Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Wetlands wanderings recorded

A remote camera has been installed at the Winton Wetlands to monitor wildlife.

December 3, 2012 4:44am

The new equipment at Winton Wetlands.

As part of Winton Wetlands Restoration and Monitoring Strategic Plan, Winton Wetlands Committee of Management have recently installed a remote camera in the wetlands reserve with a view to extending the use of the technology once its effectiveness as a monitoring tool has been ascertained.

The remote camera equipment was installed at Winton Wetlands by a team of senior ecologists and environmental specialists from Wangaratta-based Hamilton Environmental Services and EcoRemote Solutions.

Powered by solar energy the camera captures images and audio data, which is instantly transmitted through the 3G network, to managed servers and stored. Winton Wetlands staff are then able to view this real-time data via a website specifically designed for their needs.

Member of the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management, Doug Bain said the installation of the remote camera coincided perfectly with the start of the reserve’s spring fox-baiting program.

‘‘As a trial of new technology, it will allow the Committee of Management to ascertain its effectiveness for the purpose of fox monitoring and may lead to a larger multi-camera installation, which would then provide some useable information,’’ Mr Bain said.

‘‘A variety of other animals are also being observed within the camera’s field of view. This additional information will be used to ascertain the abundance of other species within the wetlands reserve,’’ he said.

Director/Principal of Hamilton Environmental Services director/principal Steve Hamilton said the equipment had been designed to have low energy demands for long-term placement without maintenance.

‘‘The use of EcoRemote Solution’s technologies will minimise the effort in fauna surveys and improve the chances of animal detection, by providing products that will operate indefinitely in the field, with little to no servicing,’’ Mr Hamilton said.

‘‘The use of this equipment will also reduce management’s carbon footprint and labour costs providing a win-win outcome for everyone. It is also possible to control the camera from a remote location though an internet connection, as well as to view a live feed from the camera.’’

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