Camera trapping as a method for monitoring rhino populations within the Waterberg Plateau Park, Namibia

07.01.2010 | By , , ,

For species with unique markings, camera trapping has been used as a non-invasive method for generating population estimates and monitoring the fate of particular individuals. Rhinos – both black (Diceros bicornis) and white (Ceratotherium simum) – have unique horn sizes, shapes and scaring, making camera trapping a monitoring technique that could be useful. Over a 7-week period during 2006 in the Waterberg Plateau Park (WPP) in Namibia, we obtained 125 photos of rhinos from 11 camera stations during 545 camera nights, about half of which were useful in identifying 18 individual black rhinos and 13 white rhinos. Additional coverage of the Park could lead to more complete counts that would complement ongoing monitoring efforts.