scurrying up trees, apply today [exit DNR] to see what exciting shots of wildlife you can capture on a Snapshot Wisconsin camera!

Snapshot Wisconsin trail cameras have played an integral role in monitoring the reintroduced elk herds in Black River Falls, Clam Lake and Flambeau River State Forest. These networks of trail cameras in each of the reintroduction sites inform herd management strategies by supplying accurate and cost-effective data estimating abundance, cow/bull ratios and annual recruitment.

Would you like to get involved with Wisconsin elk management? Sign up today to monitor a Snapshot Wisconsin elk trail camera. No experience necessary, and all training and equipment are provided. Volunteers must be able to participate for at least one year and check the camera at least once every three months. Submit an elk monitoring application [exit DNR] today!

Classify photos

Photos collected by Snapshot Wisconsin cameras are hosted on Zooniverse, a crowdsourcing website for citizen science projects. Thousands of volunteers worldwide participate on Zooniverse by identifying wildlife captured in Snapshot Wisconsin photos. With multiple volunteers viewing each image, a highly accurate consensus classification is made. From black bears to badgers, see what critters you can spot roaming the Wisconsin forests! Classify photos on Zooniverse [exit DNR] today to get involved.

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Snapshot Wisconsin is a collaborative project between the Wisconsin DNR's Office of Applied Science and the following organizations:

Last revised: Tuesday December 03 2019