Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board have been using remote sensing cameras for wildlife monitoring within the resort since 2012.
Remote sensing cameras take photos when trigged by movement. They are commonly used as a non-invasive survey tool by environmental researchers and managers to collect wildlife data over long period of time (weeks to months). The placement of cameras depends on what species you are targeting. At Hotham we place cameras out on tracks and trails throughout the resort to monitor invasive feral animals including cats, foxes and deer.
The cameras are used to inform our pest control works which targets these invasive species. Foxes and feral cats in particular pose a serious threat to our native wildlife and are the main predators of the critically endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys parvus), along with other native small mammals including the Broad Toothed Rat (Mastacomys fuscus), Bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) and Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii).
The cameras also provide a unique glimpse into the native species which call our resort home. These include ringtail and brushtail possums, dingoes, lyrebirds, grey kangaroos, bush rats, dusky antechinus and a range of bird species including rosellas, currawongs, ravens, and magpies, just to name a few. Several years ago the cameras also captured a couple of dingo pups walking in the snow.
The data from our camera monitoring is uploaded into the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (VBA). The VBA is a database of observations of flora and fauna across Victoria and is used to inform biodiversity management tools.