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Research staff
Get to know a few of our world-class researchers
Research publications
Comprehensive archive of our publications from 1950 to today
Former projects
More than 350 research projects have been completed since 1929
Enrollment now open to:
  • Educators statewide
  • Tribal members/affiliates on tribal lands
  • Private land in:
    Ashland Countynew!
    Bayfield Countynew!
    Clark County
    Crawford Countynew!
    Dane County
    Dodge County
    Douglas Countynew!
    Grant County
    Iowa County
    Iron County
    Jackson County
    Manitowoc County
    Marathon County
    Marinette County
    Oneida County
    Price Countynew!
    Racine County
    Richland Countynew!
    Rusk County
    Sauk Countynew!
    Sawyer County
    St. Croix
    Taylor County
    Vernon County
    Vilas Countynew!
    Waupaca County

    Apply now!

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Snapshot Wisconsin A volunteer-based project for wildlife monitoring

The Snapshot Wisconsin graphic

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 will provide data needed for wildlife management decisions. 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

The Snapshot Wisconsin process: volunteers upload photos and others categorize them based on their contents. Then researchers can find out where wildlife lives.

Apply now to host a trail camera, or help by classifying photos [exit DNR].

Log in to your mySnapshot account.

Project statistics

1,012 Enrolled volunteers maintain

1,243 Cameras, returning

22,400,030 Photos
(Updated July 16, 2018)

Program info

A deer photographed by a trail camera

There are two main ways to get involved:

  1. Apply to host a trail camera. Selected volunteers will complete a training workshop and deploy a Snapshot Wisconsin trail camera provided to them. These volunteers will collect and submit photos several times per year.
  2. View and classify photos on Zooniverse [exit DNR], the internet's largest collection of citizen science projects. Everyone is welcome to identify and tag animals in photos. The resulting dataset will help us learn more about Wisconsin’s wildlife populations.

Apply to host a camera

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can apply to host a camera including individuals, families, or educators. We are able to provide one camera per survey block [PDF].

What will be expected of me as a volunteer?

Each volunteer will complete training, deploy an issued camera, and collect photos at least four times per year. Volunteers can participate for as long as they wish, but a minimum one-year commitment is preferred. Although alternatives can be provided, it is ideal if volunteers have access to the following:

  • A smartphone or a GPS unit and compass in order to collect camera location and orientation information.
  • Access to broadband internet, a computer with Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10), and an SD card reader in order to upload pictures to the DNR from a personal computer.

Where can I place a camera?

Volunteers can sign up for a survey block where they own land or where they have permission to place the camera. The minimum acreage required for a property is 10 contiguous acres. Properties less than 10 acres will be considered on an individual basis. Cameras should be placed in a natural area 100 yards from buildings, paved roads, or baiting for wildlife.

When can I apply?

Enrollment for Snapshot Wisconsin will open on a county-by-county basis. We are currently seeking volunteers to host trail cameras in specific Wisconsin counties listed on the right side of this page. We are also accepting applications from educators and tribal members/affiliates statewide. Apply now

Sign up to receive project updates and notice about open application dates.

Classify photos

From black bears to badgers, see what critters you can spot roaming the Wisconsin forests! Photos collected by Snapshot Wisconsin volunteers will be placed on Zooniverse – a website where Wisconsinites and people across the globe can go to identify and count the animals present in Snapshot Wisconsin photos. With participation from many people, it is possible to classify many photos in a short amount of time. For a pilot project of 80 cameras placed by DNR biologists, Zooniverse participants classified over 30,000 photos in one week!

Get started [exit DNR]

Snapshot in the classroom

Snapshot Wisconsin is a great way to get students outdoors and learn about local wildlife! The project is a unique opportunity to integrate science and technology into your classroom.

Educators can volunteer to host a trail camera with their students at a school forest or other property. Students can also help identify and count critters in photos captured across the state by logging on to the Zooniverse website.

Sign up to receive project updates and notice about open application dates for educators!


June events

  • June 7, 2018 Snap A Thon, International Crane Foundation, Baraboo
  • June 12, 2018 Trail Camera Host Training at Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland
  • June 20, 2018 Trail Camera Host Training at Science Operations Center, Madison

This project is a collaboration between the Wisconsin DNR and these partners: Partner organization logos
Last revised: Monday July 16 2018