Camera-trapping wildlife in the UK: be part of it!

•December 18, 2012 • 2 Comments
camera_trapping.1This is an open call for everyone interested in being part of an exciting county-wide project that will discover the private lives of our elusive and rare British wildlife through the use of automated camera traps and contribute to the conservation of our inspiring and valuable natural camera_trapping.8heritage.

You may have seen these cameras on BBC Autumnwatch recording polecats, or maybe other productions from the BBC Natural History Unit filming the big cats of the world, and now I am inviting you to get out into your local woods and across the county to see what wildlife lives on your doorstep. Subscribe to camera_trapping.3the blog today to register your interest and comment below to nominate your county.*

I am currently planning a county-scale pilot study linked to an camera_trapping.9international collaborative research project led by Dr. Roland Kays, Curator of Mammals, New York State Museum that will use camera traps to measure the distribution and abundance of mammals in a UK county.

This study will adapt the citizen science approach successfully tested along the Appalachian camera_trapping.6Trail, eastern USA to conditions in the UK, involving volunteers in the collection of valuable data, that will not only contribute to science and conservation, but also give participants  a new window into their local animal communities.

If you are an enthusiastic individual or represent a youth or adult group, including schools camera_trapping.5and naturalist societies, and would be interested in participating in this programme, please join the mailing list by subscribing to this blog and you will be kept up to date with the developments of this project.

The success of this project depends on your support as the citizen scientists and the financial backing to get this project off the ground. Without either of these vital components, regrettably the project will not take off. I’ll get on with funding applications, and ask that you please get talking with your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about this new and exciting project which will be part of something on the global scale of conservation!

Thank you for your interest. If you have any difficulty subscribing, please contact me:

Roberts NJ (2011) Investigation into survey techniques of large mammals: surveyor competence and camera-trapping vs.transect-sampling. Bioscience Horizons 4: 40-49.

* Nominations do not guarantee the county selected for this project; rather it is intended to gain an idea of participant interest and locality, as the final decision on project location may be determined by a number of factors, including any conditions of the funding awarded.  


Competition: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013

•March 3, 2013 • Leave a Comment

wpoty2013“Wildlife Photographer of the Year harnesses the power of photography to promote the discovery, understanding, and responsible enjoyment of the natural world.

Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The competition is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth – the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.

Being shortlisted in this competition is something to which photographers across the world aspire. Every year emerging talents compete with established names for a chance to be hailed Wildlife Photographer of the Year.”

In 2006 Nathan Roberts competed in the young category of this competition against over 18,000 entries from 55 countries and was shortlisted as a finalist. Since then he has travelled to many parts of the world to study wildlife and his camera was never far at hand.

This year he has entered twenty of his strongest images across six categories, including three of the special awards, the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award open to photographers aged between 18 and 26, the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species which seeks to raise awareness about conservation and species threatened with extinction, and the World in Our Hands Award, a category focused on the constructive and destructive consequences of our actions on the natural world – view his entries at

Entrants with an image(s) in the Final Round will be notified in mid-April and Awards will be announced from Mid-May 2013 – good luck everyone!

The Next Frontier

•December 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

frontier.bannerI hope you all had a great Christmas, and let me wish you a Happy New Year! Some people set resolutions, and others seek to make changes to lifestyle and set targets for the new year. For me, 2013 is certainly set to be a change from the zoo keeping routine which has occupied the past 18 months, for my new year will be spent in Costa Rica as I begin my contract with Frontier Environmental.

For six months, I will hold a field research position, assisting with the management, training and supervision of volunteer Research Assistants and the research, survey and reporting activities of the project. The primary focus of the Forest Research Program is to survey big cats, primates and turtles and to monitor the effects of climate change on Costa Rica’s protected area network and the wildlife of this global biodiversity hotspot.

I am very excited to now travel to an area of the world which has insofar not been explored by me, but has been a place that has long attracted me, primarily as it is home to the amazing jaguar that I have had the privilege to work with in captivity and had ambitions to study in the wild for a number of years – so here’s hoping one is ‘captured’ by the camera traps and that our studies will help in their conservation! Of course, frogs are high up on my ‘wish list’ too, so expect lots of photos as the weeks go on!

Thanks for following.

Until next time…


“On the third day of Christmas…”

•December 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

bushnell.01…one hen is enough!

For the past two weeks I have been testing out some new camera trap equipment (Bushnell HD Trophy Cams) ahead of my forthcoming research expedition in Costa Rica. Foxes and badgers this month, jaguars and tapirs the next – I live in hope!

Only a brief post today as I have final preparations to make and Spanish to revise!


Steve Wheatley, Ray White, Dave Yates, RSPB – thank you.

One year ago today: Namibia (2011)

•June 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

What was I doing this time last year? Attending an international training course at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Education and Research Centre in Namibia! This intensive course provided me with specialist skills and knowledge to assist in the study and conservation of not only cheetahs but also other wildlife. Read more.

Here, there, and everywhere

•September 14, 2011 • 1 Comment

Due to some severe technical difficulties regarding my notebook computer, I have been unable to post content in my normal manner. To avoid any issues with layout consistency, I will keep this post simple and will update once my computer is back to normal. In summary, here is what I have been up to in the past few months and what can be expected as we approach October…

Here: Camera-trapping project commencing soon; Photography exhibition opening in October

There: International Conservation Biology Training Course in Namibia through June and into July; Outdoor First Aid course completed earlier this month

Everywhere: New conservation photography website to be launched by end of October (technology permitting!)

Sorry to keep you waiting!


Photos of the day: CCF, Namibia

•June 13, 2011 • 2 Comments

As I have a spare five minutes, I thought I would share a couple of the photos taken here at CCF, Namibia – enjoy.

Cheetah Conservation Biology Course, Namibia (June – July 2011)

•June 3, 2011 • 2 Comments

I will soon be attending an international training course on Cheetah Conservation Biology, hosted by Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) at its Research and Education Centre near Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation’s African Cheetah Initiative, the workshop will focus on human-cheetah conflict and address the needs identified in the regional plans regarding research and applied conservation. It is envisaged that participation in this workshop will complement university training and benefit my professional development in the field of wild cat conservation. Additionally, the CCF site has a great diversity and abundance of wildlife, so hopefully will present opportunities to photograph cheetahs, oryx and zebra, among other species.

Innovative UK camera-trapping study now published

•April 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The manuscript I prepared last year following submission of my undergraduate thesis has now been accepted, presenting the first published comparative study of the efficiency and reliability of camera-trapping and transect-sampling as techniques for surveying large mammals in the UK. Once again I would like to extend my thanks to those who assisted the study and to The Clouded Leopard Project and Penrith Lions Club for financial support.

Roberts NJ (2011) Investigation into survey techniques of large mammals: surveyor competence and camera-trapping vs. transect-sampling. Bioscience Horizons 4: 40-49.

What’s the plan for 2011?

•January 6, 2011 • 2 Comments

 …I’m hoping today’s post (from the postman, and the blog [post]) will bear some reflection on what is to come in 2011.

Happy New Year!