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Backyard Camera Trapping


Thank you for showing interest as a ‘Backyard Camera Trapper’ within the greater vicinity of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Your home forms part of a greater ecosystem within which Jasper Ridge plays a functional role. This shared ecosystem has a number of elements which rely on one another, from the water which flows through it to the birds and insects which pollinate across it. All the various habitats, small and large, both inside and outside of Jasper Ridge play an important role in the refuge of many wildlife species, with many of them moving freely between them. Following an informative decade of camera trapping (see a recent prepublication here), the team at Jasper Ridge have learned how important these dynamics are. We are eager to collaborate with our shared custodians (i.e. you!) of these wildlife populations to embark on a venture to look into the secret lives of these amazing animals.

Project Aim

To collaborate with Jasper Ridge’s neighboring land and home owners on a project to evaluate the role surrounding land-use types play in the provision of valuable habitat and corridors for viable wildlife populations to persist in Jasper Ridge and beyond.


  1. To extend Jasper Ridge’s existing camera trap survey effort into the backyards of our neighbors and across the greater Stanford lands.
  2. To assist neighbors in putting a camera trap up in their backyard for a 3-year period and contribute the photos to the survey effort.
  3. To evaluate the spatial and temporal variation in the presence and behavioral ecology of wildlife across the various rural and urban environments surrounding and within Jasper Ridge.
  4. To establish the population dynamics of wildlife in the greater ecosystem and the role of the environments in the persistence of wildlife in and around Jasper Ridge.

We will be using our own camera trapping platform and AI to help us manage the project and as a means of providing you with a platform to upload, tag and store the images you take. We then suggest you buy a camera if you do not have one already (see suggestions in FAQs) and start exploring how to use it and where best you would like to set it up in your backyard over the next month. There is camera trap web site that offers extensive testing and reviews of cameras. 

We are going to limit contributions to one camera per backyard at this stage so that we have an even effort across the survey. If you think your ‘backyard’ is significantly large enough and encompasses more than one habitat type we can consider a second camera allocation. Over the year you will have quarterly upload periods: Q1 (Jan-Feb-Mar), Q2 (Apr-May-Jun), Q3 (Jul-Aug-Sep) & Q4 (Oct-Nov-Dec).

We are looking forward to seeing what is out there!

Regards, The Jasper Ridge Team

Backyard Camera Trapper FAQs