Help classify images on MammalWeb

Hello everyone, I’m a PhD student researching ways to monitor mammals using camera traps and citizen science through the project MammalWeb. I currently have a daunting set of half a million images to classify, and need peoples help! Please read on to hear what the project is about, why you should help, and how to help.

What is the project? Between June and October 2018, we carried out the largest ever camera trapping survey of County Durham! We rotated 40 camera traps around 109 points across the whole county. The mass of data we collected will allow us to study mammal behaviour, species distributions and abundances, and community composition. It will also help us cast light on the data collected in the longer-term MammalWeb UK project. To read more about the project, head over to www.MammalWeb.org and click on the “Projects” tab. There you will see all the projects that MammalWeb is currently involved with. Click “More” under the “County Durham Survey” project to read more about this particular project.

Why help with the project? By helping us to classify the images in this project, you’ll help us gain insight into the distribution, abundance, and behaviour of mammals in County Durham, as well as maximising the potential benefit of the MammalWeb project as a whole. Information gained from the survey will form an important resource for the Durham Wildlife Trust and other partners tasked with managing and conserving wildlife in the north east. A camera trapping survey of this scale has not previously been done in the north east, so we really need your help to classify the images! We’ll keep you up to date with the progress of the project and any results, via the “News” page on MammalWeb, and our newsletter, which you can subscribe to at the bottom of the MammalWeb homepage.

How to help with the project? For those who already have a MammalWeb account, all you need to do is log in as a MammalWeb spotter and select the “County Durham Survey” project from the drop down “Select a project” box. Then you’re ready to get classifying!

For those not so familiar with MammalWeb don’t worry, classifying photos on MammalWeb is easy and open to everyone! Register on MammalWeb by clicking on the “Spotter” tab and then clicking “Don’t have an account?” Once you’ve made your account, you can log in from the spotter tab, and select the “County Durham Survey” from the drop down project options box. Click “Classify Selected Project Only” and then you’re ready to get classifying! Look through the whole image sequence using the arrows and then decide what species is in the sequence from the right hand panel (note there are more species options if you click on “Birds” or “Mammals”). There are also “Nothing”, “Human” and “Don’t know” options. Once you’re happy with your selection, click “Next sequence”. If you would like more information on spotting, then head over to the “Learn” tab, where you’ll find a detailed guide to spotting.

If you have any questions at all, or would just like to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to email us at: info@mammalweb.org

Thank you in advance, we really appreciate your help.

Happy spotting!

Best wishes,

Sammy.